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The Tata Iron and Steel Co., Ltd. Vs. G. Ramakrishna Ayyar and P. Narayanaswami - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1950)0LLJ1043Mad
AppellantThe Tata Iron and Steel Co., Ltd.
RespondentG. Ramakrishna Ayyar and P. Narayanaswami
Excerpt:
.....of the commissioner was bad in so far as it directed a reinstatement in service of the first respondent. probably, the result 6t the appellate order is even better than an order of..........of his services. the order does not state anything else. the only question, therefore, for the appellate authority was to determine whether that ground can be said to be reasonable cause. the authority held that it could not be and we agree with him.3. in this view it is not necessary to say whether the kind of enquiry alleged to have been made by the officer deputed by the company would satisfy the requirement of section 41(1) and whether the enquiry should not be preceded by a definite charge of misconduct brought home to the employee with an opportunity given to him to defend himself.4. it is next contended by mr. ramakrishna ayyar that in any event the order of the commissioner was bad in so far as it directed a reinstatement in service of the first respondent. the argument was.....
Judgment:

P.V. Rajamannar, C.J.

1. The first respondent in this petition was an employee of the petitioner in one of its several branches and he was in charge of the stores in the yard in its Vizianagaram Office. On 28th January 1950 he was served with a notice informing him that the petitioner-company was terminating his services from the end of the month as they were no longer required, and that he will be paid his salary for the month of February in lieu of notice. The first respondent immediately addressed the petitioner-company a letter in which he expressed surprise at the contents of the company's letter and desired to be enlightened with the reasons, if any, for terminating his services so suddenly. The company sent the laconic reply that his services were terminated as they were no longer required by the company. Thereupon, the employee (first respondent) preferred an appeal to the Additional Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, Madras, under Section 41(2) of the Madras Shops and Establishments Act, 1947, on the ground that there was no reasonable cause for dispensing with his services. In a statement filed by the company before the Appellate Tribunal, they set out for the first time the reasons for the dismissal namely, that in the month of September 1949 as a result of information received, an investigation was made by one of the senior sales officers and he, after a full investigation, found that the first respondent was culpably involved in the illicit removal of goods from the stockyard. The Appellate Tribunal held that the discharge of the first respondent was not for a reasonable cause and that he would therefore be entitled to reinstatement in service. It is this order that is sought by the petitioner to be quashed by a writ of certiorari.

2. Mr. Ramakrishna Ayyar, the learned advocate for the petitioner, first contended that the order of the Appellate Tribunal was vitiated by a patent error of law in that the main question to be decided had not been dealt with, namely, whether the employee was guilty of the misconduct alleged by the petitioner-company before him. It is true that the Commissioner has not actually found whether the charge made by the company was established. The position taken up by him was that the company had not explained in their order why the applicant's services were no longer required. The question according to him Which fell for his decision was whether 'what was stated in the order could be said to be a reasonable cause. In other words, it was not open to the company to assign a reason different from what was stated in the order of dismissal to maintain or to establish the reasonableness of their order. We agree with the Commissioner that the company cannot be allowed to plead any cause or reason not alleged in the order of dismissal in justification of their order. Under Section 41(1) of the Act, the services of a person like the first respondent who has been employed continuously for over a period of six months can be dispensed with for a (reasonable cause after giving the person at least a month's notice of wages in lieu of such notice or on a charge of misconduct supported by satisfactory evidence recorded at an enquiry held for the purpose in which case notice would not be necessary, From the order of the company dispensing with the ser-vices of the first respondent, the only reason appearing is the non-requirement of his services. The order does not state anything else. The only question, therefore, for the appellate authority was to determine whether that ground can be said to be reasonable cause. The authority held that it could not be and we agree with him.

3. In this view it is not necessary to say whether the kind of enquiry alleged to have been made by the officer deputed by the company would satisfy the requirement of Section 41(1) and whether the enquiry should not be preceded by a definite charge of misconduct brought home to the employee with an opportunity given to him to defend himself.

4. It is next contended by Mr. Ramakrishna Ayyar that in any event the order of the Commissioner was bad in so far as it directed a reinstatement in service of the first respondent. The argument was that there is no specific provision in the Act which enabled the authority to make an order of reinstatement. He referred us by way of analogy to the jurisdiction of Industrial Tribunals to make orders of reinstatement, but we think such reference is wholly irrelevant. To a certain extent we agree with the learned Counsel, namely, that the authority should not have said that the employee would be entitled to reinstatement. But this is only quarrelling with his language. Actually the legal position is this. The employer passes an order dispensing with the services of an employee. That order is carried on appeal to a higher authority. That authority reverses the decision of the employer and the result is that the order of the employer is set aside. It is no longer in existence. It follows that the effect of the original order of the employer also disappears and it is as if the order is nonesse. Though, therefore, it may not be quite accurate to say that the employee will entitled to reinstatement in service, yet the result of the order of the appellate authority is virtually the same. Probably, the result 6T the appellate order is even Better than an order of reinstatement. It is as if the employee had never been properly dismissed from service. In this view it is not necessary to quash the order of the appellate authority even in this respect.

5. The application is therefore dismissed.


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