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CLAIM FOR GRATUITY-DISMISSAL-CONVICTION UNDER INDIAN PENAL CODE-(Forfeiture of Gratuity-Justification). - The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972

The husband of petitioner was employee of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. (BCCL). He was stated to have been convicted under section 302, Indian Penal Code. He was also charged for having disproportionate assets. However, due to insufficient evidence, the case was dropped against him. In the departmental proceedings, on the charge of disproportionate assets, the deceased was found guilty and was dismissed from service vide order dated 25.11.2006. In the same order, gratuity was also directed to be forfeited. Other benefits, except gratuity as applicable to a dismissed employee were directed to be released. The husband of petitioner died on 28.8.2010. The widow and LRs of the deceased filed application before Controlling Authority and ALC praying for payment of gratuity which was allowed. This order was challenged by the employer before Appellate Authority. The appeal was dismissed. The employer has challenged the same by way of present writ petition.

The Court examined the issue whether Appellate Authority was justified in granting gratuity to the deceased employee's wife confirming the order of Controlling Authority and ALC.

The Court held that Appellate Authority chose to sit in appeal over order of dismissal without any justification. Appellate Authority failed to appreciate that authorities denied gratuity to the deceased employee as they found moral turpitude in his conduct. Once employer concludes that charges in nature of moral turpitude have been proved in lawful enquiry, there is no need for further proceedings. Appellate Authority's order and reason for upholding order of Controlling Authority are devoid of reasons. Orders of Appellate Authority and Controlling Authority are set aside. Writ Petition allowed.

-H.C. Cal. 2018 Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. v. Appellate Authority under P.G. Act and y. Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) Asansol and others. 

THE PAYMENT OF GRATUITY ACT, 1972

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