GURMAIL SINGH Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
LAWS(SC)-1990-10-12
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
Decided on October 25,1990

GURMAIL SINGH Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF PUNJAB Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

ROOPAM SHARMA VS. GOVERNMENT OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-1999-7-104] [REFERRED]
SURAJ PAL SINGH VS. PRESIDING OFFICER [LAWS(DLH)-2005-9-8] [REFERRED TO]
BHUPAT SINGH VS. HINDUSTAN TIMES LTD [LAWS(DLH)-2006-5-207] [REFERRED TO]
INDIA TRADE PROMOTION ORGANISATION VS. WORKMEN OF ITPO [LAWS(DLH)-2007-12-78] [REFERRED TO]
LAXMAN N GOL VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-1996-9-24] [REFERRED]
KUSUMBAHEN BACHUBHAI MEHTA VS. NAVSARI NAGAR PALIKA [LAWS(GJH)-1998-11-27] [REFERRED]
KUMAR G MEHTA VS. GUJARAT HOUSING BOARD [LAWS(GJH)-1999-2-15] [REFERRED TO]
BHAVNAGAR MUNICIPAL CORPORATION VS. KUMAR G MEHTA [LAWS(GJH)-2000-3-5] [REFERRED TO]
SIMPLEX ELECTRONICS VS. VIMLABEN ATMARAM YADAV [LAWS(GJH)-2009-11-265] [REFERRED TO]
ANDREW BANRILANGUMDOR VS. STATE OF MEGHALAYA [LAWS(GAU)-2007-9-29] [REFERRED TO]
RAI RAVINDRA KISHORE SRIVASTAVA VS. STATE OF U.P. [LAWS(ALL)-2012-5-8] [REFERRED TO]
MUKESH KUMAR VS. MANAGING DIRECTOR M P RAJYA SAHAKARI BANK MARYADIT [LAWS(MPH)-1994-10-11] [REFERRED TO]
CENTRE OF INDIAN TRADE UNION VS. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH [LAWS(MPH)-2002-1-8] [REFERRED TO]
S PUSHPA VS. GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2004-2-66] [REFERRED TO]
SPENCER CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND SERVICE LTD VS. PRESIDING OFFICER INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL [LAWS(MAD)-1995-3-22] [REFERRED TO]
WORKMEN OF TANSI STRUCTURALS VS. GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU [LAWS(MAD)-1996-2-100] [REFERRED TO]
SPENCER GROUP AERATED WATER FACTORY EMPLOYEES UNION VS. PRESIDING OFFICER INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL [LAWS(MAD)-1996-3-17] [REFERRED TO]
GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU VS. M ANANCHU ASARI [LAWS(MAD)-1997-9-50] [REFERRED TO]
GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU VS. M ANANCHU ASARI [LAWS(MAD)-1997-9-50] [REFERRED TO]
WORKMEN OF BHARAT SKIN CORPORATION VS. PRESIDING OFFICER I ADDL LABOUR COURT [LAWS(MAD)-1998-10-64] [REFERRED TO]
JOHN DE BRITTO VS. GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU [LAWS(MAD)-2000-7-122] [REFERRED TO]
TAMIL NADU STEEL EX EMPLOYEES ASSN VS. GOVERMENT OF TAMIL NADU [LAWS(MAD)-2001-1-21] [DISTINGUISHED]
K V Mahalingam VS. Tamil Nadu Electricity Board [LAWS(MAD)-2002-7-141] [REFERRED TO]
ANOOP SHARMA VS. EXECUTIVE ENGINEER PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION [LAWS(SC)-2010-4-48] [REFERRED TO]
GUJARAT ELECTRICITY BOARD THERMAL POWER STATION UKAI GUJARAT VS. HIND MAZDOOR SABHA [LAWS(SC)-1995-5-30] [REFERRED TO]
AVAS VIKAS SANSTHAN VS. AVAS VIKAS SANSTHAN ENGINEERS ASSN [LAWS(SC)-2006-3-8] [REFERRED TO]
RAM PRAVESH SINGH VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(SC)-2006-9-54] [REFERRED TO]
PRAMOD JHA VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(SC)-2003-3-56] [REFERRED]
PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK VS. ALL INDIA NEW BANK OF INDIA EMPLOYEES FEDERATION [LAWS(SC)-1997-2-153] [RELIED ON]
HINDUSTAN LEVER LTD VS. CONTRACT LAGHU UDYOG KAMGAR UNION MALAD [LAWS(BOM)-2009-6-161] [REFERRED TO]
DEVINDER SINGH VS. MUNICIPAL COUNCIL SANAUR [LAWS(SC)-2011-4-23] [REFERRED TO]
APAR INDUSTRIES LIMITED VS. NATWARSINH NAHARSINH SINDHA [LAWS(GJH)-2003-9-81] [REFERRED]
MAHARASHTRA GENERAL KAMGAR UNION VS. O L OF AHMEDABAD MANUFACTURING AND CALICO PRINTING MILLS CO LTD [LAWS(GJH)-2009-12-246] [REFERRED TO]
MEDICAL OFFICER VS. DASHRATHSINH GAJUBHA ZALA [LAWS(GJH)-2011-5-126] [REFERRED TO]
