West Bokaro Colliery (TISCO Ltd.) Vs Ram Pravesh Singh

West Bokaro Colliery (TISCO Ltd.)


Ram Pravesh Singh

Facts of the Case:

The respondent-workman was working as Senior Dumper Operator under the Management of appellant. The workman was deputed at Open Cast Mine, West Bokaro on 2nd of March, 1994. During the first shift from 5.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., he left the place of his duty before the time and went to Rajiv Nagar area. In Rajiv Nagar, Shri Harbans kumar, Senior Officer (Security), along with number of security personnel and other workers were discharging his duties in connection with prevention of unauthorized constructions on Company’s land. The respondent-workman along with few others approached Shri Harbans Kumar and shouted at him using abusive language and threatened him with dire consequences if the unauthorized construction was demolished. Shri Harbans Kumar and Shri S.P. Yadav sustained injuries on the face and other parts of the body as the respondent assaulted him with his hands and bricks.

Appellant issued a charge sheet to the respondent whereby he was asked to show cause as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against him. The respondent denied all the charges levelled against him, whereby the Management decided to appoint an enquiry officer to hold inquiry. The enquiry officer after giving full opportunity to the respondent concluded that the charges levelled against him were established beyond reasonable doubt. Considering the report, the punishing authority recommended dismissal of workmen with immediate effect and was accordingly dismissed.

The respondent raised an industrial dispute which Ministry of Labour referred to the tribunal for adjudication. The Industrial Tribunal setting aside the order of dismissal passed against the respondent, ordered his reinstatement with 50% back wages. Thereafter, the Management filed the Writ Petition before the High Court which was dismissed by the Learned Single Judge. Resultantly, the Management filed Letters Patent Appeal which was also dismissed by the impugned order, owing to which the Appellant appealed before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court accepted the appeal and set aside the order passed by the High Court as well as Labour Tribunal. The Supreme Court held that the acquittal in a criminal case would not operate as a bar for drawing up of a disciplinary proceeding against a delinquent. Accordingly, the Order the Punishing Authority is restored. There should be no order as to costs.


Source: Labour Law Reporter, pg. no. 449, Supreme Court of India, April 2009


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