2005(4) ALL MR 91
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY(NAGPUR BENCH)
B.P. DHARMADHIKARI, J.
Eknath Narayanrao Dhage Vs. Divisional Controller, M.S.R.T.C.
Writ Petition No.36 of 1994
16th March, 2005
Petitioner Counsel: Ms. PATHAK
Respondent Counsel: Mr. WANKHEDE
Constitution of India, Arts.341, 309 - Dismissal from service - Caste certificate - Petitioner selected as candidate belonging to reserved category - Records showing that name of petitioner was included in seniority list for Scheduled Tribe candidates on basis of information submitted by him - However, documents like Transfer Certificate (T.C.) and College Leaving Certificate revealing petitioner did not belong to Scheduled Tribe - Records showing that caste certificate produced before appointing authority was obtained by petitioner with specific evidence - Petitioner deliberately communicated wrong and false caste to secure employment and subsequent confirmation in service - Dismissal from service - Held, proper. (Paras 7, 9)
JUDGMENT :- By this petition under Articles 226 and 227 of Constitution of India, the petitioner-employee of M.S.R.T.C. challenges the judgment dated 10-12-1991, delivered by Labour Court, Chandrapur in Complaint (ULP) No.247/90 and also the order dated 8-11-1993 passed by Industrial Court, Nagpur in revision application No.96 of 1992.
2. The Labour Court was pleased to reject the ULP (Complaint) filed by petitioner challenging the orders of dismissal from service inflicted upon him and that order was maintained by Industrial Court by later order.
3. The facts stated briefly are in 1980 respondent - M.S.R.T.C. Published advertisement and invited applications for the post of conductor. It was mentioned that notified and backward class candidates would be given preference. Petitioner had applied in response to said advertisement and he was selected and was given work. On 7-4-1988 he was dismissed from service on the ground that while entering the service he deliberately mentioned wrong caste and also supplied documents in support thereof. It was mentioned that after verification it was found that his caste is not Dhoba put Dhobi. This order of dismissal from service was challenged by petitioner by filing ULP (Compliant) under Section 28 r/w Item No.1(b)(d)(f) and (g) of Schedule IV of Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971. In said complaint he contended that be belonged to Dhoba caste and his ancestrarors were, in fact, recognized as caste Dhoba and after lapse of time his caste was recorded as Varthi. In order to correct this mistake he filed as affidavit before the Executive Magistrate, Nagpur and got caste certificate of Dohba instead of Varthi. He further contended that departmental enquiry was stared against him on the basis of anonymous complaint and no cognizance of such anonymous complaint ought to have been taken. He further contended that after his appointment in response to advertisement he was given fresh appointment as conductor on daily wages on 6-10-1981 and he did not fill in any form for appointment at that time. As such earlier application could not have been looked into by the authorities. He further contended that he did not avail any of the benefits/concession available to Scheduled Tribe candidates and on that count also dismissal was unwarranted. The Labour Court found that departmental enquiry conducted against the petitioner was fair and valid. In has, therefore, considered the material on record and found that the petitioner belonged to Dhobi caste, which was not recognized as Scheduled Tribe but he might have wrongly mentioned his caste as Dhoba, which is recognized as Scheduled Tribe. It further found that the petitioner secured benefit of such false information given by him and he was also selected as candidate belonging to Scheduled Tribe. It has, therefore, dismissed the complaint. As already mentioned above, revision preferred by petitioner under Section 44 of M.R.T.U. and P.U.L.P. also came to be dismissed.
4. Advocate Ms. Pathak appearing for the petitioner contended that the petitioner did not make may false statement. She further contended that petitioner was not selected against any reserved category post and no communication was issued to him on these lines. She further contended that he never took any advantages as Scheduled Tribe candidate. It is her contention that petitioner was selected against open category post and continued in service as such. She further contended that in any case if dispute about the caste of petitioner was to be resolved, the same ought to have been referred to Caste Scrutiny Committee for adjudication. She contends that the Labour Court has not considered these aspects and, therefore, the judgment of labour court as upheld by Industrial Court deserves to be quashed and set aside.
5. As against this, advocate Wankhede appearing for the respondent - M.S.R.T.C. contends that the petitioner deliberately made a wrong statement that he belonged to Dhoba caste. He contends that the argument as advanced that the petitioner belonged to Dhobi caste and Dhoba caste came to be mentioned erroneously are not correct. He relied upon the stand as taken by petitioner/complainant before labour court also findings reached by the labour Court. He contends that the courts below have considered the evidence available on record before the Enquiry Officer, and as findings or facts are also concluded, no interference is called for in writ petition.
6. During the course of argument, counsel for petitioner was specifically put a question about the caste of petitioner. The learned counsel has stated, after instructions from petitioner that he belongs to Dhobi caste and not Dhoba caste. However, one look at the complaint, which the petitioner has field before the Labour Court, in paragraph 4, reveals that the petitioner has specifically asserted that he belongs to caste Dhoba. Not only this, the petitioner has also produced a Certificate as annexure 'D' and said Certificate issued by Executive Magistrate, Wardha on 29-12-1980, specifically mentions that the petitioner belongs to Dhoba community which is recognized as Scheduled Tribe. The Labour Court has considered this issue in paragraphs 7, 14 and 15 of its judgment. The Labour Court has found that before Enquiry Officer there was material available to hold that petitioner does not belong to Dhoba Caste. In view of above discussion, the said controversy about caste is really not relevant for decision of this petition. However, in view of assertion made in the complaint the labour Court has considered the same. It appears that in departmental enquiry also the petitioner asserted that he belongs to Dhoba caste and the Enquiry Officer also relied upon that statement. The Labour Court has found that before Enquiry Officer there was Leaving Certificate from the College of petitioner and said certificate reveals that he belongs to Dhobi caste. The Labour Court has also found that the Principal of the College namely Rural Institute, Wardha also intimated by letter that case of petitioner is Dhobi. In view of these documents, it cannot said that findings reached by Enquiry Officer are any way perverse. As already stated above, the petitioner before this court has accepted that he belongs to caste Dhobi.
7. It is to be seen that the documents, which are considered by Labour Court in paragraph 7 reveals that petitioner belongs to caste Dhobi while in his application for employment he mentioned the caste Dhoba. Not only this he also produced certificate dated 29-12-1980 which revealed that his caste is Dhoba. It is thus apparent that the petitioner does not disclose caste Dhobi, as recorded in these documents like Transfer Certificate (T.C.), College Leaving Certificate, to executive Magistrate, Wardha. It is thus apparent that the documents showing caste Dhoba were obtained by petitioner with specific evidence. The Labour Court has found that though there was no specific quota mentioned for reserved categories, petitioner was selected as candidate belonging to reserved category and there was preference to be given to such candidates. It has further found that in the seniority list name of petitioner was included in the list of Scheduled Tribe candidates on the basis of information submitted by him. It is further observed that the petitioner was recruited prima facie on the basis of his Caste Certificate as belonging to Scheduled Tribe. It has, therefore, concluded that petitioner got benefit of information submitted by him in relation to his caste. It is thus clear that the petitioner deliberately communicated wrong and false caste to Respondent-M.S.R.T.C. and secured employment and also thereafter secured confirmation in service.
8. The documents submitted by petitioner reveal that he belongs to caste Dhobi. His claim as belonging to Scheduled Tribe Dhoba has been considered in this background. The employer has not tried to find out the correctness or otherwise of the claim of petitioner as belonging to caste Dhoba. The employer has dismissed petitioner from service after holding that petitioner has given false documents and information for the purposes of obtaining employment. The petitioner has also not explained the documents which show that he belonged to caste Dhobi.