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U.P.STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION versus UDAI NARAIN BAJPAI AND OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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U.P.State Road Transport Corporation v. Udai Narain Bajpai And Others - WRIT - C No. - 34852 of 1996 [2007] RD-AH 18831 (12 December 2007)

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Court No.35

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.34852 of 1996

U.P. State Road Transport Corporation and others

Versus

Udai Narain Bajpai and others

Hon.Shishir Kumar, J.

The present writ petition has been filed for quashing the award dated 25.6.1996 published on 25.7.1996 (Annexure 1 to the writ petition).

Sri Samir Sharma, learned counsel for the petitioners has raised an objection that in view of the fact of the present case, the labour Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the claim petition. The respondents after the punishment has approached the High Court of Lucknow Bench by way of filing a Writ Petition No.1001 of 1989 which was finally decided on merits by order dated 24.7.1992 holding as under:-

" I have very carefully gone into the order of punishment imposed upon the petitioner. The punishing authority passed a very detailed and well reasoned order. The petitioner was given sufficient reasonable opportunity to show cause against the proposed punishment. If the petitioner adopted dilatory tactics and failed to avail the opportunity offered to him, he has to blame himself for the same. The Enquiry Officer recorded the statement of Sri K.N. Quraishi on 3.10.88. On 24.10.88 when the oath was given to cross-examine V.K.Dixit, the Traffic Inspector, then the authorized representative of the petitioner raised objections, that although he was a witness, but only the reporting officer, hence his statement could not be taken. Similar objections were raised when M.Quraishi was examined on 3.10.88. The authorized representative of the petitioner created disturbance and tried to interrupt the proceedings, as a result of which the enquiry had to be adjourned on 22.11.88. The delinquent himself appeared, but demanded time for taking assistance of any other person. The proceedings were adjourned upon his application on 6.12.88. On 6.11.88 only delinquent appeared and preferred an application insisting for taking of assistance of Mohd.Mushtaq and when the application was rejected and the statement of P.K.Dixit was being recorded, he boycotted the proceedings. The statements of P.K.Dixit, R.C.Chaturvedi and R.K.Srivastava were recorded on oath. From the aforesaid facts, it is apparent that the petitioner failed to avail the opportunity, which was given to him. The order passed by the punishing authority does not suffer from any infirmity. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed."

Meaning thereby the writ petition filed by the respondent-workman was dismissed on merits holding therein that the punishment awarded against the workman, a proper disciplinary inquiry was held and in spite of the notice he has not appeared and participated in the proceedings. The workman concerned against the aforesaid order filed a Special Appeal No.286 (S/B) of 1992 (Udai Narain Bajpai Vs. The Managing Director, U.P. State Road Transport Corporation & others) which was dismissed by order dated 16.5.1994 by passing the following orders:-

"Counsel for the appellant prays for and is permitted to withdraw the Special Appeal with liberty to seek his remedy before the U.P. State Public Services Tribunal.

Standing counsel Miss Veena Sinha, very fairly states that if the Tribunal is moved within a fortnight from today, no objection shall be raised on the ground of limitation.

A copy of this order be given within three days on payment of requisite fee."

The workman concerned approached the State Tribunal and withdrawn the claim from the Tribunal, which is apparent from para 5 of the Labour Court award.

Then the respondent-workman has approached the labour Court as Claim Petition No. 5 of 1995 and the Labour court vide its order dated 25.6.1996 had passed an award of reinstatement with full back wages and has directed to pay the said amount within a period of one month.

Sri Samir Sharma, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that in view of the facts and circumstances of the present case, finality has been attached regarding the punishment and procedure of the inquiry against the workman concerned by the High Court in the writ petition, the labour Court has no jurisdiction to held otherwise. As finality has been attached to the judgment passed by the High Court, therefore, the labour Court had no option except to reject the claim of the respondent-workmen.

Further Sri Sharma, learned counsel who appeared for the Corporation has submitted that the labour Court award is liable to be quashed only on this ground alone that there was no pleading by the workmen concerned regarding the validity of the chargesheet issued by the competent authority. It was only during the cross examination. He has crated a doubt that the chargesheet has not been signed by one Sri H.K.Singh. The petitioners were not given any opportunity to this effect. As there was no pleading in the written statement by the workman, therefore, there was no occasion for the petitioner to rebut the claim of the workman concerned. The Labour Court only on this ground alone that as it has not been proved that the chargesheet has been signed by the competent authority, as such, the total proceeding is vitiated against the workmen concerned.

On the other hand Sri Ashwani Misra, who appeared for the respondents stated that the total proceedings against the workman concerned is liable to be quashed only on the ground that no proper opportunity was ever given to the respondents. The Labour Court after considering all the questions has given an award. Therefore, the writ petition is liable to be dismissed.

I have considered the submissions on behalf of the parties and have perused the record.

Against the order of termination, the respondent-workman has filed a writ petition as mentioned above and the writ petition was heard on merits by Hon'ble Single Judge holding therein that orders of punishment is legal and the procedure during the inquiry is correctly being taken according to law and the principle of natural justice have been followed. The aforesaid judgment passed by the High Court has become final and it has not been set aside by any Court of law. The contention of the respondents is not acceptable to this effect that the Special Appeal Court has given a liberty to file claim petition before the Service Tribunal, therefore, it will be presumed that order of writ Court has been set aside or the Tribunal or Labour Court should not take into consideration of the order of dismissal of the writ petition.

I have perused the order. The Special Appeal Court has only permitted to withdraw the appeal on the request of the respondents with a liberty to approach the Service Tribunal. Admittedly, the respondents have approached the Service Tribunal but has got withdrawn the claim petition and then he raised a dispute before the Labour Court.

In my opinion, the labour Court after the judgment and order passed by the High Court in Writ petition No. 1001 of 1989 has got no jurisdiction to give an award in favour of the respondent-workmen. The High Court being a superior Court of law has got the precedence, therefore, if a judgment has attached the finality, the labour Court has got no jurisdiction to set aside it impliedly. The Judgment and order passed by the High Court is binding upon the labour Court. There is another aspect of the matter also to set aside the labour Court award only on the ground that there was no pleading before the labour Court regarding the fact that the chargesheet, has been issued and signed has not been singed by the competent officer and it does not bears the signature of Sri H.K.Singh. It was only in the cross examination, this point was raised. The petitioners were not afforded an opportunity to rebut such claim of the respondent-workmen. The award of the labour Court is based only on the ground that as the charge sheet has not been signed by the competent authority whose signature has been made on the chargesheet, therefore, the total proceeding against the respondent-workmen is vitiated in law.

In my opinion, the aforesaid finding to this effect by the labour Court and awarding the relief of reinstatement and full back wages only on this basis is perfectly illegal .

In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the present case, the writ petition is allowed an the award dated 25.6.1996 published on 25.7.1996 (Annexure 1 to the writ petition) is hereby quashed.

No order as to cost.

12.12.2007

SKD


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