Decided on August 30,1973



- (1.) THE petitioner-company, Messrs. Utkal Automobiles (Private) Limited (hereinafter described as petitioner) had in its employment at Cuttack branch opposite party No. 3, Tulbahadur, as its watchman. Opposite party No. 3 was found negligent of his work. In spite of warnings, it is alleged, he did not improve. He was charge-sheeted on several occasions and suspended but thereafter excused. However, in the year 1967 as opposite party No. 3 did not like to serve any further he was paid his dues till 5-1-1967 and was relieved of his work. Yet he continued hovering round the company's premises and so a discharge certificate was issued to him by the director of the company on 8-81967 (annexure-1 ). The opposite party No. 3, however, did not raise any dispute with the management but complained before the District Labour Officer that he had been discharged from service for filing a complaint before the District Labour Officer regarding an accident in which he received injuries while working under the petitioner by a truck that had come for repair to the workshop of the petitioner for which he had claimed sick leave and cost of medicines.
(2.) BEFORE the District Labour Officer the management denied the allegation of opposite party No. 3 and asserted, as in this petition, how he was negligent for which he had to be charge-sheeted and suspended several times but excused with warnings. Ultimately, he left service with a discharge certificate on 8-8-1967. As no settlement was arrived at the Conciliation Officer submitted a report to the State Government. Hence a reference was made to the Industrial Tribunal on the following terms; Whether the discharge from service of Sri Tul Bahadur with effect from 8-8-1967 by the management of Utkal Automobiles (Private) Limited, Cultack is legal and/or justified? If not, to what relief he is entitled ? Before the Industrial Tribunal the management examined its branch manager Mr. M. J. Ali and the opposite party No. 3 examined himself. The learned Tribunal found that the management had failed to prove its case of voluntary retirement and so the workman's case that he was discharged from service must be accepted. Accordingly, the learned Tribunal held that opposite party No. 3 will be entitled to be re-instated in service with full back wages (annexure 5 ). It is this finding of the learned Tribunal that is sought to be quashed in this writ petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution.
(3.) OPPOSITE party No. 3 in his counter stated that he had never been found negligent of his work nor warned for his misconduct except on one occasion for late attendance in 1964. However, he asserted that the management without any fault illegally discharged him without framing any charges and that the allegation in the petition that this was done following the model standing orders was false.;

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