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Chief G.M.,S.B.I. v. P.O. - WRIT - C No. 17609 of 1985  RD-AH 20527 (5 December 2006)
Judgment Reserved on 14.11.2006
Judgment Delivered on 5.12.2006
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 17609 of 1985
Chief General Manager State Bank of India Vs. Presiding Officer Industrial Tribunal and another.
Hon'ble S.U.Khan J
This writ petition is directed against award dated 15.7.1985 given by Presiding Officer Central Government, Industrial Tribunal, Kanpur in Industrial Dispute No. 251 of 1983.
The Central Government had referred the dispute for adjudication to the effect that whether action of management of S.B.I Lucknow in relation to their Bhognipur Branch, district Kanpur in terminating the service of Sri Pramod Kumar Srivastava (respondent No.2 in the writ petition) Temporary Messenger with effect from 31.5.1982 was justified or not.
Through the impugned award, it was held that respondent No.2 had worked for 89 days i.e. from 4.3.1982 till 31.5.1982.
The Labour Court further held that other persons were appointed after the removal of respondent No.2 and one person who was appointed only three days earlier was allowed to be continued. In the opinion of the Labour Court this was unfair Labour practice (para 15 of the award). Ultimately Labour Court held the termination order to be illegal and directed reinstatement of the workman with full back wages. In the award reference was also made and reliance was placed upon Shastri award.
In this writ petition on 30.1.1986, a blanket stay order was passed staying the operation of the impugned award. However, on 23.3.1987 the said stay order was modified directing the petitioner to deposit full wages already awarded by the presiding officer of the Industrial Tribunal and respondent No.2 was held entitled to withdraw the half of the amount deposited on furnishing adequate security. Future wages were also directed to be paid.
There was no question of violation of section 25-F of Industrial Disputes Act, as respondent No.2 had not worked for 240 days. He had worked only for 89 days. As far as engagement of other temporary or casual employees is concerned, it could not be taken into consideration by the Labour Court as it was not subject matter of reference. The question as to whether at the subsequent stage instead of engaging fresh hands respondent No.2 should have been reemployed was not referred.
The Supreme Court in the following authorities has considered the point in question:
1. Regional Manager S.B.I Vs. Raja Ram 2004(8) SCC 164.
2. Regional Manager S.B.I Vs. R.K.Tiwari AIR 2006 SC 839
3. Civil Appeal No. 4636 of 2006 Regional Manager SBI Vs. Mahatma Mishra decided on 1.11.2006 (copy of the said judgment down loaded from the internet has been supplied by the learned counsel for the Bank). The said case was directed against judgment of this court dated 20.2.2006 passed in writ petition No. 14605 of 1985.)
In the case of Mahatma Mishra the findings of the Labour Court have been quoted which are as follows:
"In the instant case before termination of Mahatma Mishra two other persons worked as temporary messenger and after his termination several others were also appointed and worked as temporary messenger. Thus there was vacancy of permanent nature and had workman allowed to be continued after 88 days he could have acquired status of permanent messenger and it was on that account his services were terminated two days before which was unfair (sick) on the part of the management Bank."
In the said case also the High Court in the writ petition filed against the award of the Labour Court had directed payment of future wages which direction had been complied with. The matter was heard finally by the High Court after 20 years and it was found that reinstatement should continue but back wages should not be paid. Placing reliance upon he authority of Raja Ram at serial No. 1 Supreme Court set-aside the Labour court award as well as judgment of the High Court holding the approach of the High Court on the basis of sympathy to be erroneous.
Accordingly writ petition is allowed. Impugned award is set-aside. However, the amount which has already been paid to respondent No.2 shall not be refundable.
It is further directed that the back wages which may have been deposited under interim order passed by this court shall be returned to the bank. In case respondent No.2 has withdrawn half of the wages in terms of the interim order then the said wages shall not be refundable and security furnished by the respondent No.2 for withdrawing the said amount shall stand discharged. However if the said wages have not been withdrawn by the workman then the same shall also be returned to the Bank.
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