CO OPERATIVE SUGARS LTD Vs. CO OP S C EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
CO-OPERATIVE SUGARS LTD.
CO-OP. S.C. EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
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(1.)The original petition is filed praying for the issue of a writ of certiorari to call for the records of the case connected with I.D. No.89 of 1978 on the file of the Labour Court, Kozhikode and to quash the award,
(2.)This is yet another case where justice is denied to workmen by a long delay of 24 years since their suspension and 10 years since the award. Though one of them has retired, the other has been reinstated in the year 1993. They were yet to see the results and it is probable that this may go beyond this century before reaching the finality. The management had delayed the passing of the final order of termination by six years since the submission of the report and 11 years after the passing of the award. Reference was sought to a Larger Bench at the time of hearing to decide the question of permissibility of adducing additional evidence before the Labour Court, This we have declined since the principle has been settled by the Supreme Court in Shambhu Nath v. Bank of Baroda ( AIR 1984 SC 289 ).
(3.)Two workmen belonging to the 1st respondent Union were suspended on 6-1-1971 and 31-1-1971 respectively on the allegation that they had failed to remit a sum of Rs.250/- and Rs.200/- respectively. After framing charges and enquiry the management found them guilty and were terminated on 9-5-1972. On appeal before the Board of Directors fresh enquiry was ordered and the second enquiry report was submitted on 10-11-1972. One of the workers was exonerated and the other one was found guilty, but was recommended for reduction of pay by the executive committee on 2-4-1973. The Board did not accept the recommendations but chose to refer the matter for the opinion of another member of the Board who happened to be the District Collector of the Palghat District. The District Collector/member appears to have approved the recommendation of the executive committee on 14-3-1975, Not being satisfied with this opinion the Board once again referred it for the opinion of the other member of the Board on 17-8-1975. The said member gave his opinion on 5-10-1977 reversing the findings of the 2nd enquiry officer and also of the executive committee and found the workers guilty. The management accepted his opinion and terminated the workers from service by order dated 1-2-1978. On reference for adjudication before the Labour Court on 4-10-1978 the 1st respondent Union filed their statement on 4-1-1979 and the management filed the written statement on 15-3-1979. The Union filed their rejoinder on 4-5-1979 and the award was passed on 1-2-1985 holding that the management has violated the principles of natural justice by deliberately delaying the proceedings so as to enable them to get a favourable report in their favour. Labour Court also held that there was no valid and proper enquiry conducted. The Labour Court further found that no opportunity was sought for adducing fresh evidence in support of the charge and therefore ordered reinstatement of the workmen with backwages.
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