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Key Takeaways

  • The Dehradun Labour Court’s order holding the termination of the Respondent as illegal was challenged by the Appellants before the Allahabad High Court.
  • During the pendency of the case, the state of Uttaranchal (presently Uttarakhand) was created and the Labour Court came within the jurisdiction of Uttarakhand. Therefore, the Allahabad High Court directed the appellants to prefer a fresh appeal before the Uttarakhand High Court.
  • However, when a new appeal was preferred, the Uttarakhand High Court dismissed it without entering into the merits of the case.
  • The case came before the Supreme Court. The Apex Court set aside the order of the Uttarakhand High Court and directed the restoration of the suit.

Case Background

  • The respondent was terminated on 15th June 1996, and the validity of the said termination was challenged before the Labour Court.
  • The Labour Court on 31st May 1997 held the termination as illegal and directed the appellants to reinstate the respondent with full back wages.
  • The appellants approached the Allahabad High Court that stayed the execution of the Labour Court’s order on condition that the appellants should deposit the entire back wages before the Labour Court. The Appellants accordingly complied with it.
  • During the pendency of the suit, the State of Uttarakhand was created, as a consequence of which, the concerned Labour Court was placed within the jurisdiction of Uttarakhand.
  • In accordance with the law, the writ petition was supposed to be transferred to the Uttarakhand High Court, however, the appellants failed to do so. The Allahabad High Court granted liberty to file a fresh suit before the Uttarakhand High Court.
  • A new petition was filed before the Uttarakhand High Court in 2014, but the same was dismissed in 2019 on the ground that it was contrary to Section 35(2) of the Uttar Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2000.
  • Aggrieved by this, the Appellant approached the Supreme Court.

Court Order

  • The Supreme Court opined that the Uttarakhand High Court’s order dismissing the suit without entering into the merits of the case is unsustainable.
  • It was observed that post the creation of the Uttarakhand State, it was indisputable that the jurisdiction to review the judgements of the Labour Court, Dehradun vested with the Uttarakhand High Court.
  • It was also stated that there was no error on the part of the Allahabad High Court and therefore, the order of the Uttarakhand High Court is “absolutely unwarranted”.
  • Accordingly, the Court allowed the appeal and quashed the impugned order passed on 26th November 2019. The writ petition was directed to be restored in the file of the Uttarakhand High Court.

Hope you found the snippet informative enough to answer the questions below. Please share your answers in the comment section.

i) Relying on which provision did the Uttarakhand High Court dismiss the writ petition of the appellants?
ii) Which Court held the termination of the Respondent as “illegal”?

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