Diary Development Corporation V. Kala Singh  INSC 521 (7 May 1997)
RAMASWAMY, S. SAGHIRAHMAD, G.B. PATTANAIK
APPEAL NO. 228 OF1995 O R D E R In CA No. 6339/94 he was charged for the
misconduct that on April 28,1990 and onother dates, he inflated the quantumof themilk
supplies in milk centres to the appellant-Corporation and also inflated the
quality of the fat contents, while there were less fat contents. After
conducting the domestic enquiry, the disciplinary authoritydismissed himfrom
service. On reference,the Labour Court
found that the domestic enquiry conducted bythe appellant was defective.
opportunity; wasgiven to the Management to adduce evidence afreshto justify the
order of dismissal.
evidence was adduced by the appellant aswell as the delinquent-respondent. On
consideration of the evidence, the Labour court by its award dated November
14,1990held that thecharge had been proved against the respondent. Onthe
quantum ofpunishment, it was heldthat the punishmentwas notdisproportionate to themagnitude
of the Misconductof the respondent. However, on filing of the writ petition,the
High Courtset aside theaward of the reference Curtto theextent of the
confirmation of the dismissal from service with effect the date of the judgement
of the Labour Courtan not from anydate earlier thereto. This court while
granting leave referred the matter to three judgeBench to consider thecorrectness
of the judgment in Desh Raj Gupta's case (supra) inthe light of the judgment of
the Constitution Bench. Subsequent to the reference, another Bench of two
judges has elaborately considered theentire case law in R. Thiruvirkolam vs. Presiding
officer & Anr. [(1997) 1 SCC 9]. Inthe decision of theConstitution Bench in
P.H. Kalyani vs. Air France [(1964)2 SCR 104], This court had heldthat once the
Labour Court found the domestic enquiry to be defective andgave opportunity to
the parties to adduce the evidence foundthat the order of termination of the
service or dismissalfrom serviceis valid. it would relate back to the original
order of thedismissal. buta discarded note was expressed by Sabha [(1980) 2 SCC
593] whichwas considered by this Court This matter has come up by way of
reference madeby a bench of three Judges to consider the decision of this court
in Desh Raj Gupta vs.Industrial Tribunal. IV, U.P. &Anr.
SCC 249] With a viewto appreciate the contention of theparties, it isnecessary
to record few relevant facts. While the respondent was working as a Dairy
Helper- cum-Cleaner forcollecting the milk from various center in Thiruvirkolam
case (supra)and it was heldthat inview of the judgmentof the constitution
Bench, three-judge Bench judgment was not correct. Desh Rai Gupta's case wasalso
considered andit washeld that it has not been correctly decided. Thus,we are relievedof
reviewing the entirecase law in that behalf.
of the aforesaiddecisions and in view of the findings recorded by the labour
court, weare of the considered opinion that the view expressed in Desh Raj Gupta'scase
is not correct. It is accordingly over-ruled.
the judgmentof theConstitution Bench, wehold that on the Labour court's recordinga
finding that the domestic enquiry was defective and giving opportunity to
adduce the evidence by the management and the workman and recording of t he
finding that the dismissal by the management wasvalid. it would relate back to
the date of the original dismissal and not from thedate ofthe judgment of the Labour Court.
appeal is accordingly allowed. The order of the High Court stands set aside. Nocosts.
No. 228/95 This is across appeal filed bythe workman. It is contended by the
learned counsel forthe workman that the chargeswere not correct; the Labour Court hasnot properly considered theevidence
and the view that the order relates back to the date of the dismissal wasnot
correct. Wefind no force in thecontention. It is seen that theLabour Court
after adduction of evidence came to the conclusion that the dismissal is
justifiable. On the basis of the evidence adducedbeforeit, nodoubt,the Labour Court has not elaborately consideredthe
entire evidence, but agreed to the decision that the misconduct hasbeen proved.
Inview of theproof of misconduct, the necessary consequence would be that the
management has lost t he confidence that the appellant would truthfully and
faithfully carry on his duties and consequentlythe labour Court rightly
declined to exercise the power under Section 11-A to grant relief of
reinstatement with minor penalty.
accordingly dismissed. No costs.