MANAGEMENT OF E I D PARRY INDIA LIMITED VS. GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU [LAWS(MAD)-2006-1-56] [REFERRED TO]
U K SUBRAMANIAM VS. N MEENAKSHI [LAWS(MAD)-2007-4-344] [REFERRED TO]
JAYESH DAYARAM BHOIR VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA,THROUGH THE SECRETARY [LAWS(BOM)-2012-6-7] [REFERRED TO]
MANAGEMENT OF NEW ALLENBERRY VS. PRESIDING OFFICER INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL-CUM-LABOUR [LAWS(P&H)-1995-1-2] [REFERRED TO]
ROOP NARAIN SHUKLA VS. PRESIDING OFFICER INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL [LAWS(P&H)-1997-5-15] [REFERRED TO]
PUNJAB STATE TUBEWELL CORPORATION LTD VS. JAGIR SINGH [LAWS(P&H)-2010-5-65] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF GUJARAT THROUGH SECTION OFFICER VS. KALIDAS BHIKHABHAI DUDHREJIYA [LAWS(GJH)-2011-12-287] [REFERRED TO]
DIRECTOR, KEYSTONE INDUSTRIES LTD VS. LABOUR COURT CONSTITUTED [LAWS(CHH)-2007-2-30] [REFERRED TO]
N RANGASWAMY VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2012-4-19] [REFERRED TO]
S.MUNIYANDI VS. STATE OF TAMILNADU [LAWS(MAD)-2012-12-113] [REFERRED TO]
AIR INDIA AIRCRAFT ENGINEERS' ASSOCIATION VS. AIR INDIA LTD [LAWS(BOM)-2013-4-3] [REFERRED TO]
NAND LAL VS. PRESIDING OFFICER, LABOUR COURT [LAWS(P&H)-2013-1-165] [REFERRED TO]
HARYANA STATE FEDERATION OF CONSUMERS COOPERATIVE WHOLESALE STORES LTD VS. PRESIDING OFFICER [LAWS(P&H)-2013-4-67] [REFERRED TO]
KERALA STATE H AND PD CORPN. AND ASSOCIATION VS. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION COMMR [LAWS(KER)-1996-1-71] [REFERRED TO]
SRI AJIT KUMAR KAKOTI VS. STATE OF ASSAM [LAWS(GAU)-2013-6-11] [REFERRED TO]
HARIRAM SEN VS. M.P.HOUSING BOARD [LAWS(MPH)-2013-7-119] [REFERRED TO]
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER VS. SATISH [LAWS(BOM)-2013-7-217] [REFERRED TO]
CHANDERPATI VS. PRESIDING OFFICER, INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL-CUM-LABOUR COURT, ROHTAK [LAWS(P&H)-2013-7-133] [REFERRED TO]
BLOCK DEVELOPMENT AND PANCHAYAT OFFICER CUM EXECUTIVE OFFICER VS. BALBIR SINGH [LAWS(P&H)-2014-1-56] [REFERRED TO]
HARYANA STATE ELECRICITY BOARD VS. PRESIDING OFFICER LABOUR COURT AMBALA [LAWS(P&H)-2014-3-61] [REFERRED TO]
ANIL KUMAR VS. EXECUTIVE ENGINEER [LAWS(P&H)-2009-7-160] [REFERRED TO]
DIRECTOR, PRIMARY EDUCATION, HARYANA VS. SURESH KUMAR [LAWS(P&H)-2014-5-18] [REFERRED TO]
BHAI SARABJIT SINGH VS. INDU SABHARWAL [LAWS(DLH)-2014-3-217] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF PUNJAB VS. BODH RAJ [LAWS(P&H)-2014-7-19] [REFERRED TO]
SHADI LAL MALIK VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(P&H)-2012-3-90] [REFERRED TO]
MUNICIPAL COUNCIL VS. PRESIDING OFFICER, LABOUR COURT [LAWS(P&H)-2014-10-11] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF HARYANA VS. SHADI LAL MALIK [LAWS(P&H)-2014-10-13] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF RAJASTHAN & ANR. VS. LABOUR COURT, AJMER & ANR. [LAWS(RAJ)-2011-9-93] [REFERRED TO]
HINDUSTAN TIMES LIMITED VS. AITA RAM [LAWS(DLH)-2015-2-194] [REFERRED TO]
RAJASTHAN HOUSING BOARD AND ORS. VS. JUDGE, INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES TRIBUNAL AND ORS. [LAWS(RAJ)-2015-4-28] [REFERRED TO]
JOSEPH PULLAN AND ORS. VS. NORTH EASTERN HILL UNIVERSITY AND ORS. [LAWS(MEGH)-2015-8-5] [REFERRED TO]
EXECUTIVE ENGINEER, FATEHABAD WATER SERVICES DIVISION VS. SURESH KUMAR [LAWS(P&H)-2015-2-508] [REFERRED TO]
DISTRICT TRANSPORT OFFICER, PANIPAT VS. RAJESH [LAWS(P&H)-2014-2-367] [REFERRED TO]
K MANI VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-2014-8-879] [REFERRED TO]
S D PATEL VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2016-2-12] [REFERRED TO]
GUJARAT MAZDOOR SABHA VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2016-2-14] [REFERRED TO]
J.ABRAHAM VS. STATE OF TAMIL NADU [LAWS(MAD)-2014-12-372] [REFERRED TO]
