Metropolitan Transport Corpn. Vs. T.V.Anandappa  INSC 776 (16 April 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. OF 2009 (Arising out of
S.L.P. (C) No. 18730 of 2006) Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corpn.
...Appellant Versus T.V. Anandappa ...Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the judgment of a learned Single Judge of the Karnataka
High Court dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellant. Challenge in
this writ petitions was to the award passed by the Labour Court, Bangalore
setting aside the order of removal of the respondent (hereinafter referred to
as the `workman') and directing his re- instatement with continuity of
seniority in the list of Badli Conductors but without back wages.
scenario is almost undisputed. The respondent was appointed as Badli Conductor
and disciplinary enquiry was conducted against him with regard to his
unauthorized absence from duty. His name was ordered to be removed from the
list of Badli Conductors by order dated 19.12.1995. A Claim Petition in terms
of Section 10(4-A) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (in short the `Act')
was filed. The same was withdrawn and dispute under Section 10(1-C) of the Act
was raised which was referred to the Labour Court, Bangalore. After recording
evidence of the parties the Labour Court came to the conclusion that the
absence from duty on the part of the respondent was on account of ill health
and indisposition . Placing reliance on the medical certificates produced and
the reasons assigned for his absence the Labour Court held that the respondent
was entitled to re- instatement as Badli Conductor and order of his removal was
Order of Labour Court
was challenged before the High Court.
stand in the writ petition was that there was delay of about 4 years in raising
the dispute while filing the application under Section 10(4- A) of the Act and
although a specific objection was raised in this regard before the Labour Court
the same was not considered. The charge framed against the workman about his
unauthorized absence from duty intermittently for a long period of time has not
been considered by the Labour Court while passing the award.
workman contended that the Labour Court was justified in holding that because
of his ailment he could not join duty and had remained absent.
far as the delayed approach is concerned the respondent-workman contended that
there was no evidence adduced regarding delay or gainful employment. The High
Court was of the view that there was no material to show that the workman was
gainfully employed anywhere. That being so, the writ petition was dismissed.
counsel for the appellant submitted that being Badli worker the question of any
protection under the Act does not arise. The Labour Court seems to have
proceeded on the basis that since the medical certificates were submitted , he
should not have been removed.
Admittedly, his name
was struck off on 19.12.1995. For the first time a grievance was raised in
1999. The respondent filed claim statement and ultimately arguments were heard
and reference was made. Learned counsel for the respondent supported the
judgment of the Labour Court as affirmed by the High Court.
counsel for the appellant is right in his submission that there was no
protection available under the Act to the respondent.
view of what has been stated in Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and
Anr. v. S.G. Kotturappa and Anr. (2005 (3) SCC 409) the respondent had no right
under the Act. The Labour Court should not have therefore adjudicated the
dispute. In essence, the reference made to the Labour Court was incompetent. In
the peculiar facts of the case there is no scope for inclusion of the name of
the respondent in the Badli Conductors and there is no question of any
continuity of service.
appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)