PURNA THEATRE Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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(1.)The instant writ application is directed against the Award dated 28.12.95 passed by the Third Industrial Tribunal, West Bengal.
(2.)The facts and circumstances leading to the Award may, in substance, be stated as follows :-
(3.)The respondent workman was employed in the petitioner company w.e.f. 31.3.78. He was dismissed from service by the Company w.e.f. 20.7.85. A reference was made under section 10(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act for adjudication of the justifiability of the said dismissal on 18.7.86. The said reference resulted in an Award dated 10.1.91 directing reinstatement of the workman and payment of all back wages. The workman made representation with the management for payment of back wages in terms of that Award and before his dues were paid by the company he resumed his duties on 1.5.91. He was subsequently retrenched from service by the company w.e.f. 6.6.91 in terms of notice of retrenchment issued by the company on 30th May, 1991. The retrenchment was effected on the ground of the workman being found to be surplus and on payment of wages in lieu of notice, wages for the period from the date of his resumption upto the date of retrenchment and retrenchment compensation. The union lodged a protest with the management on 4.6.91 against the said retrenchment. It was followed by another protest by the workman himself on 8.6.91. For realisation of the back wages amounting to Rs. 57,467.30 in terms of the Award dated 10.1.91, the workman filed an application under section 33C(2) before the First Labour Court being computation case No.67 of 1991. The said application was settled on 29.9.92 in terms of the joint petition dated 11.9.92 for a sum of Rs. 39,000/-which was directed to be paid by the company by instalment. Over the retrenchment, an industrial dispute was raised and it was ultimately referred to the Tribunal on 20.10.92. Written statements were filed on behalf of the workman on 14.9.93 challenging the legality of the retrenchment on two grounds namely that the company did not follow the principles of 'last come first go' as contemplated under section 25G and that due retrenchment compensation had not been paid as contemplated under section 25F(b) of the Act. As regards the plea of non-payment of due retrenchment compensation, the workman's specific case was that the amount which he received in terms of the notice of retrenchment dated 30.5.91 was adjusted by him towards his claim for back wages in terms of the settlement arrived at in connection with his application under section 33C(2) with the result that no retrenchment compensation as contemplated under section 25F(b) was received by him.
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