Decided on April 12,2007

Presiding Officer, Labour Court And Ors. Respondents


Brahma Singh Verma, J. - (1.)By means of this writ petition, the Petitioner has prayed for issue a writ order or direction in the nature of certiorari quashing the award dated 16 -6 -1995 passed by the Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Uttar Pradesh, Dehradun, whereby it has been held that the removal from service of workman Mansa Ram Nainwal driver from 31 -3 -1993 by the employers was not illegal and improper and that the workman is not entitled to any relief.
(2.)Relevant facts giving rise to the present writ petition are that the Petitioner was appointed as Driver in the U.P. State Road Transport Corporation (for short the Corporation) on 1 -11 -1988 and during the relevant period, he was driver on Bus No. UGA -9338. On the fateful day, i.e. 10 -10 -1990 the Petitioner was on duty and he took the Bus in question on Dehradun -Mussoorie road. When the bus reached near village Bhatta, another bus of Corporation, namely bus No. UGA -9479 was coming down the hill from opposite direction towards Dehradun at a high speed and bus of the Petitioner was climbing the hill road towards Mussoorie. As soon as the said bus UGA -9338 reached near Magic Pan Restaurant, then in order to save the bus coming downwards, the driver lost control over the bus and it rolled down in a gorge about 500 Mt. deep with the result, as many as 12 passengers including the conductor Arjun Singh lost their lives in the said accident and 25 passengers suffered grievous injuries. The Petitioner also sustained injuries in the said accident.
(3.)The Petitioner workman was placed under suspension under the orders of the Assistant Regional Manager (Hill) Dehradun dated 16 -10 -1990 and departmental disciplinary -proceedings were initiated against the driver and he was charge sheeted vide letter dated 25 -1 -1991. The charges levelled against the driver included that of rash and negligent driving of the bus in question. A reply was filed by the Petitioner on 15 -2 -1991 and a departmental enquiry was initiated against the Petitioner. The Petitioner was given opportunity to cross -examine the witnesses of the Corporation and to lead his defence. The departmental inquiry was conducted by Sri H.S. Saxena, I.F.S. (Retired). In the inquiry report, charges were not found proved. The punishing authority did not agree with the enquiry report and issued a show cause notice against the Petitioner dated 18 -12 -1991. In that show cause notice, the Regional Manager/Punishing Authority has concluded that there was no defect in the bus prior to the accident and the accident in question took place due to rash and negligent driving of the bus by the Petitioner resulting to death of 12 persons and heavy financial loss was caused to the Corporation. By the show cause -notice, the Petitioner was required to submit his reply within 15 days as to why he be not removed from the service. The Petitioner filed his reply to the said show cause notice, which is Annexure No. 3 to the writ petition. In his reply, the Petitioner had submitted that there was no evidence on the point of rash and negligent driving and the attribution of this charge is result of personal opinion of the punishing authority. In the last it was contended that the punishment proposed is major penalty and harsh and severe in nature.

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