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What Did The Centre Say

  • In the Eastern Coalfields Limited And Others v Ajit Mondal & Others, the Supreme Court of India exercised its power under Article 142 of the Indian Constitution to extend justice to a poor line mazdoor, who was wrongfully dismissed from service due to prolonged absence from work.
  • A Division Bench comprising of Hon'ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal imposed a lesser penalty on the mazdoor in the form of compulsory retirement from service instead of dismissal from services. 

What Is The Case About

  • In this case, the respondent was employed as a line mazdoor in the appellant company since 1975. The respondent took an absence from work for many days in 1999, 2000, and 2001 and a leave of 106 days in 2002. Due to the leaves taken in 2002, he was dismissed from work as a penalty. 
  • A writ petition was filed by the Employee in the High Court but the same was dismissed. Thereafter, a Division Bench allowed the appeal. 
  • Aggrieved by the impugned order and judgement of the High Court, the appellant filed the present matter.

Observations Of The Court

  • The Ld. Court observed that the test of proportionality will be applied in the present case. This includes looking at the employee’s unblemished service with the appellant since the year 1975. 
  • The Court also noted that the respondent, a poor line mazdoor, superannuated more than a decade ago. It would be unfair to dismiss him from the services. 
  • Therefore, the Court imposed a lesser penalty on the respondent in the form of compulsory retirement. 
  • Accordingly, the appeal was disposed of.

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