Coop. Sugar Mills Vs. Jatinder Kumar Gupta and Anr  Insc 449 (25 April
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT & D.K. JAIN
(Arising out of SLP (C) No. 18636 of 2004) Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
Challenge in this appeal is to the order passed by a Division Bench of the Punjab
and Haryana High Court dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellant. In
the writ petition challenge was to the award dated 10.12.2003 made by the Labour
Court, Bhatinda, Punjab. By the said award the respondent No.1-workman was
directed to be re- instated in service with continuity of service alongwith 50%
back wages from the date of demand notice. Grievance before the High Court was
that the appellant was not granted opportunity to lead evidence. It appears
that in the writ petition No.14465 of 2001 the workman was directed to be paid
the subsistence allowance. Since the subsistence allowance was not paid the Labour
Court decided in favour of the respondent and the appellant was not granted
permission to lead evidence. According to the learned counsel for the
appellant, the course adopted was illegal.
Learned counsel for the respondent-workman, however, supported the orders
stating that the order of the Labour Court for payment of subsistence allowance
was not illegal and, therefore, the High Court was justified in dismissing the
A few details so far as the factual position is concerned need to be noted.
By order dated 18.9.2001 passed in C.W.P.No. 14465 of 2001 a Division Bench
of the High Court had directed the matter to be listed before a learned Single
Judge on 19.2.2002. Meanwhile, it was ordered that the pleadings in the case
before the Labour Court were to be completed. It appears that the subsistence
allowance amounting to Rs.5291/- was paid by the appellant vide demand draft
dated 30.1.2002. But the Labour Court had closed the evidence of the management
vide order dated 5.12.2001 on the ground that the order dated 18.9.2001 passed
by the High Court had not been complied with by that date.
Undisputedly, the amount of subsistence allowance was paid to the workman
after the evidence was closed by order dated 5.12.2001. The management had not
paid the subsistence allowance to the workman. He was not re- instated into
service during the enquiry proceedings being conducted by the Enquiry Officer.
It is true that no date was fixed. The High Court was of the view that looking
at the conduct of the management no interference with the award of the Labour
Court was called for.
One factor is clear that there was no date fixed for payment but dates were
fixed before the Labour Court in the proceedings. The payment of subsistence
allowance after the order of the Labour Court closing the evidence so far as
the management is concerned cannot be termed as in any manner arbitrary.
However, the order of dismissal was passed in 1992 and the industrial dispute
was raised under Section 2A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (in short the
'Act') on 11.5.1994 and a reference was made under Section 10(1)(c)of the Act
There appears to be some confusion so far as factual position is concerned.
The management was required to give opportunity to the respondent to lead
evidence on merits. Since the enquiry was allegedly not conducted in fair and
proper manner opportunity was granted to the management to adduce evidence. On
the writ petition filed by the respondent-workman the High Court had issued
notice. After this long passage of time it would not be proper to direct
re-instatement and that too with back wages. It has been pointed out that the
appellant is suffering huge amount of loss amounting of Rs.35 crores.
In the facts and circumstances of the case the High Court's order in law is
irreversible. But keeping in view the peculiar facts of the case we direct that
in full and final settlement of the claims of the respondent-workman a sum of
rupees 2 lakhs shall be paid within a period of 6 months from today.
The respondent-workman shall not have any further claim and/or the appellant
shall have no liability so far as against respondent-workman is concerned.
The appeal is accordingly disposed of. There will be no order as to costs.
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