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The Management of Hotel Asoka, by Partner L.G. Balakrishnan Vs. the Labour Officer Ii and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1970)1MLJ199
AppellantThe Management of Hotel Asoka, by Partner L.G. Balakrishnan
RespondentThe Labour Officer Ii and anr.
Cases ReferredSrirangam Janopakara Bank v. Rangaraja
Excerpt:
- - that officer in the appeal held that the evidence adduced by the management in support of the charge was not reliable and was not sufficient to support management this order that the present writ petition has been filed. that apart, the labour officer has referred to other discrepancies in the evidence which made it unsafe to accept the evidence tendered in support of the charge......article 226 of the constitution of india aggrieved against the order of the first respondent, the labour officer ii, mylapore, madras. allowing the appeal of the 2nd respondent d. kanthiraj, a worker in the hotel2. though three charges were framed against the worker by the management the domestic enquiry, it actually pressed against the worker only the during working hours, he carried ''on vigorous trade union activities within the premises of the hotel by holding unauthorised discussions with co-workers' two witnesses were examined by the management in support of the charge and they were cross-examined. the worker also gave his explanation. the management accepted the finding of the enquiry office that the worker was guilty of the charge and dismissed him from service relying upon the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P. Ramakrishnan, J.

1. The petitioner is the management of a hotel concern in Madras. It has filed this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India aggrieved against the order of the first respondent, the Labour Officer II, Mylapore, Madras. allowing the appeal of the 2nd respondent D. Kanthiraj, a worker in the hotel

2. Though three charges were framed against the worker by the management the domestic enquiry, it actually pressed against the worker only the during working hours, he carried ''on vigorous trade union activities within the premises of the hotel by holding unauthorised discussions with co-workers' Two witnesses were examined by the management in support of the charge and they were cross-examined. The worker also gave his explanation. The management accepted the finding of the enquiry office that the worker was guilty of the charge and dismissed him from service Relying upon the provisions of Section 19(2) of The Madras Catering establishments Act, 1958, the worker appealed to the Labour Officer. That officer in the appeal held that the evidence adduced by the management in support of the charge was not reliable and was not sufficient to support management this order that the present writ petition has been filed.

3. The scope of the power exercised by the Labour Officer functioning as the appellate authority under Section 19(2) of the Madras Catering Establishments Act, 1958 has been laid down by a Bench of this Court in Srirangam Janopakara Bank v. Rangaraja (1964) 1 L.L.J. 221 -where at page 226, it is stated that the power of the appellate authority under Section 41 (2) of the Act (that decision dealt with the Madras Shops and Establishments Act and Section 41 (2) of that Act is in pari materia with Section 19 (2) of the Madras Catering Establishments Act, 1958) should be construed in the widest manner possible, so as to take in also the power to take additional evidence, where the needs of the case call for it. In the same decision it was held that no analogy can be drawn between the powers conferred on the Labour Court under Section 41 (2) of the Shops and Establishments Act (or 19 (2) of the Madras Catering Establishments Act, 1958) and the power of a Labour Court while dealing with a reference under the Industrial Disputes Act to interfere with the decision of a domestic Tribunal. The power of interference in the latter case is much more restricted, namely, being confined to cases where the domestic tribunal has given a decision which amounts to victimisation or which is opposed to natural justice and is mala fide or amounts to an unfair labour practice. But the appellate power under the Madras Catering Establishment Act is definitely wider and the appellate officer can come to a decision whether the evidence adduced had made out that the worker was guilty of the misconduct alleged by the management. A reference to the impugned order shows that the Labour Officer in his turn weighed the evidence let in by the management and came to the conclusion that it did not justify the finding of the domestic enquiry officer. The first point on which the Labour Officer stressed is that the enquiry officer gave a finding that the worker had intimidated the other workers to join the union when none of the witnesses had spoken to such intimidation. Another finding of the enquiry officer was that the worker concerned carried on trade union activities without doing his normal work, and oh this point also there was no evidence. The statement of the witnesses amounted to the worker casually conversing with them about starting a rival union, at a time when the worker and the witnesses were engaged in duties under the management. But there is no precise evidence that he carried on organised propaganda without attending to his normal work. It was for this reason that the Labour Officer seems to have made the comment that the enquiry officer was quick to draw an inference adverse to the worker without any support for it from the evidence, and that therefore his finding must be viewed as perverse. That apart, the Labour Officer has referred to other discrepancies in the evidence which made it unsafe to accept the evidence tendered in support of the charge. This method of approach to the evidence falls within the jurisdiction of the appellate authority functioning under Section 19 (2) of the Madras Catering Establishments Act, 1958 and cannot be challenged in writ proceedings. The writ petition is dismissed. No order as to costs.


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