Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation Versus Bharat Singh Jhala (Dead) Son of Shri Nathu Singh, through Legal Heirs & Anr.

Rajasthan State Road Transport  Corporation Versus Bharat Singh Jhala (Dead) Son of Shri Nathu  Singh, through Legal Heirs & Anr. 


Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


1
REPORTABLE
  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6942 of 2022
Rajasthan State Road Transport 
Corporation     … Appellant
Versus
Bharat Singh Jhala (Dead) Son of Shri Nathu 
Singh, through Legal Heirs & Anr.                  … Respondents
J U D G M E N T
M. R. Shah, J.
1. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment and order dated 12.08.2021 passed by the Division
Bench of the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jaipur
passed in D.B. Civil Special Appeal (Writ) No.645 of 2020 by
which the Division Bench of the High Court has dismissed the
said appeal challenging the order passed by the learned Single
Judge   dismissing   the   writ   petition   filed   by   the   appellant
2
confirming the order passed by the Labour Court setting aside
the   order  of  termination  passed against   the  workman,  the
Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation has preferred the
present appeal.
2. The facts leading to the present appeal in a nutshell are
as under:
2.1 The workman was serving on the post of Conductor.  A
departmental enquiry was initiated against him alleging not
issuing the tickets to 10 passengers though he collected the
amount of tickets.   In the department inquiry he was found
guilty for the misconduct alleged.  The employer – Rajasthan
State Road Transport Corporation terminated his services vide
Order dated 31.07.2001.
2.2 An application for approval of punishment order under
Section   33(2)(b)   of   Industrial   Dispute   Act,   1947   (hereafter
referred   to   as   “the   I.D.   Act”)   was   submitted   before   the
Industrial  Tribunal   on   31.07.2001.  The   Industrial   Tribunal
3
held the enquiry bad.   However, the Industrial Tribunal vide
Order dated 12.12.2012 allowed the appellant – Corporation to
prove the charges before the Tribunal.  Both the parties led the
evidence   before   the   Tribunal   on   the   charges   alleged.   The
appellants led, both, oral as well as documentary evidences.
That   on   appreciation   of   entire   evidence   on   record   and
considering   the   submissions   made   on   behalf   of   both   the
parties, the Industrial Tribunal vide order dated 21.07.2015
allowed the application under Section 33(2)(b) of the I.D. Act
and granted the approval of the order of termination.   That
thereafter and after a period of approximately 19 years from
the date of passing the order of termination, the workman
again raised the Industrial Dispute challenging the order of
termination   of   2001.     By   Judgment   and   Award   dated
19.11.2019   the   Labour   Court,   Jaipur   allowed   the   said
reference and set aside the order of termination.   As in the
meantime the workman died and the dispute was raised after
a   period   of   19   years,   the   Labour   Court   passed   an   order
awarding 50% back wages from the date of termination till his
4
death i.e. 10.12.2018.   The Judgment and Award passed by
the Labour Court was challenged before the learned Single
Judge of the High Court.  The learned Single Judge dismissed
the writ petition.   Against the award passed by the learned
Single   Judge   dismissing   the   writ   petition   the   appellant
preferred the appeal before the Division Bench.  By impugned
judgment and order the High Court has dismissed the said
appeal which has given rise to the present appeal.
3. Learned   Counsel   for   the   appellant   has   vehemently
submitted that in the facts and circumstances of the case the
Hon’ble   High   Court   has   committed   a   serious   error   in
dismissing   the   writ   appeal/writ   petition   confirming   the
judgment and order passed by the learned Labour Court.
3.1 It is submitted that once in an application under Section
33(2)(b)   of   the   I.D.   Act   and   pursuant   to   the   earlier   order
passed by the Industrial Tribunal, the appellant was permitted
to lead the evidence and prove the charge/misconduct and
thereafter when the order of termination was approved by the
5
Industrial   Tribunal,   thereafter   it   was   not   open   for   the
workman to again raise the Industrial Dispute that too after a
period of 19 years.  It is submitted that the Hon’ble High Court
has materially erred in confirming the judgment and award
passed by  the  learned Labour Court  quashing  and  setting
aside the order of termination which as such was approved by
the Industrial Tribunal by order dated 21.07.2015.
3.2 Making   above   submissions,   it   is   prayed   to   allow   the
present appeal.
4. Present   appeal   is   vehemently   opposed   by   Shri   H.D.
Thanvi,   learned   counsel   appearing   on   behalf   of   the
respondents. 
4.1 Relying upon the decision of this Court in the case of
John   D’Souza   vs.   Karnataka   State   Road   Transport
Corporation,  (2019) 14 Scale 57, it is vehemently submitted
that   as   observed   and   held   by   this   Hon’ble   Court   the
