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Management, Central Bank of India v. P.O., Central Govt. Labour Court & another - WRIT - C No. 2588 of 1986  RD-AH 1017 (4 October 2004)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.2588 of 1986
The Management of Central Bank of India Vs. Presiding
Officer, Central Govt., Labour Court and another
Hon'ble V.C. Misra, J.
1. By means of this writ petition, the petitioner-bank has challenged the correctness and validity of the impugned order dated 6.11.1985, annexure-3 to the writ petition passed by the respondent no.1 under Section 33-C (2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as ''the Act').
2. The facts of the case in brief are that the opposite party no.2-Debi Prasad Mehrotra was posted as Assistant Cashier cum Godown-keeper at Hazratganj Brnach, Lucknow. On 13.8.1984, a sum of Rs. one lac in cash was found missing from the cash box lying in the cabin of Chief Cashier of the Branch, where the respondent no.2 was on duty, consequently a First Information Report was lodged on the same day. A show cause memo was issued to him on 14.8.1984 to which he submitted his reply on 16.8.1984. After perusal of the same and finding the explanation unsatisfactory, respondent no.2 was suspended vide memo-dated 25.8.1984. On 19.8.1985, the respondent no.2 was served with a charge sheet. The respondent no.2 being aggrieved by the suspension order, moved an application under Section 33-C (2) of the Act before the respondent no.1 on 20.2.1985, which was registered as L.C.A. No.666 of 1985 wherein it was prayed that the suspension order being illegal, the respondent no.2 was entitled to full salary with allowance from the date he was suspended. Preliminary objections were filed by the petitioner-bank challenging the maintainability of the application on the ground that the suspension order could not be agitated under Section 33-C (2) of the Act.
3. The labour Court-respondent no.1 vide its impugned order dated 6.11.1985, annexure-3 to the writ petition, allowed the application, holding that the management had simply admitted that prior to the suspension order, the management-petitioner had lodged a First Information Report with Hazratganj police station in respect of the shortage of Rs. one lac and the police investigation were still pending. It has been further held that as per para-19.3 of the bipartite settlement, the bank could take step to prosecute or get him (respondent no.2) prosecuted and in such case he could also be suspended. But prior to launching prosecution either by police or by management on complaint, the right to suspend him (respondent no.2) did not arise. The applicant has thus rightly claimed balance of pay and provident fund. Being aggrieved by the passing of the said impugned order dated 6.11.1985, the petitioner-bank filed the present writ petition, which was admitted on 6.2.1986 and till further orders the implementation of the order-dated 6.11.1985 was stayed.
4. I have perused the record of the case including the counter affidavit filed by respondent no.2. The writ petition has been filed mainly on the ground that the respondent no.1 had exceeded its jurisdiction conferred on it as the validity and legality of the order of suspension passed by the petitioner could not be the subject matter of proceedings and determined under Section 33-C (2) of the Act. The legality of the order or suspension could have been raised only on a reference having been made under Section 10 of the Act on raising an industrial dispute, and more so, since the relief asked for by the respondent no.2 and granted by respondent no.1 could not have been granted without setting aside the order of suspension, which could not be set aside by the respondent no.1 while exercising its jurisdiction and authority under Section 33-C (2) of the Act. In fact, the order of suspension has not been set aside and was still operative and in force while the investigation and departmental enquiry against respondent no.2 were still pending.
5. It is now well settled law that the proceedings under Section 33-C (2) of the Act are analogous to execution proceedings and the labour Court, called upon to compute in terms of money the benefit claimed by workman in such cases, is in the position of an execution Court. The labour Court has no jurisdiction to first decide the entitlement of the workman and then proceed to compute the benefits so adjudicated on that basis in exercise of its power under Section 33-C (2) of the Act. In the present case, the labour Court has not entered into or decided the validity of the suspension order under Section 10 of the Act, without which the benefit claimed fell beyond the scope of the proceedings under Section 33-C (2) of the Act. The petitioner is not liable for making any payment of the amount claimed by the respondent no.2 as directed by the respondent no.1 in terms of the impugned award, which is wrong, bad and illegal being without jurisdiction.
6. In view of the above said facts and circumstances of the case, the impugned order dated 6.11.1985, annexure-3 to the writ petition is hereby quashed.
The writ petition is allowed. No order as to costs.
October 4, 2004
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