JOSEPH MATHEW MANAGING PARTNER MATSON PHARMACEUTICALS THELLAKAM KOTTAYAM Vs. INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL ELAPPARA P O IDUKKI DISTRICT
LAWS(KER)-2003-10-23
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Decided on October 31,2003

JOSEPH MATHEVV, MANAGING PARTNER, MATSON PHARMACEUTICALS, THELLAKAM, KOTTAYAM Appellant
VERSUS
INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL, ELAPPARA P.O., IDUKKI DISTRICT Respondents

JUDGEMENT

R.RAJENDRA BABU, J. - (1.) The preliminary order passed by the Industrial Tribunal, Idukki in I.D. 32/00 is under challenge at the instance of the Management. An industrial dispute was raised by the Government and was referred to the Industrial Tribunal, Idukki for adjudication regarding the order of termination passed by the management against seven of its employees. Two domestic enquiries were conducted. One against two employees and the other against 5 employees alleging misconduct against them. Before the enquiry officer, the management examined their witnesses and documents were produced. Thereafter the employees had let in evidence. Arguments were heard and argument notes were also furnished. Thereafter the management filed an application for examining witnesses and to let in further documentary evidence. The workers represented by the Union, objected to the above course and abstained from participating in the further proceedings before the enquiry officer. Enquiry Officer allowed the application, examined the witnesses in both cases and marked documents. Enquiry Officer found all the employees guilty of the charges. On the basis of the above finding, the services of the workers were terminated. The above termination was challenged and an industrial dispute was raised and accordingly the Government referred the dispute for adjudication before the Industrial Tribunal, Idukki. After examining the enquiry officer, the Tribunal found that the enquiry was in violation of the principles of natural justice and accordingly the enquiry was set aside. Further the management was given opportunity to let in fresh evidence before the Tribunal to establish the alleged misconduct. The above order is under challenge at the instance of the management.
(2.) Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the respondent union.
(3.) The learned counsel for the Petitioner-Management submitted that by allowing the management to let in further evidence, no prejudice was caused to the respondent-employees and that there was no violation of the principles of natural justice in holding the enquiry. It was further submitted that certain documents were confronted with the employees when they were examined, but they refused to accept those documents including documents signed by them and it was in those circumstances, a witness had to be examined for tendering those documents in evidence. The learned counsel for the Union submitted that the management wanted to examine the witnesses and to tender evidence after the argument of the case and disclosure of the defence only for filling the lacunae in the evidence of the management and that would cause prejudice to the interest of the workmen. It was further submitted that when the workers wanted the examination of witness, the Tribunal refused to examine the witness but when the management wanted the examination of witness, it was allowed. The Tribunal examined the enquiry officer and after considering all the evidence and circumstances held that there was violation of the principles of natural justice and accordingly, the enquiry was set aside. It is a pure finding on facts, which the Tribunal has entered into, considering the facts and circumstances. It is settled law that this Court cannot go into those matters regarding the findings on facts in a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India unless finding is perverse or not based on any materials and would cause manifest injustice. Reliance placed on the decision of the Supreme Court in Essen Deinki v. Rajivkumar 2002 (8) SCC 400 : 2002-III-LLJ-1111. The order of the Tribunal is based on materials available and not perverse. Hence, I do not think that it would be proper for this Court to consider the propriety of the finding of the Tribunal on facts. Further, the Tribunal had given a chance to the management to let in further evidence and to establish the allegations, against the workmen. So there is no denial of any opportunity to establish the charges against the workmen. If the management is earnest in prosecuting the matter, evidence can be let in and establish the charges against the workman. I do not think that any prejudice or injustice would be caused to the management by the impugned order.;


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