Decided on September 20,1983



A.P.RAVANI, R.C.MANKAD - (1.) THE petitioner herein challenges the award passed by the Labour Court Vadodara in Reference (LCS) No. 190 of 1979 by which the respondent-workman was ordered to be reinstated on his original post (Helper) with 50% backwages from the date of discharge till reinstatement. THE case of the workman was that he was working with the petitioner-Company for last about 22 years before the date of reference. On 7/12/1979 without any reason and without any fault on his part he was discharged from service. Despite the demand having been made by him he was not taken on service and therefore he preferred his claim. THE reference having been made by the competent authority the respondent - workman submitted his statement of claim while the petitioner-Company though served with a notice did not appear. Hence the Labour Court proceeded ex parte and after examining the workman and on the basis of the evidence recorded passed an award on 11/08/1980 directing the petitioner - Company to reinstate the workman on his original post with 50% backwages from the date of discharge till the date of reinstatement.
(2.) THIS award is challenged by the petitioner-Company on the ground that no notice has been served upon the petitioner by the Labour Court. It is contended that the proceedings before Labour Court have been carried on in violation of the principles of natural justice inasmuch as no notice of the proceedings was ever served upon the petitioner. In reply affidavit the workman has filed certain correspondence and at Annexures F and G two letters have been produced. Annexure F shows that the Secretary of Gujarat Engineering and General Kamdar Union had written a letter addressed to the petitioner -Company. By this letter the petitioner-Company was informed that the date of filing reply to the claim statement which was sent to the petitioner along with the letter was 20/05/1980 It was also mentioned in the letter that the information was given as per the direction given by the Labour Court. THIS letter was replied to by the petitioner by its letter dated 16/04/1980 (Ann. `G) wherein the petitioner acknowledged the letter dated 9/04/1980 In this letter the petitioner contended that they were working as Contractor to M/s Dodsal Private Limited for supplying labourers on each and every contract and in that view of the matter the petitioner had no other alternative but to terminate the services when the contract for which the workman was engaged was over. It was also mentioned in the letter that the workman was taken in service on daily wage basis and in case there is any possibility of giving a new job he would be engaged in a new job in future. It may be noted that in this letter the petitioner has nowhere stated that they were not aware of the proceedings before the Labour Court or that the intimation given by the Secretary of the Union was not proper and sufficient or that it was not in accordance with law Strangely enough there is no reference to these two letters in the entire petition which runs into about seven pages A pointed question was put to the counsel for the petitioner as to why the fact regarding this correspondence particularly Annexures F and G by which it clearly transpires that the petitioner had a notice of the proceedings before the Labour Court was not brought to the notice of the Court by mentioning the same in the petition ? The petitioner was even given intimation about the next date of hearing by a letter written by the Secretary of the Union as per the direction given by the Labour Court. There is no explanation whatsoever as to why this fact was not brought to the notice of the Court as the time of admission of the petition. THIS is a very important and material fact. Since this important and material fact appears to have been deliberately suppressed from the Court we are not inclined to interfere with the award passed by the Labour Court on this ground of suppression of material fact alone. Even on merits we feel that once there is a notice either in prescribed form or in any other manner the party concerned is bound to take cognizance thereof and appear before the Court concerned. It may be noted that it was not the contention of the petitioner that it had received notice but since the same was not in prescribed form it had chosen not to appear before the Labour Court. In this view of the matter also the award passed by the Labour Court is not required to be interfered with. Hence the petition requires to be rejected. Rule discharged with cost. Rule discharged.;

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