M/s Mitra S.P. (P) Ltd. & Anr. Versus Dhiren Kumar

M/s Mitra S.P. (P) Ltd. & Anr. Versus Dhiren Kumar


Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS.  4863­4866 OF 2022
M/s Mitra S.P. (P) Ltd. & Anr.                …Appellant(s)
Versus
Dhiren Kumar        …Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
common judgment and order passed by the High Court in
Writ Appeal Nos. 615/2021 and 617/2017 in respective
Writ   Petition   Nos.   2955/2021   and   5271/2009,   the
Management has preferred the present appeals.  
2. The  respondent   –  workman   was  appointed  as  a  Junior
Supervisor with the company’s branch at Visakhapatnam.
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While   he   was   working   at   Visakhapatnam,   he   was
transferred to Jharsuguda in State of Orissa vide order
dated 20.07.1997. The workman instead of joining at the
place of transfer submitted a representation to the Director
requesting for transfer to Mangalore in Karnataka State.
The same was not acceded to. Challenging the said order of
transfer, the workman filed O.S. No. 1602/1997. The Civil
Court did not grant any relief as prayed by the workman.
Thereafter, the workman was relieved by the branch office
at   Visakhapatnam   on   14.08.1997.   Though   the   said
relieving order was received by the workman, he neither
handed   over   the   charge   at   Visakhapatnam   nor   did   he
report   for   duty   at   Jharsuguda   office.   Therefore,   the
management treated him as deemed to have been relieved
w.e.f. 14.08.1997 from Visakhapatnam office. Thereafter,
the   management   issued   a   show   cause   notice   dated
24.10.1997 to comply with the directions of transfer or else
disciplinary action would be initiated against the workman.
Thereafter,   the   workman   was   placed   under   suspension.
Domestic enquiry was ordered. The enquiry proceeded exparte.   Subsequently,   the   management   dismissed   the
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workman from service w.e.f. 15.09.1998. Aggrieved by the
dismissal   order,   the   workman   filed   I.D.   No.   219/1998
before the Labour Court. The Labour Court vide judgment
and   award   dated   23.10.2000   modified   the   order   of
dismissal with stoppage of one increment with cumulative
effect and ordered for reinstatement of the workman into
service, with a direction to the workman to join at the place
of his transfer i.e., at Jharsuguda within a period of one
month from the date of receipt of the order, failing which,
he shall not be entitled to the reinstatement. The Labour
Court   also   further   directed   that   the   management   shall
consider   the   request   of   the   workman   for   retransfer   to
Visakhapatnam or Mangalore after the workman joins at
his new station and that if the workman fails to report for
duty  at   Jharsuguda   within   one  month   he  shall   not   be
entitled   to   back   wages   or   continuity   of   service.   The
management filed W.P. No. 2955/2001 before the learned
Single   Judge   of   the   High   Court.   On   22.02.2001   while
admitting   the   writ   petition,   the   learned   Single   Judge
granted   interim   suspension   of   the   order   of   the   Labour
Court. Subsequently, learned Single Judge modified the
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said   interim   order   granting   interim   stay   subject   to   the
condition of the management complying with Section 17­B
of the Industrial Disputes Act.
2.1 It is the case on behalf of the workman that thereafter he
reported at Jharsuguda but he was not permitted to join on
the ground that no instructions were received from the head
office. Therefore, the workman filed an application under
Section 33(C)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (for
short “ID Act”) before the Labour Court for recovery of wages
from 01.01.1998 to 30.04.2005. The said application under
Section 33(C)(2) of the ID Act came to be dismissed by the
Labour Court on the ground that the workman did not go to
Jharsuguda   to   join   duty.   Aggrieved   by   the   same,   the
workman filed W.P. No. 5271/2009. Both the writ petitions,
one, filed by the management against the judgment and
award passed by the Labour Court and another, filed by the
workman challenging the order passed by the Labour Court
dismissing   the   application   under   Section   33(C)(2)   were
heard together. Before the learned Single Judge for the first
time   the   management   raised   the   issue   with   respect   to
territorial   jurisdiction   of   the   Labour   Court.   The   learned
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Single Judge dismissed the writ petition preferred by the
management by observing that the management shall not
be permitted to raise the issue with respect to territorial
jurisdiction for the first time before the High Court. At the
same time, without any further discussion on merits on the
order passed by the Labour Court rejecting the application
under Section 33(C)(2) of the ID Act, the learned Single
Judge allowed Writ Petition No. 5271/2009 preferred by the
workman   and   set   aside   the   order   of   the   Labour   Court
rejecting the application under Section 33(C)(2) of the ID Act
– M.P. No. 43/2005 dated 16.12.2008. The learned Single
Judge observed and held that the workman is entitled for all
the benefits in pursuance of the order of the Tribunal in I.D.
No. 219 of 1998 with all consequential benefits. 
2.2 Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   common
judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge of
the   High   Court   in   Writ   Petition   Nos.   2955/2001   and
5271/2009, the management preferred writ appeals before
the   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court.   By   the   common
impugned judgment and order, the Division Bench of the
High Court has dismissed the appeals as not maintainable
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by observing and holding that the writ petitions were under
Article 227 of the Constitution of India and therefore, the
writ appeals before the Division Bench of the High Court
would not be maintainable. Hence, the present appeals.
        
