Bank Vs. Shri Prem Singh  INSC 1091 (9 September 1996)
B.N. (J) Kirpal B.N. (J) Verma, Jagdish Saran (J) Kirpal, J.
JT 1996 (7) 678
appellant bank had requisitioned applications for appointment as cashiers or
cash clerks from amongst Ex- servicemen through the District Soldiers, Sailors
and Army Board, Delhi. Thereafter on 13th June, 1977 the respondent was appointed by the
appellant at its Lajpat Nagar Branch as a temporary cashier subject to the
terms and conditions contained in the letter of appointement. The appointement
was only for one eday, i.e., 14th June, 1977.
It is the case of the appellant that the respondent thereafter was appointed at
different branches for another three days. The total period of service of the
respondent with the appellant was from 14th June to 17th June, 1977.
appellant did not give any further employment to the respondent after 17th June, 1977. Thereupon, at the instance of the
respondent, an industrial dispute under section 10 of the Industrial Disputes
Act, 1947 was referred to the Industrial tribunal, New Delhi. The only term of
reference was as follows:- "Whether the action of the management of
Allahabad Bank, Parliament
street, New Delhi in denying employment as cash clerk
of shri Prem Singh w.e.f. 16.6.77 is legal and justified? If not, to what
relief is the workman entitled?" The case of the appellant before the
Tribunal was that the respondent did not possess the requisite qualification as
he had not passed matriculation examination or high school examination. It was
contended that the respondent had misrepresented that he had passed the
matriculation examination and was qualified to be appointed as a cash clerk.
Tribunal framed the following two issues vide its order dated 6th February, 1979:- "1. whether Shri Prem Singh
is not qualified to be appointed as a cash clerk?
in the order of reference?" By a subsequent order dated 20th June, 1979, one more issue was framed which
was as follows:- "1. Whether the refered matter is not an Industrial
Dispute?" The Tribunal vide its award dated 29th May, 1980 found that the respondent had appeared in the higher
secondary examination held in April, 1954 but had failed in the same, This
examination was of class XIth. The Tribunal further held that recognition had
been granted to the Xth class certificated from a higher secondary school in India as being equivalent to
matriculation certificate for the purposes of employment under the central
Government. It, therfore, concluded that the respondent must be regarded as
having passed the matriculation examination. On merits the Tribunal came to the
conclusion that once a workman had been lawfully appointed, his services could
be terminated only in accordance with law and the denial of employment to him
as cash clerk by the management amounted to termination of his services. The
Tribunal then declared that the respondent was entitled to employment and he
must be deemed to be in continued service/employment of the bank with effect
from 16th June, 1977 till the date of the award.
aforesaid award has been challenged in this appeal by special leave. The only
question which arises for consideration is whether the respondent had any right
to get any relief from the Tribunal.
already noticed the respondent was appointed by the appellant only on four
days. He was appointed as a temporary hand at the Lajpat Nagar Branch on 14th
June ,1977, by virtue of the letter dated 13th June, 1977, he was offered
service for one day, i.e., 15th June, 1977 at the appellant's karol Bagh branch
and for two days, i.e., 16th and 17th at the appellant's Chandni Chowk Branch.
It is not disputed that the terms of employment contained in the said letters
were not more or less identical. The first term contained in the said letters
was as follows:- "1. That your appointment is purely temporary basis for a
period of one day, i.e. 14.6.77 after which your service will stand terminated
automatically without notice. Your service can, however, be terminated at any
time the above period without notice." It is no doubt true that the reason
for the appellant for not employing the respondent was that he did not possess
the requisite educational qualification. Even if it be assumed that this reason
was incorrect, the question would still arise as to whether the bank was under
any obligation to employ the respondent.
is not a case where by passing any order the existing services of a workman
were terminated. The respondent was given employment for one day at a time with
the issuance of successive letters. The relationship between the parties being
contractual, the term of the contract was that the services stood terminated at
the end of the day.
Tribunal has not given any reason tsoever as to what was the obligation on the
appellant to employ the respondent.
status of the respondent was, at best, that of a daily wager. By virtue of his
letters of employment he ceased to be employed at the end of each day. His
day's service stood automatically terminated. This being so the decision of the
Tribunal in holding that the respondent shall be deemed to have continued in
service from 16th June, 1977 and would also be entitled to usual pay and
allowances is clearly untenable. The respondent could not insist on his being
continued to be employed and the appellant was under no legal obligation to
the aforesaid reasons the award of the Tribunal dated 29th May, 1980 is set
aside as the respondent is neither entitled to demand employment nor is he
entitled to any other relief. The appeal is accordingly allowed. There will,
however, be no order as to costs.
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