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This Court cannot interfere with the impugned order which is devoid of errors, in the exercise of discretionary powers of judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution – Madras High Court

A vain endeavour is made by the Petitioner to re-agitate the same issue in this Writ Petition, but there does not appear to be any acceptable reason to take a different view from what has been concluded by the Labour Court in the impugned order. This has been stated by the single bench of The Hon’ble Justice P.D. Audikesavalu in the case of The Management v. The Presiding Officer & Ors. W.P. No. 30593

The gist of the case is the Second Respondent (L. Thillaivasan), who worked at the Petitioner’s establishment, was fired on March 20, 2003, pursuant to Order No. 180/179504/TL9/ SETC/02, citing unauthorized absence from duty. According to the Second Respondent, the termination occurred during the pendency of conciliation proceedings under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, between the Petitioner and its Trade Union in an industrial dispute. In light of this, the Second Respondent filed an application in C.P. No. 327 of 2006 before the II Additional Labour Court, Chennai, under Section 33-C(2) of the Act for the computation of the monetary benefits to which he was entitled for the period from April 2003 to September 2006, relying on the ratio laid down by the Constitution Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Jaipur Zila Sahakari Bhoomi Vikas Bank Ltd. vs. Ram Gopal Sharma [(2002) 2 SCC 244]. Though the Petitioner argued that an application under Section 33-C(2) of the Act, which is in the nature of execution proceedings, cannot be filed without a prior adjudication on the validity of the Second Respondent’s termination from the Petitioner’s service, the Labour Court, in C.P. No. 327 of 2006, accepted the Petitioner’s explanation that the termination was made without obtaining prior permission from the concerned authority under Section 33(1)(b) of the Act .  As a result, the Petitioner has filed this Writ Petition to overturn the Labour Court’s ruling of November 29, 2011 in C.P. No. 327 of 2006.

The learned Counsel for the Petitioner made a passionate argument that the Second Respondent, who had been hired on a casual basis whenever there was a vacancy when regular employees were on leave, was not a beneficiary of the said industrial dispute, which was the subject of conciliation proceedings at the time of his termination from service, implying that the need for permission under Section 33(1)(b) of the Act does not apply in this case. While referring to the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in New India Motors (P) Ltd. vs K. T. Morris (AIR 1960 SC 875)

The Hon’ble Justice P.D. Audikesavalu dismissed the Writ Petition by stating that the result of the foregoing discussion is that the impugned order dated 29.11.2011 in C.P. No. 327 of 2006 passed by the Labour Court, which does not suffer from infirmity, cannot be interfered by this Court in the exercise of discretionary powers of judicial review of the decision-making process under Article 226 of the Constitution.

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Judgement reviewed by Himanshu Ranjan

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