Decided on May 29,2020

Lakhamshi Govindji Haria School Appellant
Kirit Bhupatbhai Bhatt Respondents


- (1.) This petition is filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, in which, the petitioner has prayed that the award dated 17.12.2016 passed by the Labour Court in Reference (T) No.163 of 2004 be quashed and set aside.
(2.) Heard learned advocate Mr.Nirav Mishra for the petitioner and learned advocate Ms.Asmita Patel for respondent No.1.
(3.) The factual matrix of the present case is as under: 3.1 It is stated that as per the case of respondent No.1, he was serving as Peon in the petitioner School from 04.04.1994 till the date of his alleged termination in the month of December, 1998. As the services of respondent No.1 came to be terminated, he raised a dispute which was referred to the Labour Court, Jamnagar. The statement of claim was filed by respondent No.1 and the petitioner filed written statement wherein the petitioner has raised preliminary objection on the ground of maintainability of the said dispute. It was contended in the said application filed by the petitioner that there is a delay of approximately six years in raising the dispute and, therefore, the same is not maintainable. 3.2 It is stated that the Labour Court by way of the impugned award partly-allowed the Reference and, thereby, the petitioner herein is directed to reinstate respondent No.1 on his original post with continuity of service i.e. from the date of Reference with 30% backwages for the said period. The petitioner, therefore, filed the present petition. 3.3 Learned advocate Mr.Mishra mainly contended that there was a delay of approximately six years in raising the dispute and, therefore, the Labour Court ought not to have granted reinstatement with continuity of service and 30% backwages from the date of filing of the Reference. It is submitted that respondent No.1 has not explained the delay in raising the dispute and, therefore, in absence of any explanation rendered by respondent No.1, the Labour Court ought to have rejected the Reference filed by respondent No.1. 3.4 Learned advocate Mr.Mishra referred the documents placed on record including the statement of claim, written statement, preliminary objection raised by the petitioner, the depositions of the witnesses and, thereafter, submitted that in the facts and circumstances of the present case, the direction issued by the Labour Court is required to be quashed and set aside. 3.5 Learned advocate Mr.Mishra has placed reliance upon the decisions rendered by the Honourable Supreme Court in the cases of Prabhakar Vs. Joint Director Sericulture Department reported in 2015(15) SCC 1 and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Vs. Bhurumal reported in 2014(7) SCC 177. 3.6 Learned advocate Mr.Mishra has placed reliance upon the order dated 11.06.2018 rendered by the learned Single Judge of this Court in Special Civil Application No.5260 of 2015 wherein similar type of issue was raised and, thereafter, submitted that the said order is confirmed by the Division Bench of this Court in Letters Patent Appeal No.1432 of 2018 vide order dated 29.11.2018. 3.7 Learned advocate for the petitioner alternatively contended that at the most, lumpsum compensation can be awarded to respondent No.1 in the facts and circumstances of the present case. ;

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