“Withholding wages for absurd reasons is violative of fundamental rights of the workers- Bombay High Court”

Case title: Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation v. Shri. Dattatraya Ganpat Bankhele 

Case No.: WRIT PETITION NO. 2574 OF 2017 

Dated: April 18, 2024 

Quorum: Justice Sandeep V Marne 



The facts of the case revolve around the petition against the judgement and order dated February 12, 2016, issued by the Member, Industrial Court, Pune, had been abandoned by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC).  

The labour court’s judgement and order from March 25, 2014, which increased the amount of back pay from 25% to 100%, are accepted, and the respondent-employee is granted permission. As a result, the Industrial Court has ordered that 100% of back pay be paid from April 29, 1995, to the day of superannuation or reinstatement, whichever comes first.  

Since November 23, 1978, Mr. Dattatraya Ganpat, the respondent, has worked for MSRTC as a driver. He was sent to the Baramati Depot on January 17, 1991, from the Rajgurunagar Depot, but he failed to report for work there. 

The allegations of an unapproved leave of absence from work beginning on January 17, 1991, were made in a memo of chargesheet filed on April 5, 1991. On January 18, 1991, another chargesheet was released, this one accusing the respondent of invading the MSRTC land at Manchar. 

The Industrial Court, Pune, issued a judgement and order on February 12, 2016, in Revision (ULP) No.60/2014. MSRTC has since abandoned the current appeal objecting to this ruling. The Industrial Court’s decision to reject Revision Application (ULP) No. 28/2014 was not contested by MSRTC, as was previously noted. As a result, the Industrial Court’s decision to raise the backpay amount from 25% to 100% is the sole object of contention in this case. 



The petitioner’s attorney argues that the Industrial Court erred in giving the Respondent 100% back pay even though it was acknowledged that the employee had been absent from work for a considerable amount of time. 

That the Respondent disregarded the transfer order that was issued on January 17, 1991, and that as a result, the Respondent neglected to report for duty at Baramati Depot both during the investigation and until the chargesheet was issued. He was rightfully fired from his job due to an excessively lengthy absence, and the Industrial Court erred in giving him a 100% back pay award. 

It was further argued that the Industrial Court’s justifications for accepting the Respondent’s Revision are illogical. that since MSRTC is a non-profit organisation, it cannot be held accountable for paying back wages for the lengthy period of time between 29 April 1995 and 30 June 2008, the day the respondent reached superannuation. The attorneys appealed for the Industrial Court’s order to be overturned.  



The petition would be opposed by the knowledgeable attorney representing the Respondent, who would stand by the Industrial Court’s decision and order in the Revision. He would argue that the Petitioner has not even provided a copy of the Order and Judgement from the Revision that was passed on February 12, 2016. He would argue that since the Revision’s rejection is not being contested, the reinstatement directive is not being contested in the current case.  

The attorney claims that since the reinstatement directive is uncontested, the award of 100% back pay following the termination order’s ruling of unlawfulness cannot be contested. The attorney will argue that MSRTC has victimised the respondent. Because in order to build the bus stand in Mansar, the Respondent’s ancestral land had to be acquired. that the disagreement between MSRTC and the respondent’s father regarding the occupation of a shed next to the bus station was the true reason for the victimisation of the respondent. 

Regarding that shed, the father of the respondent initiated a lawsuit against MSRTC and was successful in it. Due to the disagreement, the Respondent suffered from unlawful harassment. Medical certificates have been produced as a proper explanation for the respondent’s absence. The respondent’s spouse had been dealing with a kidney issue since 1985 and was receiving ongoing therapy. a procedure that she had on November 14, 1994. The Respondent’s absence has been properly justified in these circumstances.  

Besides, the absence wasn’t lengthy enough to result in the harsh consequence of being fired from the company. It would be the respondents’ prayer that the petition would be denied.  



The court determined that the respondent was moved from Rajgurunagar Depot to Baramati Depot by an order dated January 17, 1991, and was freed on the same day in the MSRTC matter. As a result, MSRTC charged Respondent with violating the transfer order by failing to report for duty at Baramati.  

It was acknowledged that the Respondent did not report for duty until the chargesheet was issued on April 5, 1991. It seems that the Respondent neglected to report for duty for the duration of the disciplinary proceedings as well.  

The court determined that this was clear from the Respondent’s allegations in his complaint, which stated that the Enquiry Offer did not recognise the absence until September 1993. Thus, it can be seen that the respondent was consistently missing from January 17, 191, to September 1993.  

Because of this, the absence of more than two and a half years cannot be dismissed as insignificant or coincidental. Due to MSRTC’s inability to produce its Offer/Witness for cross-examination, the Labour Court has overturned the dismissal penalty and ordered reinstatement. Because of this, the Labour Court has decided to overturn the dismissal penalty due to the actions of the implicated MSRTC. 