CHAMAN LAL SADANA VS. FINANCIAL COMMISSIONER AND SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT, PUNJAB, DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIES, CHANDIGARH [LAWS(P&H)-1993-1-135] [REFERRED TO]
HARI SINGH VS. PRESIDING OFFICER AND ANOTHER [LAWS(P&H)-1992-10-97] [REFERRED]
BASTI RAM VS. INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNA [LAWS(P&H)-2014-1-565] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF RAJASTHAN AND ANOTHER VS. LABOUR COURT, AJMER AND ANOTHER [LAWS(RAJ)-2011-11-123] [REFERRED TO]
JOSEPH KUNJU ZACHARIAH VS. SENIOR DIVISIONAL MANAGER AND OTHERS [LAWS(KER)-2015-10-260] [REFERRED]
SINI BEN VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(KER)-2015-10-286] [REFERRED]
H T MEDIA LTD VS. SHASHI BHUSHAN SINGH & ANR [LAWS(DLH)-2010-6-118] [REFERRED]
COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT OF PEOPLES ACTION & RURAL VS. RAMESH CHANDER [LAWS(DLH)-2013-1-457] [REFERRED]
EXECUTIVE ENGINEER, TAMIL NADU WATER SUPPLY AND DRAINAGE BOARD, URBAN DIVISION, FORMERLY AT KANAKA APARTMENT VS. K ANNA LOURDU [LAWS(MAD)-2010-12-444] [REFERRED]
DINESH VS. PRESIDING OFFICER, INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL-CUM-LABOUR COURT-1, GURGAON AND ANOTHER [LAWS(P&H)-2013-7-1140] [REFERRED]
JAI NARAIN KAUSHIK AND OTHERS VS. STATE OF HARYANA AND ANOTHER [LAWS(P&H)-2012-1-877] [REFERRED]
PRINCIPAL CHIEF CONSERVATOR OF FOREST AND ANOTHER VS. VAN VIBHAG MAJDOOR UNION AND ANOTHER [LAWS(P&H)-2014-12-390] [REFERRED]
THE PRINCIPAL CHIEF CONSERVATOR OF FOREST, PANCHKULA AND ANOTHER VS. RAM KARAN AND ANOTHER [LAWS(P&H)-2012-9-738] [REFERRED TO]
D.G. VASUDEV VS. GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA & OTHERS [LAWS(KAR)-2014-1-454] [REFERRED TO]
MANAGEMENT OF NEW ALLENBERRY WORKS, FARIDABAD VS. PRESIDING OFFICER, INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL -CUM- LABOUR COURT, FARIDABAD [LAWS(P&H)-1995-2-185] [REFERRED]
MANAGEMENT OF E I D PARTY INDIA LTD VS. PRESIDING OFFICER [LAWS(MAD)-2018-2-159] [REFERRED TO]
BIHAR INTERMEDIATE EDUCATION COUNCIL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION PATNA VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2016-10-134] [REFERRED TO]
COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION VS. STATE OF H P & OTHERS [LAWS(HPH)-2017-11-52] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATTISGARH STATE CIVIL SUPPLIES CORPORATION LIMI VS. LABOUR COURT, THROUGH ITS PRESIDING OFFICER [LAWS(CHH)-2018-2-53] [REFERRED TO]
CHHATTISGARH STATE CIVIL SUPPLIES CORPORATION LIMI VS. GAUTAM PATEL [LAWS(CHH)-2018-3-35] [REFERRED TO]
ANGAD PRASAD VISHWAKARMA VS. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH, THROUGH SECRETARY, DEPARTME [LAWS(CHH)-2018-2-62] [REFERRED TO]
JEERA DEVI VS. UNION OF INDIA, THROUGH SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF COA [LAWS(CHH)-2018-2-87] [REFERRED TO]
CENTURY YARN/DENIM UNITS OF CENTURY TEXTILES & INDUSTRIES LTD. AND OTHERS VS. PRESIDENT/GENERAL SECRETARY CENTURY SWATANTRA EKTA PARISHAD AND OTHERS [LAWS(MPH)-2018-4-325] [REFERRED TO]
ARUN KUMAR DIXIT VS. SCINDIA KANYA VIDHYALAY [LAWS(MPH)-2019-2-45] [REFERRED TO]
GUJARAT MAZDOOR SABHA & 1 VS. VALSAD NAGAR PALIKA & 3 [LAWS(GJH)-2018-11-67] [REFERRED TO]
R.SUMATHI AND OTHERS VS. TELANGANA STATE HOUSING BOARD [LAWS(TLNG)-2020-2-48] [REFERRED TO]
B. SAMBASIVA RAO VS. THE STATE OF TELANGANA AND ORS. [LAWS(TLNG)-2020-8-37] [REFERRED TO]
SHRAMIK JANTA SANGH VS. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH [LAWS(MPH)-2021-8-47] [REFERRED TO]
DISTRICT MANAGER, BIHAR STATE FOOD AND CIVIL SUPPLIES CORPORATION LTD. VS. ANURADHA DEVI [LAWS(PAT)-2022-2-6] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF BIHAR VS. SURENDRA PRASAD SINHA [LAWS(PAT)-2022-4-6] [REFERRED TO]
LILAWATI MISHRA VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2022-5-4] [REFERRED TO]
LILAWATI MISHRA VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2022-5-28] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

