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Amalendu Gupta and ors. Vs. Life Insurance Corporation of India - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1982)IILLJ332Cal
AppellantAmalendu Gupta and ors.
RespondentLife Insurance Corporation of India
Cases ReferredSouza v. Executive Engineer
Excerpt:
- p.c. borooah, j.1. by a bipartite settlement dated 24-1-74 under section 18(1) of the industrial disputes act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the act; made by and between the management of the respondent no. 1 and the all india insurance employees' association, representing class iii and class iv employees of the said respondent, the respondent no. 1 was to pay annual cash bonus, not being profit sharing bonus, to their class iii and class iv employees at the rate of 15% of their annual wages inclusive of all allowance. a copy of the settlement has been annexed to the petition and marked with the letter 'a'.2. the respondent no. 1 not having paid the annual cash bonus in terms of the settlement, the class iii and class iv employees of the respondent-corporation came before this hon'ble.....
Judgment:

P.C. Borooah, J.

1. By a bipartite settlement dated 24-1-74 under Section 18(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the Act; made by and between the Management of the respondent No. 1 and the All India Insurance Employees' Association, representing Class III and Class IV employees of the said respondent, the respondent No. 1 was to pay annual cash bonus, not being profit sharing bonus, to their Class III and Class IV employees at the rate of 15% of their annual wages inclusive of all allowance. A copy of the settlement has been annexed to the petition and marked with the letter 'A'.

2. The respondent No. 1 not having paid the annual cash bonus in terms of the settlement, the Class III and Class IV employees of the respondent-Corporation came before this Hon'ble Court and filed Writ petition through some of their representative employees and the All India Insurance Employees' Association and obtained a Rule, being Matter No. 371 of 1976. By a judgment delivered on 21-5-76 the Rule was made absolute and the respondent No 1 was directed to pay the bonus, which had till then become due and payable, to the Class III and Class IV employees in terms of the settlement. This judgment has since been reported in 1978-I L.L.J. 406.

3. Thereafter the respondent No. 1 issued a purported notice of termination of the settlement dated 24-1-74 under the provisions of Section 19(2) of the Act and also purported to amend the Staff regulations relating to bonus, and the respondent No. 5, viz., the Union of India passed an order under Section 11(2) of the Life Insurance Corporation Act purporting to alter the conditions of service of the employees of the respondent No. 1 relating to bonus. The actions of the respondents were challanged by the employees concerned and the matter ultimately went up to the Supreme Court in Transfer Cases No. 1 of 1979, Chandrasekhar Bose and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors. The Supreme Court, by a judgment delivered on 10-11-80, allowed the Transfer petition and issued a writ of mandamus directing the respondent No. 1 to pay annual cash bonus to their Class III and IV employees, in terms of the 1974 settlement relating to annual cash bonus. This judgment has been reported in 1981-I L.L.J. 1 When in spite of the directions or orders of the Supreme Court the respondent No. 1 failed to pay the bonus, a Contempt Application was filed and the Supreme Court on 13-1-81 passed the following order :

Learned Attorney - General who appears on behalf of the Life Insurance Corporation of India has made a statement before us that the Order passed by this Court in its judgment dated November 10, 1980 shall be complied with before April 13, 1981. We may add that this order will naturally be subject to the result of the review petition, stay petition filed along with the review petition is rejected. Review petition be circulated to Court.

4. It may be added here that in the meantime the respondent No. 1 had also filed a Review Petition.

5. On 31-1-81 the Life Insurance Corporation Amendment Ordinance (No. 3 of 1981) was promulgated amending Section 48 and 49 of the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956. Acting under the said Ordinance the Central Government framed Life Insurance Corporation of India Class III and Class IV Employees' (Bonus & D.A.) Rules, 1981 taking away the right to receive annual cash bonus from 1-7-79 and imposing a ceiling on D.A. from 2-2-1981.

6. The contempt matter again came up before the Supreme Court on 26-2-1981 when the Supreme Court was pleased to pass the order which has been set out in paragragh 16 of the writ petition.

7. When in spite of the repeated orders of the Supreme Court the respondent No. 1 failed and neglected to pay the bonus in accordance with the 19/4 agreement, the respondent No. 4 issued a notice to the respondent No. 1 for going on strike on and from 2-4-1981. The strike notice has been set out in pragraph 23 of the writ petition.

