State Road Transport Corporation Vs. Man Singh  Insc 588 (13 September 2006)
Sinha & Dalveer Bhandari
out of SLP(C) No.21538/2005) S.B. SINHA, J.
appellant before us is a Corporation constituted under the Road Transport
Corporation Act. The respondent was appointed w.e.f. 20.4.1974 on temporary
basis. His services were terminated on 23.07.1975. He is said to have been paid
one month's salary in lieu of notice. Some allegations had also been made that
he committed misconduct.
raised an industrial dispute on or about 14.9.1986 which was referred to for
adjudication to the Presiding Officer, Labour Court, U.P., Agra. The
industrial dispute referred by the appropriate Government for its adjudication
by the Labour Court reads as under:
the act of the employer in terminating the service of their workman Man Singh
s/o Sher Singh, post Conductor, vide order dated 23.03.1975 is proper and/or
legal. If not then to what relief/compensation is the concerned workman
entitled for and with what further details." On a finding that in
retrenching the respondent the appellant failed to comply with the mandatory
requirements of Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Labour
Court although set aside the order of termination of the services of the
respondent but granted back- wages only from 1986. The High Court in the writ
petition filed by the appellant refused to interfere therewith.
The Labour Court indisputably had the jurisdiction
to pass an award directing reinstatement of the respondent in terms of Section
11A of the Industrial Dispute Act. While exercising the said power, however,
the Labour Court should have taken into
consideration all relevant factors. The respondent does not dispute that he got
employment only for about a year during the period 24.4.1974 to 23.7.1975.
There is nothing on record to show that he was employed in accordance with the
recruitment rules framed by the Appellant Corporation. No material has also
been brought on record to show that the vacancy was a regular one or in filling
up of the said vacancy the constitutional requirements as envisaged under
Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India were complied with.
respondent admittedly raised a dispute in 1986, i.e. after a period of about 12
years. It may be true that in an appropriate case, as has been done by the Labour
Court, delay in raising the dispute would have resulted in rejection of his
claim for back-wages for the period during which the workman remains absent as
has been held by this Court in Gurmal Singh vs. Principal, Government College
of Education and Ors., [2000 (9) SCC 496]. But the discretionary relief, in our
opinion, must be granted upon taking into consideration all attending circumstances.
The appellant is a statutory Corporation. Keeping in view the fact that the
respondent was appointed on a temporary basis, it was unlikely that he remained
unemployed for such a long time. In any event, it would be wholly unjust at
this distance of time i.e. after a period of more than 30 years, to direct
reinstatement of the respondent in service.
the Labour Court or the High Court did not consider
these aspects of the matter.
in view the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, we are of the
opinion that in stead and place of the direction for reinstatement of the
respondent together with back-wages from 1986, interest of justice would be subserved
if the appellant is directed to pay a sum of Rs.50,000/- to him. Similar
orders, we may place on record, have been passed by this Court in State of
Rajasthan & Anr. vs. Ghyan Chand, (C.A.No.3214/2006), State of M.P. &
Ors. vs. Arjunlal Rajak [2006 (2) SCALE 610], Nagar Mahapalika (now Municipal
Corporation) vs. State of U.P. & Ors. [2006 (5) SCALE 145] and Haryana
State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd. vs. Mamni,[2006 (5) SCALE 164].
direct the appellant to pay the aforementioned amount to the respondent within
a period of eight weeks from today, failing which, the same shall carry
interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum till the date of actual payment.
This appeal is allowed to the extent mentioned hereinbefore. The parties shall
pay and bear their own costs.