D.P. Gupta, J.
1. The Industrial Tribunal came to the conclusion that the services of the workman Ranjeet Singh were terminated on account of retrenchment in respect of the post of Mechanic Grade I in the Rajasthan Canal Project. However, the Industrial [Tribunal also came to the conclusion that the provisions of 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act', have been violated inasmuch as retrenchment compensation was not tendered or actually paid to the workman prior to or at the time of the termination of his services. The Tribunal, therefore, directed the reinstatement of the concerned workman and allowed him back wages at half of the rate at which he was getting his wages at the time of the alleged retrenchment.
2. The only submission made by the learned Additional Government Advocate is that there was a bona fide offer of payment of retrenchment compensation on behalf of the petitioner, but as the workman absented himself from the place of his work on November 30, 1971, the amount of retrenchment compensation could not be actually paid to him. Learned Additional Government Advocate urges that it should be considered as a sufficient compliance with the provisions of Section 25F of the Act.
Section 25F of the Act reads as under:
No workman employed in any industry, who has been in continuous service for not less than one year under an employer, shall be retrenched by that employer until--
(a) the workman has been given one month's notice in writing indicating the reasons for retrenchment and the period of notice has expired, or the workman has been paid in lieu of such notice, wages for the period of the notice;
Provided that no such notice shall be necessary if the retrenchment is under an agreement which specifies a date for the termination of service;
(b) the workman has been paid, at the time of retrenchment, compensation which shall be equivalent to fifteen days' average pay for every completed year of continuous service or any part thereof in excess of six months; and
(c) notice in the prescribed manner is served on the appropriate Government (or such authority as may be specified by the appropriate Government by notification in the official Gazette).
3. It is apparent from the perusal of Section 25F of the Act that the conditions must be satisfied before the employer can retrench a workman, who has been in continuous service for not less than one year, namely, that he must have been given one month's notice in writing indicating the reasons for retrenchment or in the alternative he may be paid one month's wages in lieu of such notice. The second essential requirement is that the workman should be paid retrenchment compensation 'at the time of termination' of his services. It is obligatory for the employer to fulfil both those conditions before he can validly retrench the services of the workman. Thus, it is clear that the payment of the amount of retrenchment compensation is a condition precedent to the retrenchment of the services of a workman under Section 25F of the Act.
4. A notice of retrenchment of one month's duration was served upon the workman concerned in the present case on October 30, 1971 stating that on account of reduction of machinery works in VIII Division of Shri Bijaynagar circle, his services would no longer be required and he was informed that his services would stand terminated with effect from November 30. 1971. In view of the service of the aforesaid notice of termination of the services of the workman concerned, it was obligatory for the employer to make payment of retrenchment compensation to the said workman on or before November 30, 1971. The case of the petitioner is that on November 30, 1971 the amount of arrears of salary of Ranjeet Singh along with the amount of retrenchment compensation was kept ready by the Assistant Engineer, Rajasthan Canal Project, Sub-Division, Bhopalpura at his office, where the said workman was posted but as Ranjeet Singh absented himself from duty on November 30, 1971, the amount of salary as well as retrenchment compensation could not be actually paid to him. The petitioner has also filed a statement signed by some persons working in the office of the Assistant Engineer, Rajasthan Canal Project. Sub-Division, Bhopalpura, to the effect that the amount of retrenchment compensation could not be paid to Ranjeet Singh on the ground that he was not present on November 30, 1971 at the Headquarters. Learned Counsel submits that it should be considered as sufficient compliance of the provisions of Section 25F of the Act on the part of the employer and that the Court should take notice of the fact that the workman knowingly absented himself and did not go to his office on November 30, 1971 in order to avoid payment of retrenchment compensation which was to be made to him. Learned Counsel placed reliance upon the decision of their Lordships of Calcutta High Court in Chandra Kumar Dutta v. Secretary, Frank Ross and Co. Ltd., and Ors. (1971) Labour and Industrial Cases 700, in support of his contention. In that case the amount of one month's wages in lieu of notice together with the retrenchment compensation was sent to the workman concerned by postal money order, but the concerned workman did not choose to account the wages in lieu of the notice and retrenchment compensation. In these circumstances, their Lordships held that it should be treated that the provisions of Section 25F of the Act were sufficiently complied with. That case is clearly distinguishable from the present case, as in the instant case there was no such offer made by the employer by sending by money order the amount of retrenchment compensation. It must be held that for making retrenchment complete, full compliance of the requirements of Sub-sections (a) and (b) of Section 25F is necessary. Merely the readiness on the part of the employer to make payment of the retrenchment compensation is not sufficient, but there must be either an offer or tender or actual payment to the workman concerned. It may be that either an offer or tender is made to the workman personally or by a postal money order or by Bank Draft or any other well-recognised media but there should be an offer or tender in the real sense of the term and, if it is not made, it cannot be said that the provisions of Section 25F were complied with.
5. In National Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., and Ors. v. The State of West Bengal and Anr. 1967-II L.L.J. 23 : A.I.R. 1967, Supreme Court 1906, the workman concerned was asked by the employer to collect his dues from the cash office, during working hours. It was held by their Lordships of the Supreme Court that Section 25F was not complied with, as under the aforesaid provisions it was incumbent upon the employer to pay the workman the wages for the period of the notice in lieu of the notice. It was observed in the aforesaid case: 'If he was asked to go forthwith, he had to be paid at the time when he was asked to go and could not be asked to collect his dues afterwards.'
6. In Pepsu Transport Co. Private Ltd. v. State of Punjab and Ors. (1968) Labour and Industrial Cases 351, it was held by the Punjab and Hariyana High Court, that in case the workman did not come to receive the compensation on or before the due date, when called upon to do so, the employer should send the same to him on that date, if possible, otherwise on the next day and it is only then that it can be said that he complied with the conditions laid down in the section.
7. The employer must have actually tendered the amount of wages to the employee and if the employee refused to accept the same then it shall be deemed that the conditions of Section 25F of the Act have been sufficiently complied with but as there was no actual offer or tender in the present case, it cannot be held that the employer has complied with the mandatory provisions of Section 25F of the Act.
8. In this view of the matter, the order passed by the Industrial Tribunal does not call for any interference. The writ petition is, therefore, dismissed summarily.