Topic: Sunderbhai Ambalal Desai v. State of Gujarat - release of  vehicles

Sunderbhai Ambalal Desai v. State of Gujarat
Coram: A.L.Dave, & Honble Smt. Kumari - LPA/90/2008 4/ 4  - Civil Application No. 4506 of 1999 – Date : 14/07/2008



1.    The Letters Patent Appeal challenges the order passed by the learned Single Judge in Special Civil Application No.4506 of 1999 on 25th September, 2007.

2.    The appellant-workman was appointed by the respondent-Company on 28th January, 1980 as a Clerk. Clause (2) of the order of appointment provided thus:

Although at present you are appointed in our factory, you will be liable to be transferred from any branch, department, section or office to any other branch, department, section or office??. Following that order, the appellant joined duty as a Clerk at Ankleshwar. He was transferred to Solapur by order dated 11th January, 1986. However, he did not obey the order and refused to report at Solapur and raised an industrial dispute in respect of that transfer order. While conciliation proceedings were pending, disciplinary proceedings were initiated and conducted against the appellant for disobedience of the transfer order. The appellant was found guilty of the said Charge and was discharged from service on 8th August, 1986. Subsequent thereto, on failure of conciliation proceedings, the appropriate Government, by order dated 20th January, 1987, referred the dispute, namely, ?Swhether the workman Ambalal S.Patel should be reinstated in service with back-wages??, to the Labour Court, Baroda, which came to be transferred to the Labour Court, Bharuch, at a later point of time.

Before the Labour Court, the appellant-workman filed his statement of claim. According to him, as he became a member of the labour Union and had taken up union activities, he was transferred out of Ankleshwar as a punitive measure with malafide intention. The Labour Court ultimately came to conclusion that the transfer of the workman out of Ankleshwar was contrary to the terms of his appointment and that the said transfer was made with a view to remove him from service. The Labour Court therefore directed the respondent-Company to reinstate the appellant-workman in service with 50% back-wages. Aggrieved thereby, the present respondent preferred Special Civil Application. The petition came to be allowed by the learned Single Judge by setting aside the impugned judgment and award dated 22nd February, 1999, passed by the Labour Court, Bharuch, in Reference LCB No.154 of 1990 and the claim of the workman was rejected.

3.    We have heard learned advocate Mr.R.E.Variava. He was at loss to satisfy us was to whether the learned Single Judge can be said to have committed an error. When the order of discharge dated 8th august, 2006, was never under challenge, no dispute was raised and no Reference was made, there was no question for the Labour Court to pass the impugned award. The Reference which was made by the Government was in respect of a dispute raised by the workman in respect of his transfer. He was discharged from service by a separate order after a separate departmental proceeding about which he never raised any industrial dispute and, therefore, the State Government making a Reference in respect of his discharge was erroneous and the order passed by the Labour Court of reinstatement was also erroneous. The subject matter of industrial dispute was only transfer and not discharge from service. We do not find, therefore, any error calling for interference in exercise of appellate jurisdiction. The appeal must fail. It stands dismissed.

(A.L.Dave, J.) (Smt.Abhilasha  Kumari, J.) sunil