‘Firm can’t be forced to reinstate tainted workers’
No employer can be forced to reinstate an employee who was dismissed after being convicted for serious offences, ruled the high court, reports Urvi Mahajani.mumbai Updated: Dec 15, 2009 01:13 IST
No employer can be forced to reinstate an employee who was dismissed after being convicted for serious offences, ruled the high court.
Justice DY Chandrachud, last week, while setting aside orders of Labour Court also observed that after being convicted by a competent authority, asking the company to conduct a departmental inquiry was superfluous.
While ruling in favour of Tata Power Limited, Justice Chandrachud also allowed the company to withdraw Rs 1.71 lakh deposited in the Labour Court which was to be paid as part of back wages to the workman KT Mane.
Justice Chandrachud observed: “Once there is a conviction by a court of law and conviction is of a criminal offence involving moral turpitude, the charge of misconduct stands established. In a case, such as the present, where a workman had been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction, the holding of departmental inquiry would be entirely superfluous.”
The ruling came during the hearing of an appeal filed by Tata Power Limited against the orders of Labour as well as the Industrial courts, which had directed them to reinstated Mane and also to pay him back wages since 1998.
In 1993, Mane was arrested for harassing his wife and forcing his wife to commit suicide. She had later succumbed to her burn injuries, but the sessions court acquitted Mane from murder charges.
In December 1997, the sessions court convicted Mane.
He was released from prison in February 1998.
Tata Company then refused to reinstate Mane and had also issued him a show cause notice. Mane then moved the Labour court, which ruled in his favour. The industrial court also passed an order in Mane’s favour.
“Both the labour court and the industrial court failed to appreciated the correct legal position and manifestly erred in holding that the action of the employer of dismissing the workman had to be set aside for want of a departmental inquiry,” further observed Justice Chandrachud.