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SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE - INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYMENT (STANDING ORDERS) ACT, 1946 - SECTION 10-A - (Suspension Allowance cannot be claimed by a delinquent employee unless he is placed under suspension) - The Industrial Employment (standing Orders) Act, 1946

The respondent workman was in the employment of the petitioner institution as Lab Assistant and during his employment he remained willfully absent from duty. Treating this sort of omission of the respondent as a serious misconduct, the employer proceeded against him and subjected him to disciplinary inquiry. Upon conclusion of the disciplinary inquiry, the respondent workman was found guilty of the misconduct attributed to him and by way of punishment he was removed from service.

Being aggrieved, the respondent raised an industrial dispute which was referred to the Labour Court upon failure of conciliation proceeding. In that reference, the respondent filed an application under Section 11-A of the I. D. Act assailing the inquiry. The Labour Court after considering the application, declared the disciplinary inquiry to be unfair and invalid and permitted the employer to adduce evidence for proving the alleged misconduct. It so happened that after passing of the said order the respondent made an attempt to claim subsistence allowance by filing a separate application. The Labour Court allowed the same and granted subsistence allowance to the respondent. It is this order which is challenged by the petitioner college in the present petition.

The High Court pointed out that the respondent, though subjected to disciplinary inquiry, was never suspended and as such he was drawing his salary as per the pay scales. It was therefore held that the Labour Court was in serious error in invoking section 10-A of the I. D. Act. The High Court therefore, allowed the writ petition and set aside the impugned order passed by the Labour Court with a direction to proceed with the case as expeditiously as possible.

-Principal Gramothan Agriculture, Arts, Commerce College v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. H. C. Raj. 2017.

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