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U.P.S.R.T.C. Vs. Tota Ram and Ors. - (High Court of Allahabad) (02 Feb 2018)

Present Court should not interfere in findings of fact recorded by the Labour Court, unless same are so perverse as to be completely against the materials on record before it


Labour and Industrial

Instant writ petition has been filed by the Petitioner challenging the award and its notification dated 22nd August, 2015 passed by the Respondent Nos. 2 & 3 respectively, and for grant of appropriate relief as a consequence of quashing of the same. The Appointing Authority taking into account the Inquiry report and the failure of the Respondent No. 1 to file a reply to the show cause notice, passed the punishment order dismissing him from service. The dismissal order was handed over to the Respondent No. 1. The Respondent No. 1 thereafter raised an industrial dispute which was referred to the Respondent No. 2 by the respondent No. 3 and was registered as Reference Case. The labour Court concluded that, the Corporation could not prove the charges levelled against the Respondent No. 1, and therefore set aside the dismissal order, and directed for giving of 35% of the wages from the date of dismissal till the date of reinstatement along with allowances, gratuity, provident fund and other retiral dues in its award.

The Labour Court has correctly appreciated the evidence and the oral statement of the employer's witness, the Traffic Superintendent, and found that on the basis of two reports, the charge sheet was issued to the Petitioner. The Inquiry was conducted by Inquiry Officer almost two years after the charge sheet was formulated. A show cause notice was issued thereafter giving insufficient time to the delinquent employee to submit his reply and final orders of dismissal were passed in a great hurry. Even before the Respondent No. 2, the employer's witness, the Traffic Superintendent had made his oral statement and had admitted during cross examination that, the Respondent No. 1 in the year 2000 itself had written to the Corporation several times that, the concerned official was not giving certificate of the bus being checked and being found all right before handing it out for plying to the Respondent No. 1. The Respondent No. 1 had submitted that bus number UP-80-9279 driven by the Respondent No. 1 had met with an accident only because no certificate was given by the Senior Foreman after checking the bus, and the steering of the bus had suddenly stopped functioning. The Respondent No. 1 had sustained serious injuries in both his legs and was admitted to district hospital, Agra. It had also been admitted by the Corporation's witness that on the repeated representations of the Respondent No. 1, the Assistant Regional Manager had issued a letter directing the Senior Foreman and the Senior Bus Station Incharge, Foundry Nagar Depot to issue certificates after checking the buses before sending such buses on their various routes.

It is settled law that, present Court should not interfere in the findings of fact recorded by the Labour Court on examination of oral and documentary evidence, unless the same are so perverse as to be completely against the materials on record before it. Present Court does not find it fit and proper to interfere in the finding recorded by the Tribunal that, the Respondent No. 1 was dismissed unfairly by the Corporation.

With regard to relief admissible to the Respondent No. 1 on setting aside of the dismissal order, it has been observed by the Respondent No. 2 that, since the Respondent No. 1 has attained the age of superannuation in 2012 (on the basis of medical certificate regarding age being submitted by him as Exhibit 32B-2), he may not be reinstated but he may be given 35% of the back wages along with other allowances from the date of dismissal till the date of its actual payment. All other retiral benefits like gratuity, provident fund etc should also be paid to the Respondent No. 1 treating him to be in continuous service upto the date of superannuation in May 2012.

It is with regard to this relief alone that, present Court finds it appropriate to interfere. It is evident that, his date of birth has been entered in his own handwriting as 10th July, 1945. The Respondent No. 1 would have been sufficiently educated to be engaged as a regular driver in 1973 as no illiterate person can be engaged as a bus driver. The medical certificate submitted by the Respondent No. 1 dated 8th May, 2000, alleged to have been issued to him by the Chief Medical Officer certifying his age, states clearly that, the Respondent No. 1 had appeared before the Chief Medical Officer for certification of his age and had not submitted any document as proof in support of his statement that he was 46 years of age. Only on the basis of a cursory examination of his appearance, the Chief Medical Officer had certified the Respondent No. 1 to be 45 years of age. There is no mention of any X-ray report in the said certificate. Such a medical certificate cannot be relied upon in view of the entry made in the service book at the time of entry into service in view of U.P. Government Servants Determination of Age Rules, 1975.

As such, the Respondent No. 1 shall be treated to have retired on 31st July, 2003 treating his date of birth as recorded in his service book to be 10th July, 1945. The award impugned is modified to the extent of mention of date of superannuation of the Respondent No. 1 and instead of May 2012, the superannuation of the Respondent No. 1 should be treated as in July 2003. The writ petition is partly allowed.


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