Orders Of The Tribunal Can Only Be Interfered If There Is Gross Illegality And The Order Is Perverse And Without Jurisdiction: High Court Of Jharkhand

The order passed by the Tribunal must be without jurisdiction and should be legal. Without any infirmities or illegality, the order passed by a Tribunal cannot be interfered by a High Court. Unless the approach is well perverse, the High Court is not justified in interfering with the award granted by the tribunal. A single-judge bench comprising of Justice S N Pathak adjudicating in the matter of The Management of Jamshedpur Worker’ College Employees Credit Cooperative Society Ltd. v. The Workman (Writ Petition (L) No.3824 of 2010) dealt with the issue of whether to allow the writ petition of the Petitioner or not?

The Petitioner prays to quash the award passed on 28.04.2010 in which respondent’s dismissal has been held to be illegal and the termination order has been set aside and the workman is directed to be reinstated to his post along with 50% backwages with effect from 11.01.2001 with all other consequential benefits. It has also been directed that the workman shall be deemed to be in continuity of service.

The respondent has joined the service on 28.04.1987 and was the permanent employee of the petitioner. He was confirmed with a post of  Accountant-cum-Office Assistant by the management, but however for no reason he was terminated immediately and another person was engaged in his place. The respondent in lieu of such termination raised industrial dispute & the tribunal passed an order in favour of the Respondent. Being aggrieved by the decision of the tribunal the petitioner has knocked the door of this Court.

The petitioners stated that the Respondent is not entitled for any relief under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The decision of terminating Respondent was taken in Annual General Body Meeting of the Society dated 10.01.2001 and thereafter, following the rules and regulations, workman was terminated from the services. The Managing Committee of the Society had duly offered the amount of notice pay and compensation but the workman refused to receive the same, which is lying in the office of the Management. The workman even refused to accept the termination letter, which was thereafter sent to him through registered post. The respondent, instead of waiting for the decision of the Assistant Registrar, Cooperative Society, moved before the appropriate Government for reference, which is not sustainable in the eyes of law. The Industrial Dispute is premature and barred by resjudicata. Also it was argued that the dispute has been raised after concealing material facts.

It was also conducted that during the period when he was working with management, the Respondent e joined the services under Moti Lal Nehru Public School where he was found indulged in illegal activities and a case was registered against him for the offence under Sections 406/ 408/ 420 of the Indian Penal Code and was remanded to judicial custody also. The Respondent was guilty of misconduct and double employment apart from indulging in criminal activities. Such a workman who has cheated the Management, cannot be accepted for the smooth running of any institution. It has further been argued by the Petitioner that the respondent illegally withdrew an amount of Rs.15,000/- as P.F. Loan from the Society without prior sanction of the Managing Committee although he was holding his separate Account for Provident Fund, which is grave misconduct on his part. Also, it was conducted that the award granted to the Respondent was illegal and defective.

The Respondent contended that he has been unnecessarily harassed by the mighty Management. Neither any complaint was received from any quarter nor any show-cause or charge sheet was ever served to the workman and suddenly to the utter surprise of him, he has been served termination letter. The order of termination is vague, cryptic, and in violation of principles of natural justice. Termination has been made without any reasonable cause. The termination is against the principles of natural justice and it is a retrenchment for which neither any notice nor notice pay in lieu of notice nor compensation was paid on or before termination of services and the same is against the provisions of law. No domestic inquiry was ever conducted nor any reason was assigned for termination of services of the workman. Learned counsel further argues that the allegation of joining a different school is false and fabricated. The workman had neither committed any misconduct nor did he ever dupe the management. The workman was not in gainful employment during his termination, which has also been brought on record on oath vide supplementary affidavit filed by him.

After minute examination of all the contentions and arguments the court held that “the termination order was passed by the Management without following the procedures of law. Petitioner has admitted that without serving show-cause notice and framing of charges and holding enquiry under the procedures of law, the letter of termination was issued. The law is well settled that whenever charge of misconduct is leveled against an employee, the same requires to be proved in a proper enquiry in which employee has to be given proper opportunity of hearing. Nothing was done in the instant case and the Management has failed to prove the misconduct committed by the workman.

Also, the court concluded that “it is also well settled that the orders of the Tribunal can only be interfered if there is gross illegality and the order is perverse and without jurisdiction. Nothing has been argued nor brought on record to show that the order passed by the Tribunal is without jurisdiction and is full of illegality and is perverse.”

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