1998(1) ALL MR 17
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

R.M. LODHA, J.

Mr. P.A.Prabhu Vs. Air India & Anr.

Writ Petition No.2634 of 1994

28th July, 1997

Petitioner Counsel: Mr. H.D. BUCH with Ms ND BUCH
Respondent Counsel: Mr. E.P. BHARUCHA, Sr. Counsel with Mr. K.A.SETALVAD Mr. K.B. SWAMY and Ms E.PEREIRA i/b BHASIN & CO.

Industrial Disputes Act (1947), Ss.10, 33(2)(b) - Scope - Misconduct - Termination from service - Charges levelled against delinquent - Whether amount to misconduct within meaning of relevant service Rules - Held question could be decided more appropriately by raising industrial dispute than by enquiry under S.33(2)(b) of which the scope is narrow and limited - Delinquent directed to raise dispute for being referred to industrial court. (Para 3)

JUDGMENT

JUDGMENT :- During the course of arguments Mr. Buch, the learned counsel for the Petitioner pointed out that the charges levelled against the Petitioner viz., i) unauthorised driving of ramp equipment and ii) causing damage to the property belonging to I.A.A.I. are not covered by any of the misconducts as provided in Regulation 42 of Air-India Employee's Service Regulations. Mr. Buch also urged that even if the charges levelled against the Petitioner are held to be proved, the removal of the Petitioner from service is unconscionable and harsh and grossly disproportionate to the charges levelled against him.

2. Mr. Bharucha, the learned Sr. Counsel appearing for the Respondents on the other hand urged that the scope of enquiry under Section 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 is too narrow and limited and the grounds urged by the learned counsel for the Petitioner could be better adjudicated in the dispute that may be referred by the appropriate government for adjudication. Mr. Bharucha, the learned Sr. counsel also submitted that in case the Petitioner raises the industrial dispute, the appropriate government may refer the industrial dispute and upon such reference being made. the concerned tribunal may be directed to decide the reference expeditiously and such reference will be decided by the tribunal on its own merits and in accordance with law uninfluenced by the present order.

3. Mr. Buch, the learned counsel for the Petitioner on consideration of the submission made by Mr. Bharucha is satisfied with the course suggested by the learned Sr. Counsel for the Respondents. Accordingly, writ petition is disposed of by following order :

(i) the Petitioner may raise industrial dispute before the appropriate government within 2 months from today, and, upon such industrial dispute being raised, the appropriate government shall refer the industrial dispute within 3 months therefrom to the concerned tribunal;

(ii) upon such industrial dispute being referred to the industrial tribunal by the appropriate government, the concerned industrial tribunal shall endeavour to dispose of the reference expediciously since the dispute is quite old, and, preferably within one year on receipt of the reference;

(iii) the industrial tribunal shall adjudicate the industrial dispute in reference proceedings in accordance with law uninfluenced by the impugned order and the impugned order shall not at all be taken into consideration at the time of disposal of the reference;

(iv) in view of the aforesaid directions no interference is called for in the impugned order.

4. Rule is disposed of in aforesaid terms. No costs. Certified copy expedited.

Order accordingly