Karnataka HC Sets Aside Labour Court’s Decision for Failing to Follow High Court’s Order

LI Network

Published on: October 29, 2023 at 14:39 IST

The Karnataka High Court has allowed a writ petition filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, challenging a decision by the Labour Court.

The Labour Court had, in response to a remand order from the High Court to address a specific issue, erred by treating the dispute as if it were being adjudicated from scratch.

Justice Jyoti Mulimani, presiding over a Single Judge Bench, noted a significant error in the Labour Court’s approach, which failed to focus on the specific issues outlined in the remand order.

The background of the case revolves around an individual who was selected for a Driver position in a corporation based on the certificates they had submitted. However, discrepancies arose when the Transfer Certificate provided for verification did not match the school’s records.

Consequently, the corporation leveled charges against the employee, alleging that false certificates had been presented to secure employment.

The disciplinary authority upheld these charges and terminated the employee’s service. The aggrieved employee then took the matter to the Labour Court, which ruled in favor of the charges and the dismissal. Subsequently, the respondent challenged this decision through a Writ Petition.

The High Court’s previous ruling upheld the Labour Court’s decision but remanded the case specifically for the reconsideration of certain documents: the Declaration, Undertaking, and Indemnity bond executed by the worker. However, the Court observed that it couldn’t delve into the inquiry proceedings or the order of dismissal, as they had been confirmed in a prior round of litigation.

The central concern was whether the Labour Court was justified in exceeding the remand order’s scope and in ordering the respondent’s reinstatement.

The Karnataka High Court found that the Labour Court had strayed from the remand order’s directives. Instead of focusing on the specified documents, the Labour Court reevaluated the entire case and ordered the worker’s reinstatement, contrary to the High Court’s remand order, which had explicitly limited the review to the aforementioned documents.

In its ruling, the Court emphasized that the Labour Court’s approach had been erroneous and that it should have adhered to the remand order’s specific instructions. The remand’s scope was clearly defined, and the Labour Court’s decision to treat the case as a fresh adjudication was unwarranted.

Case title: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation v G. Veerabhadraswamy

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