Ram Manohar Lohia Joint Hospital vs. Munna Prasad Saini is a case dealing with the issue of the workman will be considered as the employee of the first respondent or the appellant under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947. This case also deals with reinstatement and compensation of the workman.
BENCH: Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice Ms. Trivedi
RAM MANOHAR LOHIA JOINT HOSPITAL JUDGEMENT DATE: September 20th, 2021
RAM MANOHAR LOHIA JOINT HOSPITAL CASE CITATION: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5810 OF 2021
RAM MANOHAR LOHIA JOINT HOSPITAL CASE FACTS:
- Then,The first respondent was an employee and then on 1st September 2003, he applied for the post of ward boy in the appellant’s hospital on a monthly salary of Rs. 2,950. Then, one dispute arose, in this case, as if it considered the first respondent to be the employee of the second respondent or the appellant.
- Then the case was filed in the Labour Court. The Labour Court referred to various pieces of evidence like the attendance register, which was not produced by the appellant, the medical intent book of the male ward, an affidavit filed by the workman, a copy of salary payment, etc. The Labour Court held that it must reinstate the respondent under the appellant with the compensation of Rs. 20,000.
- Then the case was appealed to the High Court. The High Court agreed with the Labour Court and upheld the decision of the Labour Court.
- Then, aggrieved by the decision of the High Court, the appellant filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.
- Whether the first respondent will be considered as the employee of the second respondent or the appellant?
- Whether the first respondent is eligible for reinstatement as well as compensation or not?
RAM MANOHAR LOHIA JOINT HOSPITAL CONTENTIONS (APPELLANT):
- The appellant contended that respondent no. 2 had been impleaded by respondent no. 2 as the co-respondent.
- They further stated that it must refer the dispute to under the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act.
- They also contended that they signed an agreement between the 2nd respondent and the appellant regarding the employment of the 12 workers.
- They also contended that permission is needed for recruitment and appointment as the appellant’s hospital is under the state government and a procedure needs to be followed. They stated that respondent no. 1 did not claim whether he followed the prescribed procedure for selection.
- Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice Ms. Trivedi: The Bench stated that an agreement was incorporated between the appellant and second respondent regarding the employment of workers and there the first respondent is not the party to the contract so the agreement will not be considered a determinative factor. They further stated that the Labour Court referred to the evidence and defined the employer-employee relationship.
- They also did not interfere with the decision of the Labour Court supported by the High Court regarding the employment 1st respondent with the appellant.
- They further stated by referring to the case of Deputy Executive Engineer vs. Kuderbhai Kanjibhai that the reinstatement of daily wage workers should not be automatic and instead they must be paid monetary compensation as they cannot seek regularization and even after reinstatement they will not be entitled to work as daily wage workers.
- They are not regularized, so in order to provide justice, it must provide suitable compensation to them under Section 25F of the Industrial Dispute Act 1947, as an alternative remedy.
The court directed for the compensation of Rs. 10,00000 instead of the reinstatement which must be paid to the first respondent within ten weeks and after that an interest of 0.5% must be paid to him in case of non-payment of compensation. Therefore, the appeal was partly allowed by the court.
The conclusion that we can draw from this case is that with illegal termination, the reinstatement is not automatic and that the requirements of Section 25F of the Industrial Dispute Act 1947 must be established for the reinstatement. Here, the respondent was not entitled to reinstatement as he was not regularized, which is one factor for claiming reinstatement, but it provided him compensation to deliver justice to the employee illegally terminated.
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