Decided on October 24,1968



- (1.) THESE two writ petitions arise out of an industrial dispute which culminated in an award by the industrial tribunal, Calicut, evidenced by Ex. P. 1 dated 16 June 1966. Original Petition No. 3368 of 1966 is filed by the management and Original Petition No. 3378 of 1966 by the workman whose alleged wrongful termination from service formed the subject-matter of the industrial dispute.
(2.) THE petitioner in Original Petition No. 8368 of 1966, hereinafter referred to as the petitioner, is the owner of a rubber estate having an extant of about 174 acres. The petitioner in Original Petition No. 3378 of 1966 hereinafter referred as the workman, was employed there as a maistri until 20 April 1964 on which date the management retrenched him from service under the order produced and marked before the tribunal as Ex. W. 7. The workers' union raised an industrial dispute challenging the bona fides and validity of this retrenchment on the ground that it was an act of victimization prompted by ulterior motives on account of the trade union activities carried on by the workman. It was further contended that the retrenchment was in violation of Section 25g of the Isdustrial Disputes Act, 1947, since the workman in question had been retrenched while persons junior to him belonging to the same category ware being retained in service. The said dispute having been referred for adjudication to the industrial tribunal, Calicut, the tribunal conducted a detailed investigation into both the aforesaid points in controversy between the parties. The tribunal has found on a consideration of the evidence that the retrenchment of the workman was in contravention of Section 25g since another maistri by name Munjell Thomas, who was Junior in service compared to the petitioning worker, had been retained in service and was still continuing as a maistri in the estate in question. It further found that the evidence clearly established that the retrenchment had been reported by the management only for the reason that the workman in question had proved himself to be a thorn on the side of the management by reason of his union activities. The tribunal therefore came to the conclusion that the retrenchment was not bona fide but was an act of victimization. In view of the Above fixings the further question naturally arose before the tribunal as to what relief the workman was entitled to. Relying on the circumstance that subsequent to the impugned order evidenced by Ex. W. 7 the management had effected a further retrenchment of thirteen toppers under a settlement evidenced by Ex. M. 3 thereby reducing to six the total number of tappers employed in the estate, the tribunal considered that the case was not a fit one for directing reinstatement of the workman and the only relief that the workman was entitled to be granted is the payment of full wages from the date of the impugned retrenchment order to the date of Ex. M. 3 settlement, that is, from 20 April 1964 to 20 April 1965. Accordingly it passed an award directing the management to pay to the workman his full wages for the aforesaid period covering one year.
(3.) IN Original Petition No. 3368 of 1966 It is contended on behalf of the management that the tribunal was not Justified on the evidence adduced in the case in recording the conclusion that the retrenchment was not bona fide and was really an act of victimization. The management also challenges the correctness of the finding entered by the tribunal in regard to the contravention of Section 25g of the Industrial Disputes Act. Finally, It is urged that even if the aforesaid findings are to be assumed to be correct, the compensation awarded to the workman is excessive and should have been fixed at a much lesser amount.;

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