Decided on August 29,2007



HIMA KOHLI, J. - (1.) The petitioner has assailed an award dated 20th December, 1996 passed by the Industrial Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as `the Tribunal') wherein, considering the fact that no statement of claim was filed by the petitioner workman and none appeared on his behalf, a no relief award was passed. The petitioner workman has also challenged the orders dated 1st May, 1998 by which his application seeking to set aside the aforesaid exparte award dated 20th December, 1996 was allowed conditionally upon payment of Rs.100/- as costs to the respondent management by 21st May, 1998. The petitioner workman has also challenged the order dated 21st May, 1998 on which date, the file was consigned to the record room for the reason that none was present on his behalf and nor had compliance of the order dated 1st May, 1998 been made. The last order challenged in the present proceedings is the order dated 5th February, 2002 rejecting the application filed by the petitioner workman for setting aside the order dated 21st May, 1998, on the ground that no sufficient cause had been shown by the petitioner workman for non-compliance of the orders dated 1st May and 21st May, 1998 and that the explanation offered on his behalf did not inspire confidence for want of reliable record.
(2.) The factual matrix of the case is as follows. The petitioner workman was employed as a Driver in the respondent management and was assigned the the duty of driving the vehicle of the Director of the respondent management. It is alleged by the respondent management that while on duty at the residence of the Director, the petitioner workman along with a security guard molested an ayah and they were apprehended red handed in the act in the presence of witnesses.
(3.) The stand of the respondent management is that the services of the petitioner workman could have been terminated at that point itself in accordance with law on the grounds of moral turpitude, but at the insistence of the petitioner workman that he be given another opportunity, his services were not terminated and instead, he was transferred from Delhi to Bangalore as per the terms of his contract of employment, along with the security guard who was simultaneously transferred to Lucknow. While the security guard duly complied with the transfer order, the petitioner workman refused to comply with the said order and instead of reporting for duty at Bangalore, he sent a notice dated 5th December, 1994 to the respondent management through the union seeking revocation of the order of transfer. Thereafter, he raised an industrial dispute before the conciliation officer followed by the reference made to the Tribunal in the following terms: "Whether the transfer of Sh.Jaswant Singh Mehta Driver from Delhi to Bangalore is justified" If not to what relief is he entitled and what directions are necessary in this respect.";

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