Faridabad Vs. Durga Prasad  INSC 476 (14 March 2008)
Dr. Arijit Pasayat & P.
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1993 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 4735 of 2007) Dr.
ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. Challenge in this appeal is to the order passed by a Division bench of
the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing the writ petition filed by the
Challenge in the writ petition was to the order passed by the Presiding
Officer, Labour Court 1, Faridabad.
3. Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:
Respondent claiming to have been appointed by the appellant as a baildar in
December, 1991 alleged that while working with the appellant, had met with an
accident and FIR was lodged. Respondent could not attend the duties and the
reasons for the absence were within the knowledge of the management of the
appellant. The management was also requested to provide for reimbursement of
medical aid to the claimant who was admitted in the hospital and continuously
long thereafter. The accident in question occurred on 21.8.1992. Accordingly a
claim petition was filed. The prayers made in the claim petition were resisted
by the present appellant.
It was stated that as per official records respondent had only worked for
179 days. The Labour Court did not accept the plea and held that respondent had
worked for more than 240 days. The award was challenged before the High Court.
However, the High Court dismissed the writ petition holding that the
services have been illegally terminated and therefore the respondent was
entitled to full back wages. It was held that back wages is the normal rule and
party objecting to it must establish the circumstances necessitating departure.
The High Court placed reliance on a Full Bench decision of Punjab and
Haryana High Court in Hari Palace, Ambala City v. The Presiding Officer, Labour
Court and Anr. (Punjab Law Report, Vol. LXXXI-1979, 720).
4. In support of the appeal learned counsel for the appellant submitted that
there was no material whatsoever placed by the claimant before the Labour Court
that it was appointed towards any sanctioned post and was entitled to full back
wages. It was also submitted that official records clearly established that he
had worked for 179 days. Holidays have wrongly been taken into account. Even
then the number of days does not exceed 210 days.
5. Learned counsel for the appellant further submitted that since no reason
has been indicated the impugned order cannot be maintained. The High Court has
recorded an abrupt conclusion without any material. It is submitted that the
case should not have been decided merely placing reliance on some other
decision without even indicating as to how the factual scenario is the same.
6. Learned counsel for the respondent on the other hand supported the
judgment of the Labour Court and the High Court.
7. It seems that the High Court has not analysed the factual position and
has come to an abrupt conclusion by relying on some earlier decision to hold
that the appellant was not entitled to any relief. The approach is certainly
casual. It is to be noted that one of the major grounds urged was that the onus
was wrongly placed on the appellant to show that the respondent had not worked
for 240 days continuously.
8. In the circumstances, we set aside the impugned order of the High Court
and remit the matter to it for fresh consideration in accordance with law.
9. Appeal is allowed.