Bombay High Court imposes Rs 5,000 cost on WCL for denying job to deceased workman's son

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  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
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  • NAGPUR: Dismissing the WCL plea, Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court imposed a cost of Rs5,000 on it for denying the claim of Ravi Kumar who applied for workman's job on compassionate ground after his father Puranlal's death. WCL had challenged Industrial cum Labour Court's order that quashed and set aside its action of rejecting the demand of Ravi.

    Terming it as unjustified and illegal, labour court had directed the WCL to grant employment to him according to his skill and qualification within a month. After expiry of Puranlal on November 26, 1997, his widow had applied for granting employment to their son on compassionate grounds on June 12, 1998. But, WCL rejected it on April 26, 2001. The union raised an industrial dispute on widow's behalf. As the conciliation efforts failed, the dispute was referred to Labour Court, where WCL's contention was rejected.

    The company challenged it in the high court contending that since the reference for Kumar's appointment was made by the union and the application for job was filed by the widow, it was against laws. It stated that Kumar can't be member of the union as he was not 'workman' as per Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and hence the Labour Court had no jurisdiction to consider his claims. It added that the Kumar's claim was rejected since there was variation in his age as per the documents.

    Citing National Coal Wage Agreement-VI, Kumar argued that the company is under obligation to give employment to one dependent of the deceased employee. As per clause 9.3.3, the son of the deceased employee is included in the term 'dependent' and therefore, he was entitled for the appointment on compassionate ground.

    Justice ZA Haq observed that the WCL's conduct was completely unjustified. "The company hasn't given any justification for not providing employment to the widow'. There is no justification from them for not making available monetary compensation to her. The explanation given by them for not considering the claim of the respondent for appointment on compassionate ground that there was variation in the date of his birth, is nothing but an attempt to justify its illegal conduct," the judge tersely observed.

    "There is no reason to deny locus to the dependent of the deceased employee on the basis of National Coal Wage Agreement in case of latter's death. The objection raised by the petitioner that Kumar had no locus to file case in the Labour Court can't be accepted," the court ruled before asking the WCL to pay cost to the respondent before November 30.

    Courtesy: Times of India


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