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Termination - Retrenchment Compensation - Necessity of holding Enquiry - The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

The petitioner was appointed as Bungalow Peon of the first respondent on 22.9.1992. He was removed w.e.f 17.12.1993 without assigning any reason and was paid one month's, notice pay and salary for seven days but no retrenchment compensation was paid. It is alleged that after his termination many persons were appointed as Bungalow Peons but the case of the petitioner was not considered though he was entitled for such appointment under section 25-H of the Act. He filed O.A. before CAT Hyderabad. CAT opined that he ought to have availed the remedy under the Industrial Disputes Act. Then he raised industrial dispute. After failure of conciliation, the matter was referred to the Government recommending adjudication by industrial tribunal. But no steps were taken by the Ministry. The petitioner, filed writ petition seeking directions to the Government. The writ petition was disposed of with permission to the petitioner to file Claim/petition before the Labour Court. In the meantime, the Government referred the matter. Labour Court passed an Award directing the respondent no.1 to reinstate the petitions- with continuity in service, back wages and other benefits. Respondent no.1 did not implement the Award. The petitioner filed execution before the Tribunal. At this stage respondent no.1 writ petition challenging the Award. Writ petition was dismissed with liberty to respondent no.1 to challenge the ex parte Award before the' Tribunal. Thereafter respondent filed application before. the Tribunal for setting aside the ex parte Award with application for condonation of delay. However, the Tribunal declined to condone the delay. This order of the Tribunal was challenged by respondent no.1 by filing writ petition. Writ petition was disposed of with the direction to the Tribunal to consider the matter afresh. Thereafter the matter was taken up for hearing on merits. The Labour Court held that the present petitioner is not entitled to any relief. The petitioner has filed the present petition challenging the Award of the Labour Court.

The Court examined the issue whether the termination of the petitioner was justified and also when the termination is 'termination simplicitor' whether holding of enquiry would be necessary.

The Court observed that the order of termination does not indicate that it is punitive in nature as no reason like the services of the petitioner are unsatisfactory was mentioned in the termination order simplicitor. Moreover, the termination order has been passed in accordance with the conditions mentioned in the appointment order. Ordinarily and generally the Court is required to look to the order on the face of it and find whether it casts any stigma on the employee whose services are terminated. It is well considered view of the Court that when the termination is not punitive and is not by way of punishment and the order of termination on the face of it does not cast any stigma on the petitioner. In the present case the authorities chose not to hold enquiry against the petitioner but chose to exercise powers under the terms and conditions of the appointment order and issued simple termination order which does not cast any stigma on the petitioner. In the present case the authorities chose not to hold enquiry against the petitioner but chose to exercise powers under the terms and conditions of the appointment order and issued simple termination order which does not cast any stigma upon the petitioner. The termination order itself says that the petitioner is to pay and allowances for one month in lieu of the period of notice. The petitioner has failed to establish that after retrenchment some individuals were employed as Bungalow Peons and were later absorbed. The writ petition is devoid of merits and is dismissed.

-H.C. Hyd. CLR I 2018 M. Jangaiah v. Chief Personnel Officer, O/O General Manager, SC Railways and Anr. 

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