HINDUSTHAN STEEL LTD. Vs. WEST BENGAL BOARD OF SECONDARY EDUCATION AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
HINDUSTHAN STEEL LTD.
West Bengal Board Of Secondary Education And Others
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Salil Kumar Datta, J. -
(1.)The respondent No. 3 in this Pule was a teacher of the English Higher Secondary School of the Durgapur Steel Plant. She was appointed in terms of a letter dated nil, being Annexure A to the petition. The terms inter alia provided that the appointment would be in the first instance for a period of one year on probation which may be extended at the discretion of the Appointing Authority. After the completion of the probationary period of appointment, the said appointment would be extended for four years during which period the appointment could be terminated at anytime with three months' notice or on payment of three months'pay in lieu of notice or it could be terminated by the employee by serving three month's notice to the Appointing Authority. After the completion of the above period her service would be automatically extended with the above terms and conditions of the four years' service as to termination until she attains the age of superannuation. She was serving the Steel Plant after the expiration of the probationary period and her service was governed regarding its termination by either of the provisions referred to above. By a letter dated the 26th Aug., 1966 the service of the said respondent was terminated with effect from the 1st Sept., 1966 with three months pay in lieu of notice (Annexure B to the petition). She being aggrieved by the above order moved the Labour Department but to no effect. Ultimately on 7.7.67 the present appeal was filed. The Appeal Committee heard the employee as also the Appointing Authority and by its decision taken at its meeting held on the 21st/22nd July, 1967 resovled that the appeal should be allowed in full and thus the prayer of the respondent No. 3, the teacher for reinstatement was allowed.
(2.)The present Rule was obtained by the Hindusthan Steel Ltd. against the above decision. Mr. Nani Coomar Chakraborty, learned Counsel appearing for the Durgapur Steel Plant, has contended that the appeal was filed long after the requisite period and the Appeal Committee under the rules had no power to condone the delay in filing the Appeal. Mr. Chakraborty further has contended that the decision of the Appeal Committee was based on the view that the service of the teacher could not be terminated without assigning any reasons. This, according to Mr. Chakraborty, would mean an insertion of a new clause in the agreement of service which is unwarranted in law. For this reason Mr. Chakraborty has submitted that the decision of the Appeal Committee contained error on the face of the record and the order should be quashed.
(3.)Mr. Bimal Kumar Datta, learned Counsel appearing for the employee, has contended that the Tribunal under its inherent power was entitled to condone the delay and the delay was accordingly condoned after sufficient reason being made out by the petitioner. In support of such submission reliance was placed in the case of Smt. Durga Devi & Ors. Vs. Bhagawandas Jayswal, reported in 67 CWN 935 (at page 937) in which it was stated as follows :
"It cannot be disputed that every Court or Tribunal has some inherent powers - some powers which have not been provided for in the statute or under the rules. Unless the Tribunal or Court has some inherent powers it cannot function from day to day. The Statute and the Rules are not exhaustive. There is no provision in the Calcutta Thika Tenancy Act or in the Rules thereunder corresponding to Order 9, Rule 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure. That may mean, at most, that a party has no independent right to file an application for setting aside the ex parte order. But that does not mean that the Tribunal has no inherent power to correct its mistakes made inadvertently".
This could be done even though there is no express provision in the relevant Act or the rules.
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