8. On 17-3-81 the Supreme Court rejected the respondent No. 1's petition for review of the Supreme Court's earlier order and the next date, the Senior Divisional Manager of the respondent No. 1 issued instructions to all Heads of Departments, Senior Branch Managers and Branch Managers not to grant any leave other than casual leave and maternity leave, in view of the proposed strike of the employees. A copy of these instruction is Annexure 'F' to the petition.

9. The Ordinance promulgated on 31-1-81 as well as the purported Notification issued on 2-2-81 were both challenged on behalf of the Class III and Class IV employees of the respondent No. 1 in the Supreme Court and both the respondent No. 1 as well as the Central Government were restrained by an order dated 30-3-1981 from giving effect to the said Notification issued on 2-2-1981 in so far as the same relates to the payment of annual cash bonus to class III and Class IV employees. On 2-4-1981 the Supreme Court passed the following order :

M/s. M.K. Ramamurthi, R.K. Garg, Vimal Dave and A.K. Goel on behalf of the petitioners give an undertaking to this Court that in the event of the Writ petitioners failing, the Corporation would be entitled to make adjustments from the future emoluments payable to the petitioners in case any over payment is made to them in terms of the agreement dated 24-1-74 and 6-2-1974. The interim order made on 30th March, 1981 will continue until further order.

10. When in spite of the various orders of the Supreme Court referred to above the respondent No. 1 still did not pay the bonus which became due and payable to the Class III and Class IV employees, the said employees went on strike as per their notice already given on and from 2-4-1981.

11. The strike was recalled and the concerned employees went back to work when the Supreme Court passed the order on the aforesaid writ petition filed on behalf of the employees on 15-4-190l, directing the respondent No. 1 to make the payments within one week from the date.

12. Thereafter on 16-4-1981 the respondent No. 1 issued a circular to the Divisional Manager (Accounts) of the Calcutta Divisional Office and all Senior Branch Managers and Branch Managers of all Branch Offices under the Calcutta Division into alia, to the effect that the period of strike by Class III and Class IV employees will have to be treated as unauthorised absence on loss of pay and accordingly salary for the duration of the strike will have to be deducted on proportionate basis and the deduction would be effected from the salary payable for the month of April, 1981. A copy of this circular is Annexure 'C' to the writ petition.

13. Then on 23-4-1981 the Assistant Divisonal Manager (Personnel) issued a circular to the Divisional Manager (Accounts) and other officers under the Calcutta Division reproducing the next Teleprinter message received from the Zonal Manager, Calcutta to the effect that apart from the deduction of salary for the strike period for the month of April, 1981, the P.F. contributions and the House Rent Allowance should also be adjusted for the said period. A copy of this circular is Annexure 'D' to the petition.

14. In this application under Article 226 of the Constitution the petitioners have prayed for appropriate writs commanding the respondent No. 1 to rescind and c neel the two aforesaid circulars being Annexure 'C' and 'D' to the petition.

15. I have heard Mr. Somnath Chatterjee appearing on behalf of the petitioner. Mr. Chatterjee has highlighted the recalcitrant attitude adopted by the respondent No. 1 in deliberately neglecting and/or refusing to pay the bonus which was due and payable to the Class III and Class IV employees in terms of the 1974 settlement inspite of the fact that the concerned employees have been getting orders in their favour for payment of bonus not only from this Court but also from the Supreme Court. Mr. Chatterjee contended that under such circumstances, the employees had no other option but to give a notice for calling a stike in accordance with the rights given to them under the Act. As regards the rights of the employees to receive the bonus in terms of the aforesaid settlement Mr. Chatterjee cited a number of decisions of the Supreme Court. The decisions which have been cited by Mr. Chatterjee have, however, all been referred to in a recent decision of the Supreme Court, viz., in the case of A.V. Nachane and Anr. v. The Union of India and Anr. reported in 1982-I L.L.J. 110 In this case Mr. Justice Chinnappa Reddy concurring with the other Learned Judges, observed as follows :

The 1974 settlements provided among various other matters, for the payment of annual cash bonus (not a profit sharing bonus) to their Class III and Class IV employees at the rate of 15 per cent of the annual salary. The settlements were to be operative from 1st April, 1973 to 31st March, 1977. That the settlements were to be operative from 1st April, 1973 to 31st March, 1977 did not mean that the settlement would cease to be effective peremptorily from 1-4-1977 and therefore, the annual cash bonus stipulated under the settlements would cease to be payable from that date onwards, The settlements would continue to be binding even after 31-3-1977 and would not be liable to be terminated by the issuance of a unilateral notice by the employer purporting to terminate the settlement. The settlements would cease to be effective only when they were replaced by 'a fresh settlement, an industrial award or relevant legislation'. This is the law and this was what the law was pronounced to be in Life Insurance Corporation of India v. D.J. Bahadur 1981-I L.L.J. 1, on a consideration of the relevant provisions and precedents.

