Vs. Jagmal Singh  Insc 407 (13 July 2006)
& Lokeshwar Singh Panta Dr.Ar.Lakshmanan,J.
Jain, learned counsel for the appellant and Mr.D.P.Chaturvedi, learned counsel
for the respondent.
above appeal is directed against the order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Civil
Writ Petition No.5947 of 2003. The Writ Petition filed by the appellant herein
was dismissed without assigning any reasons whatsoever.
respondent herein was appointed by the appellant as sweeper on daily wages on
01.05.1992. According to the appellant, the respondent had left the service at
his own which has been disputed by the learned counsel for the respondent. The
respondent sent a demand notice after a delay of four and a half years through
the Labour-cum-Conciliation Officer, Panipat to the appellant asking for
reinstatement with continuous service and back wages. The appellant filed reply
to the demand notice before the Labour- cum-Conciliation Officer, Panipat
putting it clearly that the respondent had not completed 240 days service in
any of the three years that he had worked there. The dispute was referred to
Tribunal-cum-Labour Court, Panipat. The Labour
Court passed an award
in favour of the respondent holding that the respondent was entitled to
reinstatement to the service with continuity of service and full back wages
from the date of demand notice, i.e., 11.11.1999. Aggrieved by the said order,
the appellant invoked the jurisdiction of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana
seeking setting aside of the order of the Industrial Tribunal and Labour Court. The High Court, as stated earlier,
dismissed the Writ Petition.
have perused the orders passed by the High Court and also of the Labour Court and the evidence led before the Labour Court by both the parties. Our attention
has also been drawn to some documents filed in support of the appellant and the
other relevant documents.
appellant had also produced before the Labour Court the statement marked as Annexure P-1. It is seen from the
above statement that the respondent-workman had worked for 204 days (from
March, 1994 to February, 1995) on daily wages. The Labour Court also considered the evidence of
Rajesh Kumar, Clerk of the appellant that the respondent- workman has worked
from 01.01.1994 to February, 1995 in their Division for 204 days. The Labour
Court has further held that the records from 01.07.1994 to 31.07.1994 was not
available and, therefore, the management has failed to produce the record for
the month of July, 1994 and if the working days of July, 1994 was counted then
the workman has worked for 235 days and if the gazetted holidays and weekly
rest were included then definitely the workman has worked for more than 240
days under the management.
unable to appreciate the approach made by the Labour Court in calculating the statutory period of 240 days in a year.
In our opinion, both the Labour
Court and the High
Court have failed to appreciate the fact that the respondent has failed to
complete the statutory period of 240 days in a year to entitle him for claiming
any benefits whatsoever. As already noticed, evidence has been led to the said
fact before the Labour
Court but still the
issue of attendance of the respondent has been decided in his favour. This
apart, the respondent was appointed only as a daily wage earner and not as a
permanent employee of the appellant and hence the respondent cannot claim any
right to the post in question and that no right has accrued to him to claim any
benefits from the appellant. This fact has been overlooked by the Labour Court and also by the High Court. The
fact remains that the respondent has not worked for the statutory period of 240
days which has been clearly established by the appellant. It is settled law
that the workman has to prove that he had worked for 240 days. In the instant
case, the workman has not established that he has served the appellant for the
statutory period of 240 days.
result, the order passed by the Labour Court and the non- speaking order passed by the High Court are
liable to be set aside. We do so accordingly and allow the Civil Appeal filed
by the appellant and set aside the order passed by the Labour Court and the High Court ordering
reinstatement and back wages. No costs.
also make it clear that the payment, if any, made to the respondent during the pendency
of the appeal before this Court, shall not be recovered.