High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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State of Haryana v. Jagdish Kumar & Anr. - CWP-7675-2006  RD-P&H 3431 (25 May 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
C.W.P. No.7675 of 2006
DATE OF DECISION: 18.5.2006
State of Haryana
Jagdish Kumar and another.
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE J.S. NARANG.
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE ARVIND KUMAR,
Present:- Mr.Ajay Chaudhary, DAG, Haryana for the petitioner.
Challenge in this petition filed under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of India is to the award dated 1.12.2005 (Annexure P-1) by virtue of which respondent No.1-workman has been ordered to be re-instated with continuity of service and other consequential service benefits along with 50% back wages.
The facts are that respondent No.1-workman joined the petitioner- department in January 1995 as Beldar on daily paid basis. His services were terminated on 1.10.1998, which gave rise to an industrial dispute. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court for adjudication. The plea of the workman-respondent No.1 is that his termination is in violation of provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"). He had completed 240 days in 12 calendar months preceding the date of his termination. The persons junior to him have been retained in service. The department contested the claim of the workman on the averments that the workman never completed 240 days of service and he himself abandoned the job. The Labour Court vide the impugned award answered the reference in the manner noticed above. Hence the present writ petition.
We have heard the learned Deputy Advocate General, Haryana for C.W.P. No.7675 of 2006 2
the petitioner and have perused the paper book as also the impugned award.
Learned Deputy Advocate General, Haryana contends that the respondent-workman had only worked intermittently and had not completed 240 days in preceding twelve calendar months, gives no rise to any issue in compliance of Section 25-F of the Act. The impugned award is thus factually incorrect. The argument is not tenable.
The stand of the workman right from the beginning was that he had worked as Beldar on daily paid basis from January 1995 to 30.9.1998. His services were terminated on 1.10.1998. The department before the Labour Court relied upon the document Ex.M-1 to project that the workman rendered no service in the months of November 1997, December 1997, March 1998 and May 1998 to say that he had worked for only 201 days and not 240 days in preceding twelve calendar months. A bare perusal of the award shows that on the application made by the workman, the Labour Court directed the department to produce attendance record of the workman. But due to the reasons best known to it, the department did not produce the said record of aforesaid four months despite granting ample opportunities. The said record was clinching in nature to determine the respective stand of the parties that the workman had or had not worked for 240 days in twelve calendar months preceding the date of his termination. The record was with the department. They maintain it in due course of their business. The department was heavily burdened to produce the same when there were specific orders by the Court. Since the department, withheld the relevant attendance record of the workman, the Labour Court has rightly drawn an adverse inference against the department and has upheld the version of the workman of his having completed 240 days. The department has also not annexed the said attendance record along with present petition leaving this Court to endorse the view of adverse inference taken by the Labour Court.
The plea of the petitioner-department of abandonment of service by C.W.P. No.7675 of 2006 3
the workman is not again convincing. A bare perusal of award shows that no suggestion had been put to the workman that he had abandoned the job. Even the department's witness admitted that there is no entry in record regarding abandonment of service. The Labour Court has rightly concluded that this plea is only to wriggle out of Section 25-F of the Act.
In view of what has been stated above, we find no infirmity or illegality in the findings arrived at by the Labour Court. No interference is called for. The petition is wholly without merit and the same is dismissed in limine.
May 18,2006 JUDGE
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