LENA RATNAM Vs. INDIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY MADRAS STATE BRANCH
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
INDIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY MADRAS STATE BRANCH
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(1.) THE plaintiff in O. S. No. 408 of 1962 on the file of the City Civil Court, Madras, who lost both before the trial Judge as well as the appellate Judge is the appellant before this Court. She was appointed as a lecturer in Medical Social Work by the first respondent on 3rd November, 1956. However, in September, 1960 the department in which the appellant was working was itself transferred to the 2nd respondent and consequently her services also were transferred to the 2nd respondent, Subsequently, certain events happened, the result of which was that the appellant's services were terminated by the 2nd respondent by notice dated 29th June 1961. It is thereafter that she instituted the suit in question praying for "a declaration that the notice, dated 29th June 1961 terminating the services of the plaintiff is illegal, void, inoperative and of no effect, and that the plaintiff still continues to be in the service of the defendants, and for directing the defendants to pay the plaintiff her salary and allowances from 1st August 1961 onwards which upto date of plaint amounts to Rs. 1,692 with interest at 6 per cent, per annum on the sum of Rs. 1,692/- from the date of plaint. "the claim was based on several grounds. The first ground was that having been appointed by the first respondent, the 2nd respondent had no right or power to terminate the services of the appellant, and therefore the termination of her service was illegal. The second ground was that in any event the termination amounted to retrenchment as contemplated by the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and the appellant not having been paid retrenchment compensation as provided for in the Act the retrenchment was illegal. The third ground was that the Committee of the second respondent which terminated the appellant's services was not properly covened, since the required notice was not given to the members concerned.
(2.) THE learned Second Assistant Judge, by his judgment and decree, dated 5th January 1965, dismissed the suit of the appellant, He recorded a finding that the case of the appellant, that the termination of her services was illegal, was established. He also recorded further findings that the 1st and 2nd respondents, namely, the Indian Rid Cross Society, constituted an industry, that therefore the Industrial Disputes Act applied, that the termination of the appellant's services was not by way of retrenchment, and that hence the claim of the appellant based on the alleged retrenchment was not sustainable. The learned Judge was of the view that the only remedy of the appellant was by way of damages for wrongful dismissal and she could not get a declaration that she still continues to be in service.
(3.) THE appellant preferred an appeal and the same was disposed of by the learned Principal Judge, City Civil Court, on 19th February 1966. As far as the finding of the trial Judge that the termination of the services of the appellant was illegal was concerned, this is what the Principal Judge recorded in paragraph 22 of his judgment: The learned trial Judge has upheld the appellant's contention that the termination of her services by the committee of the 1st (sic) respondent was illegal on the ground that no notice of the meeting had been given at which the resolution terminating the appellant's services was parsed to some of the members of the committee. This finding has not been challenged by the learned Counsel of the respondents in the course of his arguments in appeal However, the learned Principal Judge was of the view that the proper remedy of the appellant was to file a suit for damages for illegal termination of her services and that she was not entitled to the relief asked for in the present suit. With regard to her claim on retrenchment, the learned Principal Judge agreed with the conclusion of the learned trial Judge. Ultimately he also dismissed the appeal and hence the present second appeal.;
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