RANGANATHAN - (1.)THE appellants were in service as tubewell operators in the Irrigation Branch of the Public Works Department of the Punjab State. THE State took a decision to transfer all the tubewells in this branch to the Punjab State Tubewell Corporation (hereinafter referred to as 'the Corporation), a company wholly owned and managed by the State of Punjab. Consequent on this decision, a notification was issued on 30/11/1982 to the effect that "the posts sanctioned for the Tubewell Circle, Irrigation Branch, Punjab, are no longer needed in the public interest." It was, therefore, ordered that all the permanent posts sanctioned for the above circle be abolished with effect from 1-3-1983 and that all temporary posts be discontinued with effect from the same date. A little earlier, on 31/08/1982, the petitioners were served with notices in terms of S. 25-F of the Industrial Disputes Act (hereinafter referred to as 'S. 25F') terminating their services with effect from 30th November, 1982. THEse notices were, however, set aside as not being in consonance with Cl. (c) of S. 25-F. THE State Government, therefore, issued fresh notices terminating the services of the petitioners with effect from 1/03/1983. THEse notices were also set aside by the High Court on the ground that they did not conform to the provisions of Cl. (b) of S. 25-F. THEreupon the State served fresh notices on the petitioners terminating their services in terms of S. 25-F with effect from 31/08/1983. THE appellants once again approached the High Court contending that the decision of the State Government transferring the tubewells to the Corporation and terminating their services was invalid. It was contended: (a) that the impugned notices did not fulfil the requirements of Cls. (b) and (c) of S. 25-F; (b) that the notification by which the tubewells were transferred was mala fide, the only object of the transfer being to frustrate certain claims of the petitioners which had been judicially recognised; and (c) that, in case the action of the State is upheld, the respondent Corporation should be held to be under an obligation to employ the petitioners with continuity of service and under the same terms and conditions- which they were enjoying prior to their retrenchment from the service of the State.
(2.)THESE contentions were rejected by the High Court. It held that the notices did not suffer from any defect. It was pointed out that the writ petitions had been filed before the expiry of the date from which the retrenchment notice was to be effective, namely, 31/08/1983. The retrenchment notice itself specifically mentioned that the retrenchment compensation, as admissible under the rules, will be paid before the notice of retrenchment took effect and that it could be collected personally from the respondent's Sub-Division/ Divisional Officers. At the instance of the Court, the State had filed an additional affidavit in which it was averred that drafts in respect of the amounts of compensation had been despatched to the Divisional Offices in the manner following: JUDGEMENT_189_1_1991Html1.htm
The relevant records showing the despatch of these drafts were also produced in the Court. The High Court was satisfied that the State had despatched individual bank drafts in respect of each of the employees well in advance of the date of expiry of the notice period and that the despatch of these drafts to the divisional offices constituted a good and valid tender of the compensation amount to the appellants. The Court held that this was sufficient compliance with the provisions of Cl. (b) of S. 25-F. So far as the provisions of Cl. (c) of S. 25-F were concerned, the High Court was satisfied that the requisite notice in the prescribed form 'P' was sent to the Secretary to Government, Labour Department and the Employment Exchange concerned by personal delivery duly acknowledged in the peon book of the Department. Pointing out that the requirements of Cl. (c) of S. 25-F were only directory and not mandatory, the High Court was of the opinion that the notices were not vitiated due to non-compliance with Cl. (c) of S. 25-F.