The attempt made to supersede the settlements, in so far as they related to the payment of bonus, by enacting the Life Insurance Corporation (Modification of Settlement) Act, 1976 failed, firstly, because the Act was held to violate the provisions of Article 31(2) of the constitution and secondly, because the Act could not have retrospective effect so as to absolve the Life Insurance Corporation from obeying the writ of mandamus issued by the Calcutta High Court, which had become final and binding on the parties. This was the decision of this Court in Madan Mohan Pathak v. Union of India 1978-I L.L.J. 406 all the seven Judges who constituted the Bench agreeing that the Act voilated the provisions of Article 31(2) and four out of the seven Judges, namely, Beg, C.J. Bhagwati, Krishna Iyer and Desai JJ., taking . the view that the Act did not have the effect of nullifying the writ of mandamus issued by the Calcutta High Court and the other three Judges, Chandrachud, Fazal Ali and Shinghal, JJ., preferring not to express any view on that question.

The second attempt to nullify the 1974 settlements in regard to payment of bonus, by issuing notices under Section 19(2) and Section 9-A of the Industrial Disputes Act and by amending the Standardisation Order and the Staff Regulation was frustrated by the judgment of this Court in Life Insurance Corporation of India v. D.J. Bahadur, (supra), the Court taking the view that the two settlements could only be superseded by a fresh settlement, an industrial award or relevant legislation'. In this case the Court issued a writ to the Life Insurance Corporation to give effect to the terms of the settlements of 1974 relating to bonus until superseded by a fresh settlement an industrial award or relevant legislation.

The effect of the two judgments in Madhan Mohan Pathak's case(supra) and J. Bahadur's case' (supra) was clear : the settements of 1974, in so far as they related to bonus, could only be superseded by a fresh settlement an industrial award or relevant legislations. But any such supersession could only have future effect, but not retrospective effect so as to disentitle the Class III and Class IV employees of the Life Insurance Corporation from receiving the cash bonus which had been earned by them, day by day, and which the Life Insurance corporation of India was under an obligation to pay in terms of the writ issued in D.J. Bahadur's case. The present attempt made by the 1981 Amending Act and the Rules there under to scuttle the payment of bonus with effect from a date anterior to the date of the enactment must, therefore, fail. The employees are entitled to be paid the bonus earned by them before the date of publication of the Life Insurance Corporation of India, Class III and Class IV employees (Bonus and Dearnes Allowance) Rules, 1981.

16. Mr. Chatterjee next contended that the Act is a Labour Welfare legislation which recognises the concept of strike. The Act also contemplates when a strike shall be lawful and when it shall be deemed to be illegal or unlawful. According to Mr. Chatterjee the employees concerned were forced to go on strike after giving notice of the proposed strike in accordance with the provisions of the Act as the strike was the only weapon left in the hands of the employees, when the respondent No. 2 repeatedly failed to comply with repeated orders of the Supreme Court and also an order of this High Court. Mr. Chatterjee further contended, when a strike is lawful and justified, it is not open to the employer to deduct and/or refuse to pay the salary which is due to the employees for the period when they are forced to go 6n strike to get a redress of their legitimate grievances. Mr. Chatterjee also contended by referring to certain decisions to which I shall presently refer, that this Court exercising power under Article 226 of the Constitution can direct the respondent No, 1 to pay the workmen the salary for the period they were forced to go on strike and also strike down the two impugned Circulars.

17. In support of his contention that an employee has a right to go on strike Mr. Chatterjee has drawn my attention to a decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Morgan v. Fry and Ors. reported in [1968] 3 All E.R. 452, at p. 456 where the following observations appear :

It is difficult to see the logical flaw in that argument; but there must be something wrong with it; for if that argument were correct, it would do away with the right to strike in this country, It has been held for over sixty years that workmen have a right to strike (including therein a right to say that they will not work with non-unionists) provided that they give sufficient notice before hand; and a notice is sufficient if it is at least as long as the notice required to terminate the contract.

