NAME OF THE CASE AND CORAM
- NAME: Standard Chartered Bank Vs RC Srivastava
- CORAM: Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Abhay S Oka
- CITATION: LL 2021 SC 525
- The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, Section 11A, covers the competence of Labour Courts, Industrial Tribunals, and National Tribunals to grant suitable redressal in cases of workmen's release or dismissal.
- The Tribunal utterly disregarded and overstepped its bounds while meddling with the findings made during the disciplinary investigation.
- A Learned Judge consisting of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Abhay S Oka held that a Labour Court's authority in Section 11A of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 must be utilised wisely and cannot be exercised arbitrarily or thoughtlessly. While the Panel may examine or evaluate the evidence, the manner in which it is conducted is crucial (Case: Standard Chartered Bank Vs RC Srivastava).
- The Industrial Disputes Act 1947, Section 11A, provides with the competence of Labour Courts, Arbitration proceedings, and National Tribunals to provide suitable redress in the instance of workmen's dismissal or firing.
- The remarks were made as a result of a Tribunal order restoring a Bank employee while overturning his termination order following a disciplinary investigation.
- The Tribunal entirely ignored and overstepped its bounds by interfering with the findings made during the course of the disciplinary investigation, as a result of which the respondent employee was removed from service, according to the Court.
- Moreover, by delivering the assailed judgement and affirming the Tribunal's order of restoration, the High Court made a clear error.
- The Bench held that the Tribunal turned itself into a Court of Appeal as an appellate body and overstepped its bounds while recognising the findings made during a domestic investigation.
- The Tribunal, per the Court, evaluated the disciplinary hearing on the general guidelines of charge to be proven beyond a possible suspicion, which is a test in the criminal justice, and totally missed the fact that the internal inquiry should be analysed on the principles of balance of probabilities.
- The Supreme Court, in a decision dated September 29, 2021, held that Tribunal's Award, which was approved by the High Court under the assailed judgement, is not legal.
- The Bank's application against the High Court's judgement maintaining the Tribunal's decision of restoration of the employee was permitted by the Supreme Court, with the caveat that there would be no restitution in relation to the payment made over to the defendant workman during the interregnum term.
The Supreme Court stated that the Labour Court cannot overrule the management's decision on "ipse dixit" and that its conclusion must not be established on mere speculations. The Supreme Court overturned the Labour Court's ruling overturning management's decision to end an employers services, observing that the Labour Court had changed itself into a "Court of Appeal."
Hope you enjoyed reading this. You may now be able to answer the following questions, let us know in the comments section-
- Were the directives given by the Apex court, correct?
- Was the Supreme court correct in dismissing the high court and the Tribunal’s order?