proceedings under Section 33(2)(b) and Section 10 of the I.D.
6
Act are distinct and different.  It is submitted that as observed
and held by this Hon’ble Court in the aforesaid decision the
proceedings   under   Section   33(2)(b)   of   the   I.D.   Act   are
summary in nature and findings recorded while deciding the
application under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act shall not affect
the substantive right in a reference under Section 10 of the
I.D. Act.
4.2 It is submitted that therefore, the Labour Court did not
commit any error in considering the validity of the order of
termination   and   thereafter   quashing   and   setting   aside   the
same and ordering 50% back wages.
4.3 It   is   submitted   that   considering   the   fact   that   the
workman has died and his heir ­ widow is awarded 50% back
wages only, the same may not be interfered by this Court in
exercise of powers under Article 136 of the Constitution of
India.
7
5. We have heard the learned counsel for the respective
parties at length.
5.1. At the outset, it is required to be noted that the workman
was subjected to departmental enquiry and the charge against
the   deceased   workman   was   not   issuing   the   tickets   to   10
passengers though he collected the fare.  On conclusion of the
departmental   enquiry   his   services   were   terminated.     The
termination was the subject matter of the approval application
before the Industrial Tribunal in an application under Section
33(2)(b)   of   the   I.D.   Act.     In   the   said   proceedings   the
management was permitted to lead the evidence and prove the
charge/misconduct   before   the   Tribunal.     In   the   said
application the parties led the evidence, both, oral as well as
documentary.     Thereafter   on   appreciation   of   evidence   on
record,   the   Industrial   Tribunal   by   order   dated   21.07.2015
approved   the   order   of   termination.     That   thereafter   the
workman raised the Industrial Dispute challenging the order
of termination which as such was proved by the Industrial
8
Tribunal by order dated 21.07.2015.  Therefore, once the order
of termination was approved by the Industrial Tribunal and
the management was permitted to lead the evidence and prove
the   misconduct   before   the   Court   and   thereafter   on
appreciation   of   evidence   the   order   of   termination   was
approved, thereafter the fresh reference under Section 10 of
the   I.D.   Act   challenging   the   order   of   termination   was   not
permissible.   It is required to be noted that the order dated
21.07.2015 passed by the Industrial Tribunal which as such is
a   higher   forum   than   the   Labour   Court   had   attained   the
finality.  Though the aforesaid fact was pointed out before the
High Court, the High Court has not at all considered and/or
appreciated the same and has confirmed the judgment and
award passed by the Labour Court for setting aside the order
of termination which as such was approved by the Industrial
Tribunal.
5.2 Now so far as the reliance placed upon the decision of
this Court in the case of John D’Souza (supra) by the learned
9
counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent is concerned,
on facts the said decision shall not be applicable to the facts of
the case on hand.   In the present case by specific order the
Industrial   Tribunal   permitted   the   management   to   lead   the
evidence and prove the misconduct before the Court which as
such was permissible.  That thereafter the Industrial Tribunal
approved   the   order   of   termination.   Once   the   order   of
termination   was   approved   by   the   Industrial   Tribunal   on
appreciation of evidence led before it, thereafter the findings
recorded by the Industrial Tribunal were binding between the
parties.     No   contrary   view   could   have   been   taken   by   the
Labour   Court   contrary   to   the   findings   recorded   by   the
Industrial Tribunal.
6. In view of the above, the judgment and award passed by
the   Labour   Court   confirmed   by   the   High   Court   is
unsustainable.  The High Court has committed a very serious
error in dismissing the writ petition/writ appeal confirming the
10
judgment and award passed by the Labour Court setting aside
the order of termination.
7. In view of the above and for the reason stated above the
present appeal succeeds.  The impugned judgment and order
passed by the High Court confirming the judgment and award
passed   by   the   Labour   Court   setting   aside   the   order   of
termination   and   the   judgment   and   award   passed   by   the
Labour Court setting aside the order of termination are hereby
quashed and set aside.
The Present Appeal is Allowed to the aforesaid extent.
However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, there
shall be no order as to costs.
…………………………………J.
            (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
New Delhi,     (KRISHNA MURARI)
September 30, 2022.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Questions on Indian Constitution for UPSC 2020 Pre Exam

संविधान की प्रमुख विशेषताओं का उल्लेख | Characteristics of the Constitution of India

भारतीय संविधान से संबंधित 100 महत्वपूर्ण प्रश्न उतर