18. As regards an employee's right to go on strike and to receive the wages for the strike period, if the strike is legal and justified, Mr. Chatterjee has referred to number of decisions. The first decision is that of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the case of The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation Employees' Union v. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. Hyderabad, reported in (1970) Lab. I.C. 1225, where Chinnappa Reddy, J., made the following observations :

Nor am I prepared to hold that a strike, if justified, could be considered an activity subversive of industrial peace or opposed to the lawful objects of trade unions. A right to strike is labour's ultimate weapon and in the course of a hundred years it has emerged as the inherent right of every worker. It is an element which is of the very essence of the principle of collective bargaining and as stated by an eminent English Judge the right to strike is 'An implication read into the contract by the modern law as to trade disputes.

The Learned Judge further observed at P. 1227 as follows :

The strike was justified and it was, but, for a day, and I am therefore of the view that the workers should be paid the wages for 28-3-66 if the strike was not illegal for the reason that the settlement was not terminated. That question must now be decided by the Tribunal.

The next case referred to by Mr. Chatterjee is a decision of the Supreme Court in an appeal filed from an award of the Industrial Tribunal, Alleppey by the Management of Churakulam, Tea Estate (P) Ltd. v. Workmen and Anr. reported in 1969-II L.L.J. 407. In this case the Court held as follows :

Therefore, the strike must be held to be neither illegal nor unjustified and in consequence it must be further held that the factory workers are entitled to wages for that day. The rinding of the Tribunal in this regard is accepted.

19. The next decision relied on by. Mr. Chatterjee is also a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Gujarat Steel Tubes Ltd. v. Gujarat Steel Tubes Mazdoor Sabha and Ors. reported in 1980-I L.L.J. 137 where the following observations were made by Krishna Iyer, J.

A selective study of the case law is proper at this place. Before we do this, a few words on the basis of the right to strike and progressive legal thinking led by constitutional guide lines is necessitated. The right to unionise, the right to strike as part of collective bargaining and, subject to the legality and humanity of the situation, the right of the weaker group, viz., labour, to pressure the stronger Party, viz., capital, to negotiate and render justice, are processes recognised by industrial jurisprudence and supported by social justice. While society itself, in its basic needs of existence, may not be held to ransom in the name of the right to bargain and strikers must obey civilized norms in the battle and not be vulgar or violent hoodlums, Industry, represented by intransigent Managements, may well be made to reel into reason by the strike weapen and cannot then squeal or wail and complain of loss of profits or other illeffects but must negotiate or get a reference made. The broad basis is that workers are weaker although they are the producers and their struggle to better their lot has the sanction of the rule of law. Unions and strikes are no more conspiracies than professions and political parties are, and, being for weaker, need succour. Part IV of the Constitution, read with Art 19, sows the seeds of this burgaining jurisprudence. The Gandhian quote at the beggining of this judgment sets the tone of economic equity in Industry. Of course, adventurist, extremist extraneously inspired and puerile Strikes, absurdly insane persistence and violent or scorched earth policies boomerang and are anathema for the law. Within these parameters the right to strike is integral to collective bargaining.

Mr. Chatterjee also referred to another decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Crompton Greaves Ltd. v. The Workmen reported in 1978-II-L.L.J, 80 where the Supreme Court observed:

It is well settled that in order to entitle the workmen to wages for the period of strike, the strike should be legal as well as justified. A strike is legal if it does not violate any provisions of the statute. Again, a strike cannot be said to be unjustified unless the reasons for it are entirely perverse or unreasonable. Whether a particular strike was justified or not is a question of fact which has to be judged in the light of the facts and circumstances of each case. It is also well settled that the use of force or violence or acts of sabotage resorted to by the workmen during a strike disentitles them to wages for the strike period.

