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Vallabhdas Kanji Ltd. Vs. C.R.D. Bhutji and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.P. No. 225 of 1957
Judge
Reported inAIR1958Ker135
ActsIndustrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 10; Constitution of India - Articles 19(1) and 226
AppellantVallabhdas Kanji Ltd.
RespondentC.R.D. Bhutji and anr.
Appellant Advocate T.K. Narayana Pillai,; M.C. Varghese and; D. Narayanan P
Respondent Advocate V. Rama Shenoi, Govt. Pleader and; P. Balagangadhara Menon, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredEast India Industries (Madras) Ltd. v. I. T.
Excerpt:
- .....court dealt with the right of an industrial tribunal to order reinstatement as follows :'this relief of reinstatement is on the same footing as a relief of restitution. restitution can be granted in integrum in certain cases. all that is required is that the ex-employee should be restored to his previous position so far as capacity, status and emoluments are concerned and there is nothing extraordinary in such restoration being ordered when considered necessary in the interests of peaceful settlement of industrial disputes. adjudication does not, in our opinion, mean adjudication according to the strict law of master and servant. the award of the tribunal may contain provisions for settlement of a dispute which no court could order if it was bound by ordinary law, but the tribunal.....
Judgment:

M.S. Menon, J.

1. The petitioner was directed to pay a sum of Rs. 1,500/- to the 1st respondent by the award of the Industrial Tribunal, Trivaridrum, in adjudication No. 22 of 1954 (Ext. P-1). The first of the four issues referred for adjudication under Section 10(1)(c) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (Central Act XIV of 1947) was :

'Whether the discharge of Sri C. R. D. Bhutji from 1-10-1952 is justifiable? To what reliefs is the employee entitled in case (1) the discharge is not justifiable (2) the discharge is justifiable?

2. The Tribunal said :

'In this case there can be no doubt that the termination of the service of Sri Bhutji was brought about in colourable exercise of the right and the same having been based on extraneous considerations must be deemed to be motivated by victimisation and hence the discharge must be held to be mala fide. I find further that trade reasons were simply made to serve as a cloak and the motive behind the move was to get rid of the services of the employee without disclosing the reasons to the concerned employee. It follows that the discharge is unjustified and must therefore be set aside';

'In cases of wrongful discharge the normal remedy is reinstatement. But for various reasons I am reluctant to pass an order of reinstatement';

and :

'Considering all the aspects, the total service put in by the employee, the nature of the work he was doing, his emoluments, and the condition of the industry and other connected matters, I am of the view that a compensation of Rs. one thousand and five hundred, equal to 7 1/2 months basic pay at the rate of Rs. 200 per mensem would be the proper relief to be granted to him. Thisamount is exclusive of a sum of Rs. 75 granted by way of interim relief. The management will pay this amount to Sri C. R. D. Bhutji within one month from the date of the publication of this award in the official Gazette'.

3. According to the petitioner the award is unsustainable. The prayers in the petition are worded as follows ;

'It is prayed that this Honourable Court may be pleased

(a) to issue a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ, order, or direction calling for the records which led to Ext. P-1 Award of the Industrial Tribunal, Trivandrum dated 26th, February, 1957 and published in the Gazette dated 26th March, 1957 and the same be quashed :

(b) to issue a writ of prohibition or any other appropriate writ, order, or direction directing the respondents not to take steps in furtherance of Ext. P-1 award for realisation of the amount awarded as compensation under Ext. P-1; and

(c) to issue any further writ, order, or direction granting to the petitioner all other necessary and consequential reliefs as are just and proper in the circumstances of the case'.

4. No jurisdictional defect or error apparent on the face of the record vitiates the award of the Tribunal and I must hold that there is no scope for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution.

5. Counsel for the petitioner suggested a violation of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. It is impossible to say that an award of compensation is in any way precluded by that provision. A tribunal competent to order reinstatement should certainly be able to award compensation for an unjustified termination of employment. In W. I. Automobile Association v. I. T. Bombay, AIR 1949 FC 111 (A), the Supreme Court dealt with the right of an Industrial Tribunal to order reinstatement as follows :

'This relief of reinstatement is on the same footing as a relief of restitution. Restitution can be granted in integrum in certain cases. All that is required is that the ex-employee should be restored to his previous position so far as capacity, status and emoluments are concerned and there is nothing extraordinary in such restoration being ordered when considered necessary in the interests of peaceful settlement of industrial disputes. Adjudication does not, in our opinion, mean adjudication according to the strict law of master and servant. The award of the tribunal may contain provisions for settlement of a dispute which no Court could order if it was bound by ordinary law, but the tribunal is not fettered in any way by these limitations',

and in East India Industries (Madras) Ltd. v. I. T., Fort St. George, Madras, AIR 1955 Mad 242 (B), Rajamannar, C. J., said :

'We are not convinced that an award directing the rein statement of a dismissed workman in an way curtails the freedom guaranteed to a citizen under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. The appellant's right to carry on its business as such is not in any way interfered with by such an award. When a dismissed workman challenges the validity of the dismissal and the matter is adjudicated upon by an Industrial Tribunal and the Tribunal arrives at the conclusion that the dismissal was not valid, the position is that the workman must be deemed never to have been.dismissed at all and so continues in service. It may be that an ordinary Court of law would only award damages to the dismissed workman. But nothing prevents the Tribunal from giving the alternative relief of a declaration that the dismissal was wrongful and the consequential relief that he be continued in service. The argument on behalf of the employer usually is that he cannot be compelled to employ any one against his will. But the proper way of looking at it is that an employer is not allowed to terminate the services of a workman except in a lawful manner'.

5. The petition fails and is hereby dismissed. No costs.


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