Vs. U.P. State Sugar Corporation  Insc 894 (31 August 2007)
Chatterjee & D.K.Jain Tarun Chatterjee,J.
This appeal, by grant of special leave, is directed against the final judgment
and order dated 10th July, 2006 passed by the Allahabad High Court in Civil
Miscellaneous Writ Petition No.5385 of 1998 whereby the High Court had allowed
the writ petition filed by the respondent and set aside the award dated 5th
June, 1997 passed by the Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Varanasi, U.P. in
Adjudication Dispute No.89 of 1994 directing re-instatement of the appellant
with continuity of service and payment of full back wages by the respondent U.P.
State Sugar Corporation (for short 'the Corporation').
following reference was made for adjudication before the Labour Court :
the termination of service by the employer of their workman Ram Nayak from 1st June 1990 was bad or invalid."
said reference came to be registered as Adjudication Dispute No.89 of 1994
before the Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Varanasi, U.P. The appellant claimed that he
was working under the erstwhile Ratna Sugar Mills on the "appointed
day" under the U.P. Sugar Undertaking Acquisition Act, 1971 (hereinafter
referred to as "the Acquisition Act"). On and from 24/4/1989, Ratna Sugar Mills had vested with the Corporation
as the said date was the "appointed day"
Section 2(A) of the Acquisition Act. However, the service of the appellant was
terminated by an oral order for which the reference was made. The Labour Court, after considering, both the oral
and the documentary evidence on record, held that the oral termination order
was bad and, therefore, directed re-instatement of the appellant in the
Corporation with continuity of service and back-wages. This award was
challenged by the Corporation before the High Court by way of a writ petition.
As noted herein above, the High Court allowed the writ petition and set aside
the award passed by the Labour
Court solely on the
ground that the award could not be allowed to stand in view of Section 16(3) of
the Acquisition Act. We may keep it on record that the High Court, while
setting aside the award, had not gone into the merits whether the appellant had
failed to prove that his oral termination order was bad or invalid in law.
Feeling aggrieved by the judgment of the High Court, this appeal has been
preferred by the appellant. After hearing the arguments advanced by the learned
counsel for the parties and considering the provisions of Section 10 read with
Section 16(3) of the Act, we are of the firm opinion that a finding whether the
appellant was working under the respondent on the "appointed day"
the Acquisition Act was necessary. For that purpose, it would be appropriate to
direct the appellant to approach the prescribed authority under Section 10 read
with Section 16(3) of the Act for a finding whether he was exclusively employed
in connection with the scheduled undertaking before the appointed day as we are
of the view that the Acquisition Act, being a special act, is conferred with
the power to make such a finding.
this view of the matter, we feel it proper and appropriate to direct the
appellant to approach the "prescribed authority" under Section 10
read with Section 16(3) of the Act for a finding on the aforesaid question. The
appellant shall approach the prescribed authority by making an application
within eight weeks from this date. The prescribed authority shall thereafter
determine the question within two months from the date of filing of the
application before it by the appellant after giving due hearing to the parties
and permitting them to lead evidence. In the event, the prescribed authority
comes to a finding that the appellant was working with the scheduled
undertaking on the appointed day, the writ petition filed by the Corporation
before the High Court shall automatically stand restored and the High Court
shall, thereafter, decide the writ petition on merits after taking into
consideration the findings arrived at by the prescribed authority in compliance
with our directions made in this regard. If, however, the prescribed authority
comes to a finding that the appellant was not working with the erstwhile
employer on the appointed day, this appeal shall stand dismissed and the award
shall also stand set aside. The appeal is disposed of in the manner indicated
above. There will be no order as to costs.