Turning to the allegation regarding mala fides, the contention of the appellants was this. They submitted that the tubewell operators in the Irrigation Branch of the PWD had filed a writ petition, being C.W.P. No. 3340 of 1972, in the Punjab High Court claiming parity of pay with the tubewell operators employed in the Public Health Department of the State Government. That petition was allowed on 5/02/1981 (reported in 1981 (1) Serv LR 512). But the respondent authorities failed to implement the directions contained in that judgment, thus forcing the petitioners to move a Contempt Application (No. 221 of 1981). Thereafter, the State authorities gave effect to the judgment and paid arrears to the petitioners in the writ petition but did not extend the benefit thereof to the tubewell operators other than the actual petitioners in the writ petition. The other tubewell operators, thus denied the benefits of the judgment, were constrained to file three more writ petitions seeking the extension of same relief to them. These writ petitions were allowed on 7-8-1981 in terms of the earlier decision dated 5-2-1981. The respondent authorities chose to file S.L.P. Nos. 9195 to 9197 of 1981 in the Supreme Court but these were dismissed on 19-2-1982. Still, the respondent authorities showed their reluctance to implement the judgments of the High Court compelling the petitioners to file three Contempt Petitions (Nos. 294 to 296 of 1981) against the defaulting authorities. However, before the disposal of these writ petitions, the State filed a letters patent appeal against the judgment in C.W.P. No.3340 of 1972 and obtained an order staying the operation of the said judgment. Consequent on this, the contempt applications had to be withdrawn and were dismissed as such on 8-4-1982. We are told that the letters patent appeals have been dismissed recently on 7-8-1990.

