Delay in raising industrial dispute is not a ground for rejection of claim

Himachal Pradesh High Court: While deciding on the issue of rejection of claim on the ground of inordinate delay and laches in an industrial dispute, the bench of Sanjay Karol, J. held that delay in raising the dispute and referring the same to the Labour Court for adjudication is not erroneous and it also does not debar the workman from claiming rightful relief from his employer. The Court relying on Raghubir Singh v. General Manager, Haryana Roadways, (2014) 10 SCC 301, stated that the workman is entitled for reinstatement, back wages and consequential benefits from the date of raising the industrial dispute.

Giving reasons, the Court observed that it is reasonable to adjudicate the industrial dispute in spite of the delay in raising and referring the matter, since there is no mention of any loss or unavailability of material evidence due to the delay. It further stated that the Labour Court is statutorily duty bound to answer the points of dispute referred to it by deciding the same on merits of the case, and it should have moulded the relief accordingly and appropriately for the workman.

In the instant case where the petitioner was represented by G.R Palsra and the respondent by R.M Bisht and Vikram Thakur, the Court quashed and set aside the impugned order of termination passed by the respondent as legally unsustainable, with the direction to the respondent to take appropriate action in accordance with law. Girdhari Lal v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2015 SCC OnLine HP 441, decided on 10.03.2015

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