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240 Days Of Work Essential In Preceding Year Of Termination: Gujarat High Court Denies Relief U/S 25F Of ID Act

PRIYANKA PREET
13 March 2022 5:45 AM GMT
240 Days Of Work Essential In Preceding Year Of Termination: Gujarat High Court Denies Relief U/S 25F Of ID Act
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The Gujarat High Court has affirmed the order of the Labour Court determining that the Petitioner-workman was not entitled to reinstatement on the ground that there was discrepancy in his deposition and the documents produced by him. The Petitioner herein had claimed that he had joined the services of the Respondent in 1983 and was performing the duties of the labourer/table work as...

The Gujarat High Court has affirmed the order of the Labour Court determining that the Petitioner-workman was not entitled to reinstatement on the ground that there was discrepancy in his deposition and the documents produced by him.

The Petitioner herein had claimed that he had joined the services of the Respondent in 1983 and was performing the duties of the labourer/table work as a daily wager. Since he possessed educational qualifications, he was also given office table work. However, it was alleged by him that he was terminated orally in September 1988 without due process under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947. Aggrieved, he approached the Labour Court which dismissed his application in December 2007.

The Petitioner contested that the Labour Court had erred in concluding that the Petitioner had not completed 240 days of continuous service in twelve months preceding the date of termination and hence, he was not entitled to any relief. The Court ought to have considered the paid holiday, i.e., Sunday which fell during the period of service rendered by the Petitioner for the purpose of calculation of 240 days.

The Petitioner further contended that he had completed 240 days of service prior to his service and therefore, he was entitled to protection under Section 25(F) of the Industrial Disputes Act. It was also admitted in the cross-examination of the Respondent's witness that at the time of termination of services of the Petitioner, no seniority list was published and the work which was being performed by the petitioner herein was being done by other employees. This amounted to a breach of Section 25(G) and and the work which was being performed by the petitioner herein was being done by other employees(H) of the Industrial Disputes Act, it was asserted.

Per contra, the Respondents submitted that the documents concerning attendance of the Petitioner did not match with the official record as produced by the witness. The Department had duly proved its case by producing the muster-rolls with respect to the employment of the Petitioner and therefore, he was not entitled to any relief.

Justice Aniruddha P Mayee noted that the Petitioner was not appointed as a daily wager by following any due process of law. Further, after examining the records, the Bench concluded that the Petitioner's deposition had several inconsistencies. For instance, in his deposition, he had claimed that he was terminated in July 1988 but subsequently, he changed the date to September 1988. Further, even the pay receipts of the Petitioner showed that he had worked only for 93 days.

The High Court then examined the muster rolls closely to conclude that between the year 1987-1988, the Petitioner had worked for only 208 days. The Labour Court had thus rightly tallied the evidence produced by the Petitioner and the official records of the Department and noted that the records did not match.

"There is no other evidence produced by the petitioner to show that in the preceding year, he had worked with the respondent for a period of 240 days which is also not supported by any oral evidence. The petitioner has produced the pay-receipts of intermittent period and the same cannot be relied upon to conclude that the petitioner had worked continuously for the said period."

Accordingly, averring that there was no violation of section 25(F) of the Act, the Bench dismissed the Special Civil Application.

Case Title: CHANDUBHAI PUNJABHAI TALPADA Versus DEPUTY EXECUTIVE ENGINEER

Case No.: C/SCA/7059/2008

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment


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