According to the appellants, the authorities took a decision to transfer the tubewells of the Irrigation Branch to the Corporation only with a view to deprive the appellants of the benefit they had gained as a result of the above litigation. It was pointed out that the Corporation had come into existence as early as 1970. Its main objects, as set out in the Corporation's memorandum of association, were inter alia:

xxxxxx xxx

(2) To take over from the Government of Punjab the existing system of State owned irrigation and augmentation tubewells along with connected buildings, assets, works and any of their projects connected with the installation, maintenance and operation of the State owned tubewells, with the rights and liabilities of the Government of Punjab so far as they relate to such tubewells, buildings, assets, works or projects.

These assets shall be taken over by the Punjab State Tubewell Corporation Limited as contribution by the Punjab Government towards share capital.

xxxxxx xxx

(19) To enter into any arrangement with the Government of India, Government of Punjab, or any other Government or State or local authority for the purpose of carrying out the objects of the company for the furthering its interests and to obtain from such Government or Authority or person any charters, subsidies, loans, indemnities, grants, contracts, licences, rights, concessions, privileges or immunities which the company may think desirable to obtain and exercise and comply with any such arrangements, rights, privileges and concessions."

Though the Corporation had been formed so long ago with the express object of taking over the tubewells of the irrigation branch and though it was operating a large number of tubewells on its own account since then no efforts had been made by the Government to transfer the tubewells belonging to the State to the Corporation till 1982. Even under the impugned notification only tubewells belonging to the irrigation branch were transferred but not those which were being operated by the Public Health Department of the same State. The appellants vehemently contended that all these facts clearly showed that the sudden decision in 1982 to transfer the tubewells to the Corporation was intended as a measure of victimisation of the appellants who were only fighting for their rights of equal pay with other tubewell operators in the State.

(3.)THE High Court did not find any substance in this contention. It pointed out that the idea that eventually the tubewells belonging to the State should be transferred to the Corporation had germinated as early as in 1970. Though this was not implemented immediately, a decision to transfer the tubewells to the Corporation had been taken in the light of the recommendations of the Estimates Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha made in the year 1977-78, that is, about three years earlier to the decision of the High Court dated 5-2-1981 in C.W.P. No. 3340 of 1972 (reported in 1981 (1) Serv LR 512). THE authorities had placed before the Court the minutes of a meeting held under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister of Punjab on 18/10/1973, wherein it had been decided that since irrigation from the State tubewells had not developed as expected and the State Government was running into a financial loss on account of the operation of these tubewells, the same be transferred to the Corporation. It had also been decided at the meeting that the Government would meet the loss that may be suffered by the Corporation on account of the operation and maintenance of these tubewells. In the light of these facts, the High Court held that there was no basis for the allegation of the petitioners that the impugned notification had been issued mala fide solely with a view to deprive the appellants of the benefits they had obtained from the Courts. It was pointed out by the High Court that the appellants had subsequently been given all the benefits which they had derived as a result of the writ petitions. That apart, it was also found that the Corporation had made an offer of re-employment to all the appellants effective from the date of expiry of the notice of their retrenchment by the State Government. All this showed, according to the learned Judges, that the sole object of the issuance of the notification was to get rid of the tubewells which were the cause of a constant and ever increasing loss to the State exchequer and not any mala fide or extraneous reasons.
On contention (c), the High Court observed as follows:

"So far as the alternative relief of reemployment with continuity of service and pensionary benefits in terms of the Punjab Civil Service Rules is concerned, the petitioners cannot be granted the same in view of the provisions of S. 25-FF (of the Industrial Disputes Act) as introduced on 4/09/1956. In this regard the petitioners have based their whole claim on certain observations made in two Division Bench judgments of the Bombay High Court, reported as New Gujarat Cotton Mills Ltd. v. Labour Appellate Tribunal, AIR 1957 Bom 111 and N. J. Chavan v. P. D. Sawarkar, AIR 1958 Bom 133. Besides there being dissimilarity of facts in those cases and the instant case, the same relate to a period prior to the insertion of S. 25-FF. In Anakapalle Co-operative Agricultural and Industrial Society Ltd. v. Workmen, AIR 1963 SC 1489, their Lordships of the Supreme Court after noticing the first judgment of the Bombay High Court referred to above, have held in categorical terms that such employees can make no claim against the transferee concern. Otherwise also we are of the view that the claim of the petitioners is not covered by S. 25-FF of the Act as it has nowhere been pleaded or established by them that the ownership or management of the tubewells has been transferred by the State Government to the Corporation either 'by agreement or by operation of law'. As already pointed out, the transfer of the tubewells in the instant case has taken place as a result of the unilateral decision by the State Government. Even if it is to be accepted to be a case of transfer of the undertaking by agreement as is suggested by the learned counsel for the petitioners, still the wording of the proviso and more particularly of Cl. (b) to S.25-FF clearly indicate that the transferee concern of the management can change the terms and conditions of the workman. Further on the facts of the case, we do not see how the petitioners can claim the benefits or rights of a civil servant while in the service of the Corporation and thereby force the Corporation to say good bye to its Rules and Regulations."

In the result, the various writ petitions were dismissed and hence the present appeals.

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