The court observed that given the length of time that elapsed between 25 April 1995 and 30 June 2008 and the Respondent’s extended leave of absence from the workforce, it would be reasonable under the particular facts and circumstances of the case to pay 50% back wages. For the purposes of retirement benefits, however, the interim time will be considered as duty.  

The judgement and order dated 25 March 2014 by the Labour Court of Pune was modified by this court to the extent that the Petitioner shall pay the Respondent 50% of the back wages from the date of termination until the date of reinstatement or the date of superannuation, whichever is earlier. The judgement and order dated 12 February 2016 by the Industrial Court of Pune in the Revision is set aside.  

In the end, the court declared that the Writ Petition is partially accepted with the aforementioned directives. A portion of the rule is rendered absolute. 


“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.” 


Judgment reviewed by Riddhi S Bhora. 


Click to view judgment.



In Absence Of This Relevant Material Offence Under Section 11 Of P.C. Act Can’t Be Established: High Court Of Bombay

Title: Anil Goel v Union of India & Anr.

Citation: Criminal Revision Application No.183 Of 2023

Coram: Justice Bharati Dangre

Decided On: 25th OCTOBER, 2023


F.I.R.No.RC/18(A)/2015 dated 18/12/2015 is lodged by the CBI, ACB, Cochin for the offences punishable under Sections 7, 12, & 13(2) read with 13(1)(a) & (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. A primary charge-sheet was fled against the other accused persons named in the F.I.R. , leaving out the Applicant and even during the course of investigation from 2015 to 2019, he was never arrested. On 31/07/2019, C.B.I. fled the supplementary charge- sheet against the Applicant, accusing of committing an offence under Section 11 of the P.C. Act.


The allegation levelled against him is that, while functioning as Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT) from the period between 01/01/2014 to 31/12/2015, he occupied a flat (guesthouse) belonging to M/s Heera Constructions, without payment of any rent. t is a claim of the C.B.I. that as M/s Heera Constructions fell within the assessment jurisdiction of the Applicant, the act of staying in the flat, without payment of rent, constitutes the offence under Section 11 of the P.C. Act.

The investigation had revealed that Heera Constructions had taken the subject flat used by it as guesthouse on lease from another private person. On being taken on lease, the lease rent was paid by it. The Applicant is alleged to have stayed in the Apartment, free of cost, by abusing the offcial position, as Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Thiruvananthapuram. It is alleged that rent of Rs.4,40,000/- was paid by M/s Heera Constructions Pvt. Ltd. to the owner of the Apartment.

It is alleged that Heera Builders paid rent of Rs.20,000/- per month for the period from February 2014 to January 2015 (12 months) and Rs.25,000/- per month from February 2015 to September 2015 (8 months) i.e. Heera Builders paid total rent of Rs.4.4 lakhs to Mrs.Nanma Jayan for the stay of the Applicant in the flat.

The Applicant moved an application for his release on bail, post fling of the charge-sheet on the ground that, he was never arrested during investigation and the same is allowed by the Special Court for C.B.I. at Greater Bombay on 19/09/2022.

The Applicant came to Thiruvananthapuram as CCIT and his sub-ordinate i.e. the ITO showed him the flat, which he was to occupy. Apparently, he did not make any inquiries, unaware about the ownership of the flat or it’s possession. Counsel contended that if it is the allegation that he continued to reside free of cost, then why no notice was ever issued and in fact, the charge-sheet disclose that the service charge, as directed to be paid, was borne by the Applicant from January 2014 to November 2015.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

From reading Section 11 of P.C. Act it is evident that the act of a public servant, accepting or obtaining or attempting to obtain, either for himself or for any other person, any “valuable thing”, without consideration or for an inadequate consideration, from any person whom he knows to have been or to be likely to be concerned in any proceeding or business transacted or about to be transacted by the public servant or has any connect with his offcial position, then such an act would amount to an offence under Section 11.

But, In absence of this relevant material in the charge-sheet, which would constitute as a ground for presuming that the Applicant has committed the offence, the charge must be considered to be groundless, which is a same thing as saying that there is no ground for framing the charge.

Applicant occupied the flat, but has failed to pay the rent and this act is sufficient to make out a prima facie offence under Section 11 read with Section 12 of the P.C. Act though Accused No.2-Sarath was refused sanction and he was not charge-sheeted and, hence, the offence under Sections 34 and 120-B of the IPC is not made out. In absence of establishing that the flat has been enjoyed free of cost and it has a connect with the duty to be discharged by the Applicant in relation to the assessee, merely because a assessee fall within his jurisdiction, it cannot be said that the ingredients of Section 11 are made out. Hence the order dated 13/02/2023 was set aside by the court and the Applicant is discharged from Special Case No.751 of 2022.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

Written by- Sushant Kumar

Click here to view judgement