DELHI TRANSPORT CORPORATION Vs. RAM BHAJ EX CONDUCTOR
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
DELHI TRANSPORT CORPORATION
RAM BHAJ, EX-CONDUCTOR
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MUKUNDAKAM SHARMA, CJ -
(1.) The short question that arises for our consideration in this appeal is whether the respondent is entitled to receive back wages with effect from the date of his termination till the date of his reinstatement i.e. 22nd June, 2005. The service of the respondent was terminated with effect from 3rd October, 1994. Pursuant to an inquiry instituted by the appellant herein, an industrial dispute was raised by the workman " respondent, which was referred to the Labour Court by the appropriate Government under reference dated 13th February, 1996. The appellant " Corporation also filed an application under Section 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 for approval of its action in terminating the services of the respondent " workman. The said application was, however, dismissed in default on 1st of August, 1996. On the reference, the Labour Court held that as the approval application of the Corporation was dismissed, therefore, the workman would be deemed to be in continuous service. Consequently, a direction was issued on the aforesaid reference for reinstatement of the workman with full back wages and continuity of service. The aforesaid directions came to be challenged by the Corporation before the learned Single Judge by filing a writ petition, which was dismissed by the learned Single Judge after referring to the various judgments of the Supreme Court.
(2.) Being aggrieved by the aforesaid decision, this appeal is filed mainly on the ground that the appellant should not be saddled with liability of making payment of entire back wages to the respondent as no service was received by the appellant from the respondent during the aforesaid period during which the respondent was out of service.
(3.) The respondent " workman was proceeded with in a departmental proceeding, on conclusion of which his service was terminated. The approval application, which was filed by the appellant under Section 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act was, however, dismissed. In the reference proceedings, the Labour Court held that as the approval application was dismissed, therefore, the workman would be deemed to be in service and he was not only entitled to reinstatement but would also be entitled to the full back wages and continuity of service. There cannot be any dispute to the fact that the Supreme Court in the case of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation v. Neethivilangan Kumbakonam reported in (2001) 9 SCC 99 : 2001 Labour Law Reporter 539 has held that wherever an application seeking approval under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act is declined, inevitable conclusion is that the workman continues in employment as if his services were never terminated. When an application under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act is rejected by the Tribunal, the order of termination stands obliterated as if it never existed and the workman continues in service and it will be deemed, as if his services were never terminated.;
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