Kumar Vs. State of Haryana  INSC 284 (4 May 1994)
B.L. (J) Hansaria B.L. (J) Kuldip Singh (J)
1994 SCC (4) 445 JT 1994 (4) 162 1994 SCALE (5)839
Judgment of the Court was delivered by HANSARIA, J.- Leave granted. Heard
learned counsel for the parties.
Court had been approached by filing the connected SLP by one Shiv Kumar, D.P.
Singh and D.H. Woodhead Ltd., Employees' Union
through Shiv Kumar, its Joint Secretary.
application has, however, been filed, registered as IA No. 3 of 1994, in which
it has been averred that Shiv Kumar has settled the matter with the management
and the workmen who are challenging the order of the High Court may be taken as
those whose names have been indicated in the amended cause title - their number
being 21. We allow this IA.
appellants have felt aggrieved at their retrenchment pursuant to the permission
given by the specified authority under Section 25-N of the Industrial Disputes
Act, 1947, hereinafter the Act. The permission granted by the authority came to
be challenged before the High Court. It, however, dismissed the petition. Hence
this appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution.
is required to be noted is that Respondent 3 M/s D.H. Woodhead Ltd. approached
the specified authority to seek permission to retrench 79 of its workmen. The
authority granted permission to retrench 58 workmen, after the matter had come
to be discussed and settled between the representatives of the management and
workmen. The High Court was approached by the aforesaid Shiv Kumar and D.P.
Singh contending, inter alia, that the union leaders had colluded with the
management, and so, the settlement arrived at was bad in the eye of law and the
workmen concerned could not have been retrenched on the basis of that
point urged was that the workmen concerned had not been personally served with
447 the copy of the application as required by Section 25-N of the Act. The
High Court did not accept either of the contentions. As to the non-service of
personal notice, it observed that bald assertion in this regard could not be
accepted as correct, more particularly, when their representatives had been
duly heard by the specified authority. As to the hearing of the representatives,
we would observe that the workmen having alleged collusion, no reliance could
have been placed on that.
point for examination, therefore, is whether there is material on record to
show that the workmen concerned had been served with the copies of the
application as required by Section 25-N read with Rule 76-A of the Industrial
Rules, 1957, which was the point on which notice was ordered on 21- 1-1994. In
reply to this contention advanced by the workmen, what has been stated by the management
in its counter-affidavit is that the notices had been sent to all workmen under
postal certificates and proof of service had been submitted to the specified
authority. Learned counsel appearing for the management produces before us some
certificates evincing posting of some letters to the workmen concerned on 26-12-1992.
have not felt safe to decide the controversy at hand on the basis of the
certificates produced before us, as it is not difficult to get such postal
seals at any point of time.
assure our mind that the notices had really been sent out to the workmen
concerned, we perused the application which had been filed by the management
seeking permission. We did so because Rule 76-A(2) requires that the
application shall be made in triplicate and copies of the same shall be served
by the employer on the workmen concerned and "proof to that effect shall
also be submitted by the employer along with the application". But the
application (Annexure A) has not mentioned anything about "proof' of
service to the workmen concerned. The statement in the counter-affidavit that
proof of service had been submitted to the specified authority has not
satisfied our mind in this regard.
permission granted to retrench 21 appellant-workmen of the respondent-management
cannot, therefore, be said to be in accordance with law. As, however,
permission for retrenchment was sought for on the grounds mentioned in para 23
of the aforesaid application which the specified authority regarded as just and
proper, we are of the view reinstatement would not be the proper order to be
passed, and interest of justice would be met if, apart from what is due to each
of the aforesaid workmen as retrenchment compensation visualised by Section 25-F(b)
of the Act, a sum of Rs 10,000 is paid to each of them. From the amount which
would become so due, payment if' any made towards retrenchment compensation
shall be deducted; so also, if any further sum had been received by any of the
aforesaid workmen. The sum of money which would become ultimately payable,
after the deduction(s), if any to be made, shall be remitted to each of the
aforesaid workmen within a period of two months from today.
appeal is allowed accordingly.