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Three Lotus Beedi Factory Vs. Labour Court and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1961)IILLJ504Mad
AppellantThree Lotus Beedi Factory
RespondentLabour Court and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the management, for reasons best known to themselves, has not cared to substantiate their contentions put forward in their counter. 6. these two petitions fail and are dismissed and rule nisi discharged......the petitioner's case before the labour court stated that he did not propose to cross-examine the worker. the tribunal therefore stated:the evidence of the worker stands uncontradicted. when he went to nagore to offer his prayers, his version is that he took leave from the proprietor's son. it was on 8 january 1957 and he returned also on the thirteenth and according to him went to the factory to resume work.there was also the other statement made by the worker as to his presenting himself for work on the thirteenth but that the proprietor refused to take him which also was not disputed by cross-examination. in these circumstances the tribunal held that the worker having expressed regret for not taking leave of the proprietor and having presented himself immediately for duty, the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Rajagopala Ayyangar, J.

1. These two writ petitions have been filed by the management of a proprietary concern (that of the father and the sons) known as the Three Lotus Beedi Factory, Salem. In these two petitions it seeks the quashing by the issue of writs of certiorari of the two orders of the labour court, Coimbatore, by which the dismissal of two of its workmen was set aside and reinstatement ordered.

2. Writ Petition No. 966 of 1957 is concerned with the termination of the service of a maistry by name Abdul Sukur. The dismissal of this workman took place on 23 April 1957. The union raised an industrial dispute in relation to it which was referred by Government to the labour court, Coimbatore, in G.O. Ms. No. 2391, dated 18 July 1957. In answer to the claim of the union challenging the validity of the order by which the services of this maistry were dispensed with, the management, while admitting that there was no charge laid against the worker that no notice was given to him and that there was no enquiry before the order terminating his services contended that the worker, had become too aged, was slack and Blow and that though repeatedly warned he committed mistakes in counting the number of beedies, a task in which he was employed. Notwithstanding these allegations contained in the counter-statement filed by the management no evidence was led before the labour court as regards these matters. The labour court summed up the evidence before it in Para, 5 of its award in these terms:

The management did not let in any evidence, oral or documentary. On the workers' side worker himself was examined. He did not let in any documentary evidence. In this evidence he stated that he has put in seven years of service and was getting Rs. 56 monthly salary. On 21 April 1957, according to him after receiving his bonus, the proprietor told him that he has been stopped away from the following day. He reported to the union about abrupt manner in which his services have been terminated without any reason or notice or enquiry. Then it is his version that the matter was reported to the labour officer and though four or five times he and his union went to the labour officer, the management never oared to appear with the result, no settlement could be effected by the officer. He denied that he is sick and that he was not discharging his work satisfactorily. He is aged 45 years and, according to him, there are older people working in this factory. There was no cross-examination and no contra-evidence. The management, for reasons best known to themselves, has not cared to substantiate their contentions put forward in their counter. Though Sri Sundaram, the manager was present, he did not care to cross-examine him. He only represented that the manager will abide by whatever orders passed by the Court. Now, as matters stand at present, I do not see any reason to reject the case of the worker. It has been proved by him that, for no fault of his, he has been stopped away from service. At any rate, he does not appear to be ill or sick. Under such circumstances I hold that the dismissal was unjustified and he should be reinstated with continuity of service.

3. On this state of evidence it appears to me that it is impossible to contend that the tribunal could have reached any other conclusion than that the termination of the service of the employee was not Justified. The allegation contained in the counter-statement by the management was not evidence upon which the labour court could act. On the state of evidence the tribunal reached the only conclusion which it was possible to reach. I consider that there are no merits in this petition which fails and is dismissed.

4. Writ Petition No. 968 of 1957.~ln this case the worker concerned was one Abdul Basheer. The charge against him was that he had absented himself without leave and that his services were terminated for that reason. It was common ground that there was no charge-sheet, no notice and no enquiry before the termination of his services. The allegation that the workman absented himself without leave was sought to be established by a letter which the employee wrote and it was marked as Ex. M. 1 by the labour court. In this letter which was written from Nagore, the workman had stated that he had come to that place without the express permission of the proprietor and that he would come for work very soon. The explanation offered by the worker was that no doubt he had not taken the formal consent of the proprietor before he left for Nagore but that he got the permission of the proprietor's son. I have already said that the establishment was the proprietary concern of that of the father and the sons. The worker repeated this statement on oath but the manager of the petitioner's concern who represented the petitioner's case before the labour court stated that he did not propose to cross-examine the worker. The tribunal therefore stated:

the evidence of the worker stands uncontradicted. When he went to Nagore to offer his prayers, his version is that he took leave from the proprietor's son. It was on 8 January 1957 and he returned also on the thirteenth and according to him went to the factory to resume work.

There was also the other statement made by the worker as to his presenting himself for work on the thirteenth but that the proprietor refused to take him which also was not disputed by cross-examination. In these circumstances the tribunal held that the worker having expressed regret for not taking leave of the proprietor and having presented himself immediately for duty, the management was not justified in terminating his service.

5. It is not necessary to canvass whether the tribunal was justified in rejecting the evidence of the worker that he had obtained permission from the proprietor's son seeing that his statement to that effect was not the subject of cross-examination at the enquiry. But that apart, on the evidence recorded by the labour court, I do not see any justification for this Court interfering with the order of the tribunal which appears to be just and proper in the circumstances of the case.

6. These two petitions fail and are dismissed and rule nisi discharged. There will be no order as to costs.


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