Libertatem Magazine

Gujarat High Court Modifies an Impugned Order Passed by Labour Court, Whereby Petitions Were Filed by Employer and Workman

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Both the petitions arose from the award passed by Labour Court, Ahmedabad dated 28.5.2007, whereby the Labour Court had directed the employer-petitioner to reinstate the workman in service with 25% back wages and as both the petitions had arisen out of the same award, both were disposed of by this present order.


The workman was working as a driver in Ganesh Industries. A contract was given to Ganesh Industries by the employer i.e., Esdee Paints Limited and the workman was the contractor’s employee. According to the employer, the workman had abandoned that service since he joined another company. It was alleged that the employer made it clear that the workman was never terminated from service and he had left his job on his own. It was contended by the employer that the workman was called to resume his duty but he didn’t. 

Thereafter, the workman had preferred the claim before the Labour Court, wherein the employer had filed a written statement that the service of the workman was never terminated. It was contended by the employer that the Labour Court had passed the award against the express provisions of law and had ignored the letter written by the employer to the workman and had passed an erroneous award in favor of the workman. It was prayed by the employer to quash that impugned award. The workman had also challenged the said award saying that though relief of reinstatement was granted 100% back wages were not ordered.

Submissions before the Court

Petitioner’s Submissions

It was submitted by Mr. Dave, learned advocate for the employer that the Labour Court had committed an error of facts and law in granting the prayer of reinstatement. He submitted that during conciliation proceedings, the workman was told to resume his service and many letters were sent to him but he didn’t answer and neither resumed his service. According to him, the impugned order of the Labour Court was erroneous. He further prayed to allow the petition filed by the employer and dismiss the petition filed by the workman.

Respondent’s Submissions

Learned advocate Mr. Pinakin Raval for the workman had submitted that the award granting reinstatement was legal and valid. According to him, there was no error of facts and law in it. However, he submitted that the Labour Court had committed the error of facts and law is not granting full back wages. He submitted that the Labour Court had considered paying only 25% back wages to the workman and to that extent, the award must interfere and 100% back wages may be awarded to the workman.

Court’s Observations

The Court considered the submissions made by both learned advocates and the impugned order passed by the Labour Court, Ahmedabad, from which it appeared that the workman had stated that he was serving as a daily wager with the employer since 1996 and was retrenched by the employer without any notice or any payment. Against this, the employer had the stand that though the workman was informed to resume his duty, he didn’t join the service. On perusal of the award, it seemed that the Labour Court had concluded that the factum of retrenchment of the workman was proved and, on that basis, the Labour Court had granted reinstatement with 25% back wages.

The Labour Court had granted reinstatement as there was a breach of provisions of Section 25-F of the Industrial Disputes Act. It was a settled principle that in case a daily wager was reinstated, the employer had every right to retrench the workman from his service. The Apex Court had observed that then the workman may be awarded a monetary lump sum amount instead of reinstatement. Therefore, in this case, considering the long period of proceedings, no purpose would be served by reinstating the workman, however, monetary compensation instead of reinstatement could be granted to meet the ends of justice. Hence, given the facts of the present case and the fact that the workman was drawing Rs.74/- per day, as well as considering the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Tapash Paul Vs. BSNL, the Court opinionated that if Rs.1,50,000/- would be awarded as lumpsum compensation instead of reinstatement, it would meet the ends of justice.

Court’s Directions

Accordingly, the petitioners were directed to pay Rs.1,50,000/- to the workman within three months, failing which the workman shall then be entitled to claim interest at the rate of 9%. It was observed that the aforesaid amount would be in addition to the amount paid to him till now. With the aforesaid direction, the impugned award of the Labour Court, Ahmedabad was modified and both the petitions were disposed of.

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