RADHASHYAM ROUT Vs. STATE OF ORISSA AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
State of Orissa and Ors.
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R.N. Misra, J. -
(1.) THE Economic Transport Organisation (opp. party No. 3), as the name indicates, is a transport system by road. Petitioner was employed as a workman under the said Organisation. He was prosecuted in the Court of a Magistrate at Cuttack for the offence of theft under Section 380 I.P.C. Simultaneously petitioner was subjected to a disciplinary proceeding and placed under suspension by order dated 17.11.1973. In the disciplinary action, the workman's services were terminated, but petitioner was acquitted of the criminal charge. Petitioner demanded reinstatement in service after the judgment of acquittal was passed and when the management failed to take him back, a dispute was raised which became the subject -matter of conciliation. The conciliation officer submitted a failure report as per Annexure 7 to the State Government and in due course by order dated 19th March, 1976 (Annexure 8), the State Government passed the following order:
On a consideration of the above report of the conciliation officer, the State Govt. are satisfied that there is no case for reference of the dispute for adjudication as the union representing the workman failed to substantiate that the action taken by the management in dismissing the workman from service after conducting domestic enquiry was illegal, unfair or improper.
By this application for a writ of certiorari the workman has asked for quashing the order of the State Government refusing to make the reference on the footing that the ground on which reference has been refused is not tenable.
(2.) OPPOSITE parties 1 and 2 have filed a counter - -affidavit through the Deputy Secretary, Labour, Employment and Housing Department and have contended:
...The discretion conferred upon the State Govt. under Section 12 of the Act (Industrial Disputes Act, 1947) is very wide and the order passed thereon cannot be interfered with by the Hon'ble Court in exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction unless the Court comes to the conclusion that the said order has been passed on any extraneous consideration. In this case the impugned order would indicate that the State Govt. was satisfied that there is no merit for reference as the workman failed to substantiate that the action of the management in dismissing the workman from service after conducting the domestic enquiry was in any manner illegal or improper....
Opposite party No. 3, the employer, has filed a separate affidavit through its Zonal Manager and has supported the action of the State Government in refusing to make the reference. The records relating to the domestic enquiry have been produced and it is maintained that a fair opportunity had been extended to the petitioner in the disciplinary action. There being no foundation for the allegation that the disciplinary action or the domestic enquiry was vitiated on account of the motive of victimisation, it was pleaded, the Governmental action is not open to challenge.
Mr. Patnaik for the petitioner concedes that the statute (i.e., the Industrial Disputes Act) confers wide discretion on the State Government in the matter of making a reference and as is pointed out by the Supreme Court in the case of Bombay Union of Journalists and Ors. v. : (1964)ILLJ351SC :
It is no doubt desirable that the party concerned should be told clearly and precisely the reasons why no reference is made, because the object of Section 12(5) appears to be to require the appropriate Government to state its reasons for refusing to make a reference, so that the reasons should stand public scrutiny; but that does not mean that a party challenging the validity of the Government's decision not to make a reference can require the Court in writ proceedings to examine the propriety or correctness of the said reasons. If it appears that the reasons given show that the appropriate Govt. took into account a consideration which was irrelevant or foreign, that no doubt, may justify the claim for a writ of mandamus. But the argument that the pleas raised by the appellates two have been considered and not the third, would not necessarily entitle the party to claim a writ under Article 226.
Petitioner has not been able to show that the domestic enquiry was not proper and since that was the main contention of the petitioner, the State Govt. was justified in coming to its conclusion that no case for a reference was made out. We do not think it is a fit case where the order of the State Govt. should be quashed and they should be called upon either to make a reference or to reconsider the matter. The writ application accordingly fails and is dismissed. We make no order for costs.
B.K. Ray, J.
(3.) I agree.;
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