Ghaziabad Engineering Co. (P) Ltd. Vs. Certifying Officer, Kanpur ANR  INSC 5 (13 January 1978)
CITATION: 1978 AIR 769 1978 SCR (2) 534 1978
SCC (1) 480
Constitution of India, 1950, Art. 136-Questions
of fact cannot be canvassed for invoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Casual leave, concept of and whether has
nexus with total number of days leave that a worker is entitled-Value of
current trend in a particular area or industry-Industrial Employment (Standing
Orders) Act 1946 r/w S. 79(1) of Factories Act, 1948.
As against the claim of twelve days casual
leave (on a paid basis) made by the workmen of the appellant company and for
modification of the Standing Orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing
orders) Act 1946, and the rules framed there under, the certifying officer,
taking into consideration (a) the financial position of the appellant's undertaking
including it having paid 20% bonus to its workers (b) the prevalent practice in
neighbouring industries in that industrial belt of giving paid casual leave,
and (c) the current trend in that particular industrial area, granted the
modification reducing the number of days to six, as being fair and reasonable.
The appellate authority confirmed the said modification.
Dismissing the appeal by special leave, the
HELD : 1. Supreme Court's jurisdiction under
Art. 136 cannot be exploited for canvassing pure questions of fact. [535 E]
2. Casual leave is not an automatic,
advantage to the total number of days' leave that a worker is entitled.
Casual leave is not a matter of right and it
is only in the event of sudden emergencies that casual leave is allowed.
Unforeseen circumstances may unexpectedly
prop up necessitating sudden absence of an employee, be he in Government
service or any other office or in an industrial undertaking. The whole concept
of casual leave is calculated to provide for such contingencies. [535 G-H; 536
3. A certain number of days' leave prescribed
in S. 79(1) is the minimum and not the maximum. Current trend in a particular
area or industry has not the force of law. It may have persuasive value but not
more, in considering the claim for casual leave.
In the instant case; (1) There is nothing
grossly unfair or shockingly violative of fairness or justice warranting
interference by this Court by exercise of its special jurisdiction. After all
the excess is around three days in a year over the current trend of granting an
overall maximum of thirty days, which circumstance the Tribunal has taken note
of. [535 F, 536 C-D] Alembic Chemical Works Co. Ltd. v. Workmen  1 SCR
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal
No. 2171 of 1970.
Appeal by Special Leave from the Order dated
30-3-1970 of the Appellate Authority Allahabad (Industrial Tribunal) in
Standing. Order Appeal No. 8/69.
K. P. Gupta for the Appellant.
5 3 5 G. N. Dikshit and O. P. Rana for Respondent
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
KRISHNA IYER, J.-This appeal by special leave raises a short question which has
been decided adverse to the appellant by the certifying officer, Kanpur and the
Industrial Tribunal which is the appellate authority. The narrow point that
falls for decision is as to whether the modification of the Standing Orders
under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 and the rules
framed there under was illegally made by the certifying officer. The
modification itself related to grant of six days' casual leave (on a paid
basis) to the workers in the appellant's factory in Ghaziabad. The certifying
officer has considered this grant of casual leave as fair and reasonable having
regard to the prevalent practice in the neighbouring industries of this
industrial belt and also paying attention to the financial position of the
For this purpose he has relied upon the fact
that 20% bonus was paid under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and has 'further
stated that certain other factories have been giving paid casual leave for
their workers. These facts persuaded him to grant the modification although
reducing the number of days to six as against twelve which the workers.
The appellate authority concurred by a separate
discussion in the same, conclusion. We are requested by Shri Gupta to reverse
this concurrent refinding of fact on two grounds.
He states that the undertaking of the
appellant is a losing proposition and relies upon certain balance sheets stated
to have been produced before the certifying officer. He also argues that there
is no positive material to make out that other industries in the locality are
graning casual leave for their workers.
These are pure questions of fact and this
Court's jurisdiction under Art. 136 cannot be exploited for canvassing points
such as these. It is clear that the modification was within the jurisdiction of
the certifying officer and he has not contravened any provision of the Act or
any statute. The Factories Act, 1948 prescribes in S. 79(1) a certain number of
days' leave but this is the minimum and not the maximum as has been indicated
in this Court's ruling in Alembic Chemical Works Co. Ltd. v. Workmen(1).
Moreover, the model Standing Orders as well as the Schedule to the Industrial
Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 deal with casual leave. In this view
there is nothing illegal in the order impugned nor are we satisfied that there
is anything shockingly violative of fairness or justice. It is a notorious fact
that casual leave is not an automatic advantage to the total number of days'
leave that a worker is entitled. It is only in the event of sudden emergencies
that casual leave is allowed and so the grievance of the appellant is
exaggerated, if not imaginary.
Apart from this, it is elementary that unforeseen
circumstances may unexpectedly prop up necessitating sudden absence of an
employee, be he in Government service or any other ,offices or in an industrial
undertaking. The whole concept of casual (1)  1 S.C.R. 297.
536 leave is calculated to provide for such
contingencies. We, see nothing unfair in the certifying officer according six
days by way of casual leave to the workers. After all the contentment of the
workers is an essential component of their efficiency and if the certifying
officer and the Appellate Authority who deal regularly with such matters have
felt that this step was fair and nothing is shown to our satisfaction that
there is anything grossly unfair about this modification, we should not
interfere by exercise of the special jurisdiction of this Court.
The third point put forward by Shri Gupta was
that according to the appellate Tribunal, the current trend is to grant an
overall maximum of thirty days leave while in this case if the casual leave is
also taken into account it may extend to 33-1/2 days leave. As pointed out
earlier, casual leave is not a matter of right and a man may not got casual
leave unless circumstances are sudden or which in the ordinary course cannot be
met by taking regular leave. Secondly, we are not satisfied that the current
trend in a particular area or industry has the force of law. It may have
persuasive value but not more. That is why after taking note of that
circumstance, the Tribunal has still chosen to affirm the claim for six days
casual leave. After all the excess is around three days in a year.
We, therefore, dismiss the appeal, but, in
the circumstances, without costs, S. R. Appeal dismissed.