-Report by Kshitiz Bhushan
It has been held by a bench of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court consisting of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma in the case of M/S Deutsche Lufthansa AG vs. Manisha Thakur & Ors. that while adjudicating the reference filed under Section 33 of the ID Act, the CGIT is bound to examine the justness and proper enquiry conducted against the workman.
The petitioner has challenged the order dated 08th August 2022 passed by the learned Central Government Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Court-II (CGIT) in Case No.119 of 2021 whereby the learned CGIT has rejected the contention of the petitioner for framing two additional issues
(i) Whether the claimant is a workman or not as defined under the ID Act
(ii) Whether a just and proper enquiry was conducted against the complainant or not. The court ordered the CGIT to examine and adjudicate the issue as to the justness of the enquiry as well whether enquiry has been conducted in accordance with the law and the principles of natural justice
An ID was pending before the learned tribunal regarding service conditions and other matters. While it was pending the respondent-workman was terminated from service by petitioner management after conducting an enquiry according to the principles of natural justice. The respondents have claimed that the application has been filed only to delay the proceedings.
The court held that whether the respondent-workman falls within the ambit of the definition of “workman” comes within the discussion of the first issue. The court pointed out that the CGIT had observed that the scope of section 33 of the Industrial Dispute Act is not to adjudicate the correctness of the action taken or the fairness of domestic enquiry conducted. The court then relied on the case of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (supra) and held that
“while adjudicating the reference filed under Section 33 of the ID Act, the CGIT is bound to examine the justness and proper enquiry conducted against the workman.”
The court modified the order and held that the correctness of the enquiry shall also be added as an issue and the tribunal examine and adjudicate the same.