Mr. Bholanath Sen appearing on behalf of the respondents Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 has opposed this Rule, Mr. Sen's main contention is that under the common law a workman is entitled to wages only for the period he actually works for his employer and there is no provision under any law which casts a statutory obligation on an employer to pay a workman wages for the period the workman goes on strike and as such, this Court's powers under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be invoked by the workmen of the respondent No. 1 to compel the said respondent to pay the striking employees their salaries for the period they went on strike. Mr. Sen has further submitted that the right to go on strike has been created under the provisions of the Act and if the workmen after resorting to a strike seeks any remedy, that remedy should be sought within the four corners of the Act and not by taking recourse to this Court's jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. In this connection Mr. Sen has drawn my attention to a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of The Premier Automobiles Ltd. v. Kamlakar Shantaram Wadke and Ors. reported in1975-II-L.L.J. 445J where the Supreme Court held that if the industrial dispute relates to the enforcement of a right or an obligation created under the Industrial Disputes Act, then the only remedy available to the suitor is to get an adjudication under the provisions of the said act.

20. Mr. Sen next drew my attention to a notice dated 31-3-81 issued by Sri N.K. Shinkar, the Chief (Personnel), of the respondent No. 1 at Bombay to all employees of the Corporation in response to the notice of continues strike from 2-4-81 A copy of this notice is Annexure 'A' to the affidavit in opposition filed by Sri Hiralal Seal, the Administrative Officer of the respondent No. 3 on 25-5-82. Mr. Sen has in particular drawn my attention to paragraph 4 of the said notice which is in the following terms:

If in spite of the above, the employees choose to go on continues strike in response to the call given by the aforesaid Unions or otherwise, they will render themselves liable to the following:

i) the period of strike will be treated as unauthorised absence.

ii) the employees who participate in the strike will not be entitled to receive any wages for the duration of the strike on the principle of 'no work, no pay.'

iii) employees who are on probation either on entry as new recruit or on promotion will have their probationary period extended.

With reference to this notice Mr. Sen contended that before they went on strike the employees were fully aware that they would not be entitled to receive any wages for the strike period on the principle of 'no work, no pay' and after having gone on strike in spite of the warning given in the said notice they cannot come before this Court and ask for quashing of the two impugned circulars. In this connection Mr. Sen drew my attention to a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Shiv Singh v. Union of India and Ors. reported in : AIR1973SC962 , where the Supreme Court made the following observations:

As regards the effect of participation in the strike on promotional prospects there were several orders by different authorities. It is not necessary to mention everyone of them. Notice may be taken of two orders. On June 16, 1969, the Director General Posts and Telegraphs, issued an order to the effect that the employees who had participated in the strike would be considered for promotion provided they were not guilty of acts of violence, active instigation or intimidation and their work and conduct subsequent to September 1968 had been found to be satisfactory. The petitioner seeks to rely on this order. But this order was ineffective on account of the Office Memorandum of the Ministry of Home Affairs, issued on October 19, 1968. The Office Memorandum provided that the adverse entry in the character roll of an employee who took part in the strike would be taken into consideration for promotion or confirmation. All employees who were on unauthorised absence on September 19, 1968 would suffer the consequences of strike for five years. Accordingly, the petitioner cannot rely on the order of the Director General. The petitioner obviously became in eligible for promotion as Sub-Inspector on account of the Office Memorandum for a period of five year. So he could not be considered for promotion as Sub-Inspector in July, 1969, when the respondents 'optees' and certain other persons were selected as Sub-Inspectors.

21. The Industrial Disputes Act is a Social Welfare Legislation enacted by Parliament for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes. If an employer denies or refuses to give its workmen some benefit or emoluments to which they are entitled to under the law or under the contract of service with the employer, the Act gives the concerned employees a weapon to force the employer to accede to their demands and give them their legitimate dues. The weapon is a strike which is recognised under the Act and has been defined in Section 2(q) as follows:

Strike means a cessation of work by a body of persons employed in any industry acting in combination, or a concerted refusal or a refusal under common understanding, of any number of persons who are or have been so employed to continue to work or to accept employment.

22. But before going on strike, the Act lays down certain formalities. One of the formalities to be observed by a workman before going on strike, has been laid down in Section 22 of the Act which requires the workman to give his employer notice of the strike within 6 weeks before striking and prohibits the workman from going on strike within 14 days of giving such notice. In the instant case, the strike was in accordance with the provisions of the Act because the requisite notice was given and the employees went on strike after the expiry of the statutory period as laid down in Section 22(1)(b) of the Act. Therefore, the strike must be deemed to be legal.

