Jhar HC | Tribunal is supposed to answer any reference by considering evidence and pleading of parties, not simply by relying upon precedent

Jharkhand High Court: Rajesh Kumar, J., allowed the petition filed by the petitioner stating that the tribunal has failed to pass a reasoned order by considering the evidence and pleading of the parties.

In the pertinent case, the petitioner moved to this Court for quashing of the award passed in Reference Case No. 34 of 2014 whereby the reference was in favor of the respondent, directing the petitioner to reinstate the service of the respondent as a daily wager.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that even after passing an order for representation, the respondent has kept silent in this matter and after the lapse of 16 years, an industrial dispute was raised. Further, an award was passed which ordered for reinstatement of the workman as daily wager and option has been given for regularization but with no direction.

The Court held that from the perusal of the award it is observed that during the pleadings, neither any documents were exhibited nor any witnesses were examined and the Tribunal had passed its order only relying upon the judgment of Patna High Court passed in CWJC No. 4115 of 1997. The Court also observed the following :

It is trite that principle of res-judicata applies often in the case of Industrial Dispute. If there was an order in favour of the workman then the reference was not maintainable. The Tribunal is supposed to answer any reference by considering the evidence and pleading of the parties.”

In view of the above, the Court found that the impugned award passed in Reference Case is not sustainable and stands quashed as the Tribunal has passed the order without considering the pleading and evidence of the party. The Court also observed that the respondent was removed from daily wager w.e.f. March, 1997 and reference are of the year 2014 i.e. after a lapse of more than 16 years. In this manner as well, the dispute has become stale and requires no adjudication.[Employers in relation to the Management of UCO Bank v. Surendra Ramani, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 1118, decided on 26-08-2019]

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