IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 855 OF 2013
(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.22606 of 2007)
Rajkumar S/o Rohitlal Mishra ….
Jalagaon Municipal Corporation
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 861-864 OF 2013
(Arising out of SLP(Civil)Nos. 23708-23711 of 2007)
J U D G M E N T
M.Y. Eqbal, J.
2. The appellants have preferred these appeals against the common
judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at
Aurangabad in Letters Patent Appeals arising out of Writ Petitions whereby
the order passed by the Learned Single Judge quashing the award passed by
the Labour Court, Jalagaon, has been affirmed.
3. The facts of the case lie in a narrow compass.
appellants were employed with the Respondent Corporation on daily wages or
on temporary basis. One of the appellant was engaged as daily coolie in
Construction Department of the Corporation, some time in 1989 and his
services were terminated after two years in 1991. Second appellant was
appointed as casual labour in Building Department of the Corporation in
March 1980 and his services were terminated in 1992. The 3rd appellant was
appointed as a labourer in Water Supply Department of Respondent
Corporation, some time in July 1996 and was terminated in May, 1997.
Similarly, the 4th appellant was engaged as casual labourer in Building
Department of the Respondent in January 1989 and was terminated in
December, 1991. The 5th appellant was appointed as supervisor in March
1989 and his services were terminated in 1991. Four of the appellants
approached the Labour Commissioner (Conciliation officer) some time in 2001
and the 5th appellant approached the conciliation officer some time in
2000. When the conciliation failed the dispute was referred to Labour
Court for adjudication as to whether the termination of services was
illegal. The Labour Court passed an award holding the termination as
illegal and directed reinstatement of the appellants. Aggrieved by the
said order the Respondent-Corporation moved the High Court by filing writ
petitions. The learned Single Judge, after hearing the parties, allowed
the writ petitions and quashed the award passed by the Labour Court.
However, the Respondent – Corporation was directed to pay Rs.10,000/- each
to the appellants by way of compensation. The learned Single Judge noticed
that out of five, four appellants approached the Labour Commissioner for
conciliation after 8 to 10 years from the date of termination of service.
Only the 5th appellant approached the Labour Commissioner after three years
and ten months from the date of termination of service. The learned Single
Judge, following the earlier decisions of this Court held that there had
been gross and inordinate delay in approaching the Labour Commissioner and,
therefore, the dispute could not have been referred to the Labour Court for
4. It was held by the learned Single Judge that the Labour Court
had committed serious error of law in passing the award of reinstatement.
Accordingly, the award was quashed with a direction to the Respondent
Corporation to pay Rs.10,000/- each to the appellants by way of
compensation. All the five appellants dissatisfied with the judgment and
order passed by the learned Single Judge filed Letters Patent Appeals which
were numbered as 140-144 of 2007. The Division Bench noticed the
undisputed facts that all the appellants were temporarily employed on daily
wages or temporary basis, and that their services were terminated after
they worked for five years. It was further noticed that delay in
approaching the conciliation officer was totally unexplained and there is
nothing on record to infer that the appellants were continuously
approaching the Corporation for their reinstatement in service. The
Division Bench, therefore, while dismissing the appeals observed:
“We also agree with the learned Single Judge that there is
another stumbling block in the path of workers/appellants.
they were temporary workers doing the job on daily wages, as and when
work was available. It is not their case that they were posted on any
regular vacant posts, nor it is their case that they had gone through
due process of selection. In the light of ratio laid down by the
Constitution Bench of the Hon’ble the Supreme Court in the matter of
Secretary, State of Karnataka and others vs. Umadevi and others,
reported in 2006 AIR SCW 1991, the learned Single Judge was justified
in holding that no remedy is available to the workers since they were
not the workers appointed on regular vacant posts by due process of
5. We have heard Mr. Anish R. Shah and Shivaji M. Jadhav, learned
counsel for the appearing parties. Mr. Shah, counsel for the
appellant contended that the courts below have erred in holding that
the Labour Court ought not to have passed an award of reinstatement in
a case where the appellants approached for conciliation about 8-10
years of the termination. It is submitted that while making the
aforesaid observation the courts below failed to appreciate that the
appellants were continuously making representation to the Respondent-
Corporation and only on the basis of the assurance given by the
Respondent Corporation the appellant had not taken any steps to
enforce their right through the process of the court.
6. In view of the concurrent finding recorded by both the learned
Single Judge and Division Bench in appeal that the appellants were
temporarily appointed on daily wages as and when work was available
and they were not posted on regular basis against sanctioned post, we
do not find any reason and justification to interfere with the orders
passed by the two courts. However, we are of the view that the
direction for payment of Rs.10,000/- each to the appellants will not
compensate the appellants. Hence, the appellants who approached for
the conciliation after 8 to 10 years from the date of termination are
entitled to a sum of Rs.50,000/- each whereas one of the appellants
namely Rajkumar Rohitlal who has approached the Conciliation Officer
within 2 to 3 years shall be entitled to get a sum of Rs. 1,00,000/-.
7. The impugned judgment passed by the learned Single Judge is
modified to that extent. These appeals are, accordingly disposed of.
February 01, 2013