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The Secretary Spencer and Company Limited Vs. the Additional Commissioner for Workmen's Compensations-ii Compound and Anr. (23.11.1981 - MADHC) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1982)1MLJ253
AppellantThe Secretary Spencer and Company Limited
RespondentThe Additional Commissioner for Workmen's Compensations-ii Compound and Anr.
Excerpt:
.....issued by an opthalmologist that the second lespondent 'will have great difficulty in doing normal clerical work',he was discharged from service by invoking section 41(1) of the tamil nadu shops and establishments act, and was paid one month's salary in lieu of notice. it is significant to note that the opthalmologist has not issued a certificate that the second respondent cannot perform his duties on account of his poor eye sight. it is for the management to establish how the poor eye sight of the second respondent has impaired his normal work and efficiency and how, to continue him will be detrimental to the work. the optnalmologist's certificate by itself, without any corroborative evidence as to how the poor eye sight of the second respondent has adversely affected his working..........who gave a certificate that the second respondent 'will have great difficulty in doing normal clerical work'. on the bassis of the certificate, the services of the second respondent came to be terminated. the employee (second respondent) filed an appeal to the first respondent under section 41(2) of the tamil nadu scope and establishments act, 1947 challenging the order of termination, and the order was set aside. against this, the appellant filed a writ petition before this court. the learned single judge of this court held that in the absence of evidence that the second respondent was not able to perform his duties due to his physical disability, the discharge solely based on the medical certificate is unsustainable, and the order passed by the first respondent was.....
Judgment:

P.R. Gokulakrishnam, O.C.J.

1. Messrs. Spencer and Company Limited, is the appellant and the second respondent is their employee. He underwent a cataract operation in the year 1974, and after three month's rest reported to duty and was working in Reserve Stock Godown as a Clerk. In 1976 he was sent to the Bakery department and was preparing bills and maintaining stock registers etc. On 25th March, 1976 he was directed to report to the Company's Medical Officer for examination. The Company's Medical Officer referred him to an Opthalmologist who gave a certificate that the second respondent 'will have great difficulty in doing normal clerical work'. On the bassis of the certificate, the services of the second respondent came to be terminated. The employee (second respondent) filed an appeal to the first respondent under Section 41(2) of the Tamil Nadu Scope and Establishments Act, 1947 challenging the order of termination, and the order was set aside. Against this, the appellant filed a writ petition before this Court. The learned single Judge of this Court held that in the absence of evidence that the second respondent was not able to perform his duties due to his physical disability, the discharge solely based on the medical certificate is unsustainable, and the order passed by the first respondent was accordingly-confirmed. Against the order of the learned single Judge, the present writ appeal is filed.

2. The learned Counsel for the appellant contended that as the eye sight of the second respondent became poor even after the cataract operation and he was unable to perform his duties diligently, and on a certificate issued by an Opthalmologist that the second lespondent 'will have great difficulty in doing normal clerical work', he was discharged from service by invoking Section 41(1) of the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, and was paid one month's salary in lieu of notice. The learned Counsel for the appellant further contended that discharge of the second respondent on the basis of the medical certificate constitutes reasonable cause within the meaning of Section 41(1), and there was no justification for the second respondent to move the first respondent for relief.

3. On 30th March, 1976 Dr. Guptha, Opthalmologist issued a medical certificate to the effect that the second respondent will have great difficulty in doing normal clerical work. It is significant to note that the Opthalmologist has not issued a certificate that the second respondent cannot perform his duties on account of his poor eye sight. Even if there was difficulty in doing the normal clerical work, yet, the second respondent with all the difficulty and handicap may still carry on the work diligently and carefully. It is for the Management to establish how the poor eye sight of the second respondent has impaired his normal work and efficiency and how, to continue him will be detrimental to the work. The need to establish such a thing becomes all the more greater when the second respondent within a month after his examination by Dr. Gupta, had gone to another Opthalmologist working in a Government hospital and has got a certificate that he is fit to carry on his clerical work with glasses. Unless the Management has established by evidence that the second respondent's difficulty in doing normal work is insurmountable and cannot be removed or rectified and that it has adversely affected his working capacity to the detriment of the management, the termination or order of discharge of the second respondent cannot be said to be for a reasonable cause. the Optnalmologist's certificate by itself, without any corroborative evidence as to how the poor eye sight of the second respondent has adversely affected his working capacity to the detriment of the Management, cannot constitute reasonable cause for purposes of Section 41(1) of the Act. The order of the learned single Judge confirming the order passed by the first respondent is fully justified. We, therefore, see no reason to entertain this writ appeal and it accordingly stands dismissed.


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