BRITANNIA BISCUIT CO LTD Vs. THIRD INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
BRITANNIA BISCUIT CO LTD
THIRD INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL OF WEST BENGAL
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(1.)THIS is an appeal against the judgment and order of Masud, J. dated February 20, 1974 whereby the connected rule obtained by the employer company was discharged.
(2.)THE proceedings arose out of an application under Sec. 33 (2) (b) of the industrial Disputes Act. The appellant petitioner Field an application before the Third Industrial Tribunal, west Bengal for approval of the order of dismissal passed by it against respondent No. 2 who was a workman of the appellant. It was stated in the application that the workman was guilty of various misdeeds for which an explanation sheet was sent to him informing him that the employer company proposed to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him. The workman replied to the said notice denying the allegations of misconduct against him. The Enquiry Officer fixed July 8, 1971 for holding the enquiry as the explanation was considered not satisfactory. On the date of hearing the workman could not be present as he was detained under Prevention of violent Activities Act. The Enquiry Officer there after fixed the date of enquiry on September 16, 1971 on which date also the workman could not appear as lie was still in jail nor did he authorise any fellow worker to represent him. The Enquiry Officer thereafter proceeded ex prate and evidence was adduced on behalf of the employer company and the workman was found guilty. The appointing authority accepted the finding and dismissed, the workman by an order dated September 22, 1971. As a dispute was then pending before the third Industrial Tribunal an application was filed under section 33 (2) (b)for approval of the action.
(3.)THE workman filed his written statement denying the allegations against him and further stated that the enquiry was held in his absence against "all cannons of justice, equity and good conscience" as also against principles of natural justice, fair play and rule of law. At the hearing of the application before the Tribunal the company examined its the then Labour adviser as also its Personal Officer to prove the enquiry report and also to establish that the enquiry was duly held. The Tribunal was of opinion that the Enquiry Officer's finding on the materials on record were not perverse. Even so the order of dismissal could not be approved as the enquiry was held in violation of the principles of natural justice as the workman was not given reasonable opportunity to appear and defend himself in the enquiry. By order passed on September 15, 1973 the application under section 33 (2) (b) was rejected.
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