3. We   have   heard   Mr.  Siddhartha  Dave,   learned   Senior
Advocate, appearing on behalf of the appellant(s) and Mr. K.
Parameshwar, learned Advocate, appearing on behalf of the
respondent.
4. From the judgment and order passed by the learned Single
Judge,   it   appears   that   what   was   challenged   before   the
learned Single Judge was the order passed by the Labour
Court rejecting the application under Section 33(C)(2) of the
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 preferred by the workman as
well as the original award passed by the  Labour Court.
Learned Single Judge passed the common judgment and
order   dismissing   the   writ   petition   preferred   by   the
Management   in   which   the   Management   challenged   the
original judgment and award passed by the Labour Court
and   allowed   the   writ   petition   preferred   by  the   workman
rejecting his Section 33(C)(2) application.
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4.1 So far as challenge to the award passed by the Labour Court
by the Management is concerned, from the judgment and
order passed by the learned Single Judge, it appears that
there   was   only   one   submission   made   with   respect   to
territorial   jurisdiction   and   the   learned   Single   Judge
negatived the same.  Therefore, so far as the order passed
by the learned Single Judge dismissing the writ petition
preferred by the Management against the original judgment
and award by the Labour Court is concerned, the same does
not warrant any interference.  
4.2 However, at the same time, while allowing the writ petition
preferred   by   the   workman   challenging   the   dismissal   of
application under Section 33(C)(2), from the order passed by
the   learned   Single   Judge   it   appears   that   there   is   no
discussion at all on the order passed by the Labour Court
rejecting   the   33(C)(2)   application   and   without   any
discussion and/or recording any specific findings on the
merits of the order passed by the Labour Court rejecting the
33(C)(2)   application,   the   writ   petition   preferred   by   the
workman   has   been   allowed.     The   learned   Single   Judge
ought to have considered the writ petition preferred by the
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workman on merits and ought to have given some findings
on the order passed by the Labour Court rejecting the 33(C)
(2) application.
5. Under   the   circumstances,   the   impugned   judgment   and
order passed by the learned Single insofar as allowing the
Writ Petition No. 5271/2009 preferred by the workman is
concerned, the same is hereby quashed and set aside. The
matter   is   remitted   back   to   the   learned   Single   Judge   to
decide Writ Petition No. 5271/2009 afresh in accordance
with law and on its own merits and within a period of six
months   from   today.   Civil   Appeals   arising   out   of   the
judgment   and   order   passed   by   the   High   Court   in   Writ
Petition   No.   5271/2009   are   accordingly   allowed.   Civil
Appeals arising out of Writ Petition No. 2955/2001 stand
dismissed. No costs.    
The Registry is directed to communicate this order to
the Registry of the High Court forthwith.  All concerned are
directed   to   cooperate   the   learned   Single   Judge   in   early
disposal of the writ petition and within the time stipulated
hereinabove. If the High Court is of the opinion that any of
the parties is not cooperating, it will be open for the High
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Court to proceed further with the hearing of the writ petition
ex­parte by recording reasons. 
The present appeals stand disposed of accordingly. No
costs.
………………………………….J.
[M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
AUGUST 04, 2022. [B.V. NAGARATHNA]
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