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Kavilash v. Labour Court U.P. & Others - WRIT - C No. 35961 of 1999  RD-AH 7081 (7 December 2005)
Civil Misc.Writ Petition No.35961 of 1999
Labour Court, Uttar Pradesh, Bareilly & others
Hon.Shishir Kumar, J.
This writ petition has been filed for quashing the impugned orders dated 11.5.1989, 12.2.1990 and 11.3.1999 (Annexures 8, 11 and 13 to the writ petition) passed by the respondent Nos. 1, 2 and 3.
The facts arising out of the writ petition are that the petitioner was appointed on 17.5.1971 on the post of Conductor at Pilibhit Depot. On 14.12.1998 when the petitioner returned from the allotted route along with the bus and went to deposit the cash amount and remaining tickets in the office of Depot, he was searched by Audit Officer Mr.S.K.Tiwari and it was found that in his bag 224 tickets of different amounts were available in the bag and after counting it was found that the tickets of 50 paise, Rs.1.00, Rs.2.00, Rs.3.00, Rs.4.00, Rs.5.00, Rs.10.00, Rs.20.00 and Rs.30.00 were found in quantity of 34, 64, 17, 14, 37, 32, 16, 3 and 7, total 224 respectively. A report was submitted by the Audit Officer against the petitioner. The petitioner was suspended and charges were framed against the petitioner and a charge sheet was given to the petitioner. Against the charge dated 30.12.1988, the petitioner made a representation on 24.1.1989 before the respondent No.2 explaining that on 14.12.1988 there was some hot exchange among the petitioner and other employees with leaders of the Union and resulting therein the leaders were angry with the employees. The aforesaid activities were not in knowledge of the petitioner and when the petitioner entered into the office to deposit the cash amount suddenly the informant put his hand forcibly in his bag and stated that some old tickets have been found in the bag of the petitioner. An Enquiry Officer was appointed and has submitted a report. Subsequently, a show-cause notice was issued against the petitioner and on the basis of the said show-cause notice and the enquiry report, an order of dismissal dated 11.5.1989 was passed by the respondent No.2 holding therein that the charges levelled against the petitioner is un-controverted and the petitioner neither produced any eye witness denying the allegation nor cross-examination has been done as such, it is clear that the petitioner was involved in selling old tickets.
Being aggrieved by the dismissal order dated 11.5.1989, the petitioner preferred an appeal before the respondent No.3 and an explanation to that effect has also been submitted by the petitioner before the respondent No.3 denying the allegations that during enquiry the enquiry officer has not followed the proper procedure and at the time of enquiry not a single witness was examined by the Enquiry Officer. The conclusion drawn by the Enquiry Officer is against the law and cannot be sustained but appeal filed by the petitioner was dismissed by the respondent No.3 vide order dated 12.2.1990. Aggrieved by the aforesaid order of dismissal of appeal of the petitioner, the petitioner raised a dispute on the ground that the order dated 11.5.1989 is totally discriminatory, bad in law and not sustainable. The petitioner further submits that opportunity of hearing was not provided to the petitioner nor the representation made by the petitioner was considered. There was some delay in filing the reference, as such, the delay in filing the reference was condoned by order-dated 24.5.1990 and the notices were issued to the parties for further hearing. Before the respondent No.1 the statement of the petitioner was recorded on 21.7.1992 and the statement of the enquiry officer was also recorded on 8.9.1992 and the statements of Dhani Ram Senior Clerk and Anil Kumar Dixit were also recorded on 3.12.1996 before the respondent No.1 but the Labour Court had passed an award and has confirmed the order of dismissal dated 11.5.1989 holding therein that the petitioner is not entitled for any relief.
Aggrieved by the aforesaid order, the petitioner has approached this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
Notices were issued and a counter affidavit has been filed. Sri Samir Sharma who appeared for the respondents has submitted that the bag of the petitioner was checked by Sri S.K.Tiwari, Audit Officer and has discovered that about 224 old used tickets of different values were in possession of the petitioner. It clearly goes to show that the bus conductor was using the old tickets against the departmental rule and there is a presumption that such a person was issuing the old tickets to the passengers, embezzling corporation revenue, hence a report of misconduct was submitted against the petitioner. The Enquiry Officer was appointed and a detailed departmental enquiry was conducted against him in which charges of serious misconduct were proved against the petitioner and the disciplinary authority issued a show cause notice was satisfied that the charges levelled against the petitioner have been proved as such, an order of dismissal has been passed. The Labour Court after careful consideration of the entire material on record vide its award dated 28.9.1998 come to a finding that the charges of serious misconduct is to prove against the petitioner and as such, the Labour Court upheld the order of punishment against the petitioner.
It has been submitted on behalf of the respondents that the Labour Court on the basis of appreciation of evidence has recorded a finding of fact that the charges levelled against the petitioner has been proved. The Labour Court being a last Court of fact this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot interfere and this Court should not interfere in the finding of fact recorded by the Labour Court.
I have heard learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri Samir Sharma, who appears for the respondents and have perused the record.
The award of the Labour Court has been perused. The petitioner has not come out with the case before this Court as well as before the Labour court that during enquiry proceeding the petitioner was not afforded an opportunity and there is a procedural flaw in the enquiry proceeding. The Labour Court has taken the statement of the enquiry officer and other relevant persons as DW-1 and DW-2 and it has been proved on the basis of the statements of the witnesses that charges are proved and they are reliable witness and from the exhibit E-11, it has been proved that 224 tickets were found in possession of the workman respondent. It is now well settled that the Labour Court is a last court of fact and if the Labour Court or the Industrial Tribunal have considered the relevant records and the statements and have come to the conclusion then this Court while exercising the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India should not interfere. The aforesaid view finds supports from the judgment reported in 2005 Supreme Court Cases (Labour and Service) 372 Management of Madurantakam Corporation Sugar Mills Ltd. Vs. S.Vishwanathan. Paras 12, 13, and 16 are relevant. The Apex Court has clearly held that in labour matters finding of fact has been recorded by the Labour Court or the Industrial Court is a final Court of fact, there is a very limited scope of interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
In view of the aforesaid fact, I find no error in the award of the Labour Court. The writ petition is devoid of merits and is hereby dismissed. Interim order if any, is vacated.
There shall be no order as to costs.
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