Rajagopala Ayyangar, J.
1. The management of the V.R.M.S. Bus Service, Tiruchengode, Salem district, is the petitioner and it seeks the quashing of an award of the labour court, Coimbatore. by which it directed the reinstatement with back wages Of a workman employed in this concern by name Rangarajan.
2. Rangarajan is respondent 2 in this petition. He made an application to one Sundara Goundar who was a partner in the petitioner's concern for employment as an apprentice-driver. In this application, which has been marked as Ex. M. 1 in the case and which is dated 1 September 1956, Rangarajan stated that he might be employed in this concern for a period of eight months. The application, Ex. M. 1 also contained a clause by which the worker agreed to the management terminating his service at any time if they were not satisfied with him. The work-man entered on his duties on the same day as Ex. M. 1, that is, 1 September 1956. Some time thereafter on 16 February 1957, Sundara Goundar served a notice on this workman, stating that he found his work unsatisfactory and that his services were no longer required. This termination of employment was not agreed to by the workman. The labour union, the Mettupalayam-Nilgiris Motor Workers' Union sponsored the worker's claim challenging the validity of the termination of his service and demanding his reinstatement. The Government of Madras referred this industrial dispute to the labour court, Coimbatore, which by its award, dated 11 December 1957, directed the worker to be reinstated with back wages from the date of the reference of the dispute, namely, 27 September 1957. Complaining that this order is one which is vitiated by apparent error, the petitioner seeks relief in this Court by the issue of a writ of certiorari.
3. The ground upon which the tribunal has made the order was that an apprentice was within the definition of a 'workman' as in Section 2(s) of the Industrial Disputes Act, that the worker had been discharged from service without his misconduct being notified to him and the charge being enquired into after notice.
4. Though several objections have been urged by the management before the tribunal, and before me by counsel for the petitioner, I do not consider that any of them have any force except one to which I shall immediately advert. The workman had been employed for a definite term of eight months. Assuming that his services were improperly terminated he would be certainly entitled to reinstatement but the liability to pay wages cannot extend to a period later than 1 May 1957, which would be eight months from the date on which he was entertained in the services. The award of the tribunal directing payment of wages for any period subsequent to 1 May 1957 is obviously erroneous. The award passed on 11 December 1957, that is, long subsequent to the period when by efflux of time the terra of employment ceased under the contract. The only order which the tribunal could have passed was to direct payment of wages to respondent 2 up to 1 May 1957. The order of the tribunal is, therefore, modified into one directing payment of wages to respondent 2 from 16 February 1957 to 1 May 1957 and to this extent the rule is made absolute. There will be no order as to costs.