23. The next question that arises for ; consideration is whether the strike by the concerned employees of the respondent No. 1 was justified According to Mr. Sen the question of justifiability of a strike is a pure question of fact which cannot be gone into by this Court. I do not agree. If from the materials on record the circumstances under which an employee is forced to go on strike, is clear and undisputable, this Court is certainly competent to decide the question. In the instant case, even after the 1974 bipartite settlement and the order of the Calcutta High Court which was upheld by the Supreme Court, and thereafter even in spite of repeated orders of the Supreme Court, the respondent No. 1 on some pretext or the other, refused and/or neglected to pay to the concerned employees the bonus which they were entitled to be paid under the agreement which was statutorily binding on the parties under the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Act. It is nobody's case that the employees resorted to any acts of violence or intimidation or violated any civilised norms during the period of the strike or prior thereto. On the other hand the strike was immediately lifted when the lingering issue of the payment of bonus was finally settled. As such, although the justifiability of the strike had been denied in the affidavit-in-opposition filed by Shri Hiralal Seal the conclusion that the strike was wholly justified becomes irrevocable and does not lie in the realm of any doubt.

24. The next and the most important question which now has to be determined is whether this Court can mandate the respondent No. 1 to pay the striking employees their wages for the strike period and also not to give effect to the impugned Circulars dated 16-4-81 and 23-4 81

25. If I refuse to exercise my powers under Article 226 of the Constitution and to deny the reliefs prayed for in this petition, the employees of the respondent No. 1, who have been affected by the impugned circulars and who I understand, will number about 45,000 will have to fall back on other remedies which may be available to them under the law. A possible remedy is the in intiation of conciliation proceedings under the Act and a reference of the issue arising out of the deduction of the salary to an Industrial Tribunal for adjudication. But the reference of a dispute to an Industrial Tribunal does not lie in the hands of the employees. When the respondent No. 1 and the Central Government took recourse to various measures in order to prevent the employees from getting the bonus in terms of the settlement, it is unlikely that the workmen will get a quick or efficacious relief by taking recourse to the remedies available to them under the Act. In my view, the workmen have already been driven from pillar to post and inspite of repeated orders of the highest Court of the land, the respondent No. 1 did not pay them the bonus to which they were legally entitled, till they resorted to the strike. It must also be borne in mind that the workmen immediately called off the strike on 15 4-81 on receiving an assurance from the respondent No. 1 that the bonus will be paid.

26. That it is within my powers to mandate the respondent No. 1 to pay the workmen the wages for the strike period and to strike down the impugned Circulars will find support from a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of L Robert D'Souza v. Executive Engineer, Southern Railway and Anr. reported in 1982-I L.L.J. 330. In this case a question arose whether the termination of service for unauthorised absence from duty by a workman amounts to retrenchment and whether the purportedly, retrenched workman is entitled to reinstatement and wages? Although these issues were being adjudicated by a Labour Court and the Writ petition was dismissed by the High Court, the Supreme Court allowed the Appeal by the workman and observed as follows:

There is no dispute that the appellant would be a workman within the meaning of the expression in Section 2(s) of the Act. Further, it is incontrovertible that he has rendered continuous service for a period over 20 years. Therefore, the first condition of Section 25F that appellant is a workman who has rendered service for not less than one year under the Railway Administration, an employer carrying on an industry, and that his service is terminated which for the reasons herein before given would constitute retrenchment. It is immaterial that he is a daily-rated worker. He is either doing manual or technical work and his salary was less than Rs. 500 and the termination of his service does not fall in any of the excepted categories. Therefore, assuming that he was a daily-rated worker, once he has rendered continuous uninterrupted service for a period of one year or more, within the meaning of Section 25F of the Act and his service is terminated for any reason whatsoever and the case does not fall in any of the excepted categories, notwithstanding the fact that Rule 2505 would be attracted, it would have to be read subject to the provisions of the Act. Accordingly the termination of service in this case would constitute retrenchment and for not compling with pre-conditions to valid retrenchment, the order of termination would be illegal and invalid.

Accordingly, we allow this appeal, set aside the order of the High Court and declare that the termination of service of the appellant was illegal and invalid and the appellant continues to be in service and he would be entitled to full back wages and costs quantified at Rs. 2000.

27. For the reasons which I have cited above and in the interests of justice, equity and fairplay I allow this application, make the Rule absolute and quash the Circulars dated 16-4-1981 and 23-4-1981 copies whereof are Annexures 'C' and 'D' to the petition.

28. In the facts and circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs; but I direct the respondent No. 1 to pay the concerned workmen the wages for the strike period together with interest at the rate of 12% per annum.


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