No Contrary view could have been taken by Labour Court contrary to findings recorded by Industrial Tribunal: Supreme Court  

No Contrary view could have been taken by Labour Court contrary to findings recorded by Industrial Tribunal: Supreme Court  

The Supreme Court ruled that no contrary view could have been taken by the Labour Court contrary to the findings recorded by the Industrial Tribunal. 

Background 

The workman was serving in the post of Conductor. A departmental enquiry was initiated against him alleging not issuing the tickets to 10 passengers though he collected the amount of tickets. In the department inquiry he was found guilty for the misconduct alleged. The employer Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation terminated his services. 

An application for approval of punishment order under Section 33(2)(b) of Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 was submitted before the Industrial Tribunal. 

On appreciation of the entire evidence on record and considering the submissions made on behalf of both the parties, the Industrial Tribunal allowed the application under Section 33(2)(b) of the I.D. Act and granted the approval of the order of termination. Thereafter and after a period of approximately 19 years from the date of passing the order of termination, the workman again raised the Industrial Dispute challenging the order of termination of 2001. By Judgment and Award the Labour Court, Jaipur allowed the said reference and set aside the order of termination.   

Arguments 

Counsel for the appellants submitted that once in an application under Section 33(2)(b) of the I.D. Act and pursuant to the earlier order passed by the Industrial Tribunal, the appellant was permitted to lead the evidence and prove the charge/misconduct and thereafter when the order of termination was approved by the Industrial Tribunal, thereafter it was not open for the workman to again raise the Industrial Dispute that too after a period of 19 years. 

Advocate  H.D. Thanvi, appearing for the respondents, submitted that as observed and held by the Court the proceedings under Section 33(2)(b) and Section 10 of the I.D. Act are distinct and different.

He contended that as observed and held by the Court that the proceedings under Section 33(2)(b) of the I.D. Act are summary in nature and findings recorded while deciding the application under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act shall not affect the substantive right in a reference under Section 10 of the I.D. Act.

Decision 

The division bench of Justice M. R. Shah and Justice Krishna Murari noted that the termination was the subject matter of the approval application before the Industrial Tribunal in an application under Section 33(2)(b) of the I.D. Act. 

The court said that once the order of termination was approved by the Industrial Tribunal and the management was permitted to lead the evidence and prove the misconduct before the Court and thereafter on appreciation of evidence the order of termination was approved, thereafter the fresh reference under Section 10 of the I.D. Act challenging the order of termination was not permissible. 

The bench quashed and set aside the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court confirming the judgment and award passed by the Labour Court setting aside the order of termination and the judgment and award passed by the Labour Court setting aside the order of termination.

Case title: Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation v/s Bharat Singh Jhala (Dead) Son of Shri Nathu  Singh, through Legal Heirs & Anr. 

Citation: Civil appeal no. 6942 of 2022

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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