Calcutta High Court Disposes the Petition Directing the Petitioner To Clear the Due Arrears

Facts of the Case

The Petitioner claimed to be engaged as a Customer Agent by A. I. Airport Services Limited and was asked to function at Calcutta as such. The terms and conditions of her engagement were contained in the agreement dated 27th August 2019. The engagement of the Petitioner was for three years initially and the total pay and allowances for three years was stipulated thereto.

Further, the appointment of the Petitioner as the customer agent under the aforesaid contract was renewed on two occasions while the contract of the petitioner was terminated on 3rd December 2020. Aggrieved by her termination, the Petitioner filed the instant petition.

Petitioner’s Arguments

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Counsel for the Petitioner contended that the Petitioner was an employee of Respondent no. 1 and her termination was stigmatic.

Further, the Petitioner submitted that any termination of the contract would amount to a termination of service which warranted a regular departmental enquiry.

Respondent’s Arguments

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Counsel for the Respondents contended that the Petitioner was engaged under a contract and therefore, cannot claim any status of an employee with the Respondents. 

Further, it was contended that the contract was terminated in terms of the agreement and thus, questions of any stigma or otherwise cannot arise.

Court’s Observation

The Hon’ble Justice Rajasekhar Mantha observed that keeping in view the issue of maintainability of the writ petition on the ground that the petitioner can claim to be a workman within the meaning of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and therefore, her remedy would therefore lie before the Industrial Tribunal and the affidavit-in-opposition be filed by the respondents within four weeks from date. Further, since the learned advocates for the petitioner submitted that the tribunal is inoperative for the time being, therefore, payment of arrears payable should be made by the respondents.

Judgment

The Hon’ble Court disposed of the instant petition by directing for the arrears of payment, if any, under the contract payable to the petitioner which should be made by the Respondents within fifteen days from the date.

Further, it was held that the payment made by the Respondents and receipt by the Petitioner shall be without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties to the instant writ petition.

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Click here to view full judgment.


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