Decided on January 27,2005



- (1.) The present petition is filed under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of India challenging the legality, validity and propriety of the order, dated March 17, 2004 Annexure P-13 passed in Civil Appeal No. 408/MPIR/A-II/2002 by the Industrial Court, Raipur (C.G.). By the impugned order, the learned Industrial Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the petitioner against the order, dated December 17, 2002 Annexure P-12 passed in Case No.31/MPIR/92 by the Labour Court, Raipur.
(2.) The facts of the case are that the petitioner filed an application under Section 31(3) read with Section 61 of Madhya Pradesh Industrial Relations Act, 1960 before the Labour Court, Raipur, alleging that he was working as conductor in the establishment of the respondents since the year 1980 and was dismissed from service by the order of respondent No. 2 bearing No. 203, dated August 31, 1991 Annexure P-8. The further allegations are that a departmental enquiry was conducted against him and respondent No. 2, dismissed him after recording a finding of misconduct. He further alleges that the aforesaid departmental enquiry was not conducted in accordance with law as the fundamental principles of natural justices were not complied with and in fact, he was not afforded any opportunity of being heard in the said enquiry. He prayed for setting aside of the aforesaid order and also for reinstatement alongwith the back-wages.
(3.) The documents in relation to departmental enquiry have also been filed by the petitioner. It transpires from the aforesaid documents that on March 12, 1991, the petitioner was on duty as a conductor in Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus No. 7588 which was plying from Raipur to Fingeshwar. The bus was stopped by the checking party and after checking it was found that out of 15 passengers sitting in the bus, 10 were travelling without ticket. On investigation it was further found that the petitioner had realised the amount of fares from the said passengers, but the tickets were not issued to them. The cognizance in the matter was taken and a charge-sheet was issued to the petitioner by the enquiry officer vide No. 633 on April 2, 1991. The copy of the charge-sheet has been filed as Annexure P-1. The charge-sheet discloses the particulars of charges and it also discloses that the act of the petitioner was serious misconduct under Clauses 12(1) (b)(d)(f) of the Standing Orders applicable in this case. A reply to the aforesaid charge- sheet was submitted by the petitioner, the copy of which has been filed as Annexure P2. The documents filed alongwith the writ petition show that the evidence etc., were also recorded by the enquiry officer and after completion of the enquiry, the charges were found to be proved against the petitioner. Thereafter, on May 31, 1991, an order of dismissal was passed against the petitioner holding him guilty of gross misconduct under Clauses 12(3)(b)(6) of the said Standing Orders. It is after this, the petitioner challenged the legality and validity of the said order before the Labour Court on the grounds referred to above by filing an application under Section 31(3) read with Section 61 of the MPIR Act. After issuance of the notice by the Labour Court, the respondents also filed their written statement. The Labour Court framed 3 issues in this case, which are as follows: Vernacular matter omitted Issue No. 1 was treated as a preliminary issue and after giving due opportunities of hearing to both the parties, the same was decided by an order, dated August 21, 2000, which is filed as Annexure P-11. By the said order the enquiry was held to be illegal. Thereafter, the enquiry was conducted by the Labour Court. After considering the entire evidence and documents on record, the Labour Court decided the other two issues against the petitioner and it was held that the petitioner was guilty of misconduct and finally the application filed by the petitioner was dismissed.;

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