MULLER AND PHIPPS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED NEW DELHI Vs. K C SUD
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
MULLER AND PHIPPS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED,NEW DELHI
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Das Gupta, J. -
(1.)This appeal is against an order of the Judge, Labour Court, Delhi, in an application under S. 33C of the Industrial Disputes Act by the respondent, K. C. Sud by which the Court computed the amount due to the petitioner by way of gratuity under an award to be Rs. 80.42 nP. Only. Sud, who was a workman of the appellant company, M/s. Muller and Phipps (India) Ltd., was retrenched by the company on 31-1-1958. At that time a reference on the question of introduction of a gratuity scheme for the workmen of the company was pending before the Industrial Tribunal. An application by Sud against this order of retrenchment under S. 33A failed. In the reference above mentioned the Court made an award framing a gratuity scheme in the following terms:
"On the death of an employee while in the service of the company, or on his becoming physically or mentally incapable of further service, half a month's basic salary or wages each year of continuous service shall be paid to the disabled employees, or if he had died, to his heirs or legal representatives or assigns.
On voluntary retirement or resignation of an employee, after five years' continuous service, half a month's basic salary or wages for each year of continuous service.
On termination of service by the company, half a month's basis salary or wages for each year of completed service."
(2.)The scheme was also made applicable with effect from the date on which the reference had been made, viz., June 28, 1957. It was on the basis of this award that Sud had made his application under S. 33C, his case being that as his retrenchment amounted to termination of service within the meaning of the award he was entitled of half a month's basic salary for each year of completed service. Admittedly he had completed two years of service. It is also not disputed that his basic wage at the time of retrenchment was Rs. 80.42 nP. If, therefore he is entitled to have a gratuity in accordance with the scheme of the award the amount due to him will be Rs. 80.42 nP.
(3.)Of the many contentions raised on behalf of the company in resisting the petition, all of which were rejected by the Court below, the only one which is pressed before us is on the question whether the respondent is entitled to recover gratuity under this scheme in addition to the compensation, he had admittedly received already in accordance with the provisions of S. 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act. In support of this contention it is urged that the gratuity which the respondent claims is in essence the same thing as compensation for his retrenchment and to allow him gratuity in addition to retrenchment compensation under S. 25F would be to give double benefit for the same event i.e., retrenchment. This it is urged is unfair to the employer and is against the Industrial Disputes Act.
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