G.T. Nanavati, J.
1. The petitioner, an employee of the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (hereafter referred to as 'the Corporation') was dismissed from service by an order dated 9-9-1981. Thereafter the respondent Corporation applied to the Conciliation Officer under Section 33(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereafter referred to as 'the Act') for approval of the action taken by it. On 2-1-1982, respondent No. 2 passed an order suspending the petitioner from service during pendency of the proceedings before the Conciliation Officer. He informed the petitioner that he would not be entitled to draw any wages, subsistence allowance or compensation during the said period of suspension. What is challenged in this petition is not the order of suspension, but the decision of the respondent Corporation not to pay any wages, subsistence allowance or compensation to the petitioner during the pendency of the said proceedings.
2. Mr. Chari the learned advocate for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is entitled to receive subsistence allowance even for the period of suspension during pendency of the proceedings before the Conciliation Officer. He relied upon Regulation 83(b) of the Gujarat State Transport Employees' Service Regulations (hereafter referred to as 'the Regulations') in support of his above submission. It reads as under:
83(b) An employee who has been suspended from work in accordance with the procedure prescribed under Regulation 80 of these Regulations shall, during the period of suspension, be entitled to a subsistence allowance, which may not be less than l/4th nor more than 112. of the basic pay, plus the following allowances to such extent and subject to such conditions as the Suspending Authority may direct:
What is submitted by Mr. Chari is that Regulation 83 makes no distinction between suspension during pendency of an enquiry before a disciplinary authority and suspension during pendency of proceedings before a Conciliation Officer. According to him, suspension may be for any reason, but if an employee is suspended, he is entitled to subsistence allowance. This contention of Mr. Chari cannot be accepted.
3. Regulation 83 (b) occurs in Chapter V which is captioned as 'Disciplinary action and punishment'. Regulation 80 authorities the Corporation to specify acts of misconduct or omission which are liable to be treated as 'acts of misconduct' or 'minor lapses or delinquencies', to prescribe a procedure for dealing with cases of acts of misconduct and minor lapses and delinquencies and to appoint appropriate authorities to impose punishments and to hear appeals or order disciplinary action. Regulation 82 authorises the Competent Authority to suspend an employee charged with any act of misconduct pending enquiry in accordance with the procedure prescribed under Regulation 80. Regulation 83 (a) provides that in the case of suspension, the decision shall be given within 90 days from the date of suspension. It further provides that if no decision is arrived at within 90 days for any reason except the employee's own default, the employee will be eligible to be treated, after the expiry of 90 days, as if he had not been suspended. However, the Corporation has been given power to extend the said period of 90 days in exceptional cases. Regulation 83 (b) provides that an employee who has been suspended from work in accordance with the procedure prescribed under Regulation 80 shall, during the period of suspension, be entitled to a subsistence allowance, which may not be less than l/4th nor more than 1/2 of the basic pay, plus the allowances specified in the said Regulation with which we are not concerned in this petition. A combined reading of these regulations makes it amply clear that suspension referred to in Regulation 83 (b) is suspension during pendency of a department enquiry or proceeding. Obviously it has no reference to suspension after the disciplinary action is over.
4. Moreover, as pointed out by the Supreme Court in Hotel Imperial v. Hotel Workers' Union : (1959)IILLJ544SC , the ordinary law of master and servant as to suspension can be and should be held to have been modified in view of the fundamental change introduced by Section 33 of the Act and a term should be implied by Industrial Tribunals in the contract of employment that if the master has held a proper enquiry and come to the conclusion that the servant should be dismissed and in consequence suspends him pending the permission required under Section 33. he has the power to order such suspension, thus suspending the contract of employment temporarily, so that there is no obligation on him to pay wages and no obligation on the servant to work. The undisputed common law right of the master to dismiss his servant for proper cause has been subjected by Section 33 to a ban; and that in fairness must mean that, pending the removal of the said satisfactory ban, the master can after holding a proper enquiry temporarily terminate the relationship of master and servant by suspending his employee pending proceedings under Section 33. It follows therefore, that if the tribunal grants permission, the suspended contract would come to an end and there will be no further obligation to pay any wages after the date of suspension. If, on the other hand, the permission is refused, the suspension would be wrong and the workman would be entitled to all his wages from the date of suspension.
5. Therefore, so far as suspension during pendency of proceedings before a Conciliation Officer is concerned. Regulation 83 (b) of the Regulation can have no application; and as pointed out by the Supreme Court, the employer would be under no obligation during that period to pay any wages or subsistence allowance to the employee under suspension. This view is also supported by the decision of the Supreme Court in Management of Ranipur Colliery v. Bhuban Singh : (1959)IILLJ231SC . It must, therefore, be held that the impugned order dated 2-1-1982 passed by respondent No. 2 is quite legal and valid; and there is absolutely no substance in this petition.
In the result, this petition fails and is dismissed with no order as to costs.