Monday, April 15, 2024

Delhi HC refuses to interfere in reinstatement order of deceased DTC bus conductor

The Delhi High Court has declined to intervene in the reinstatement order of a Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus conductor, now deceased, who was terminated from service in 1992 due to unauthorised absence for 15 days.

The court deemed the punishment of removal as shockingly disproportionate, expressing that reconsidering the penalty would be futile since the conductor had unfortunately passed away.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma (now elevated to SC) and Justice Sanjeev Narula, dismissed DTC’s appeal against a 2003 labor court decision supporting the conductor’s reinstatement with back wages.

The deceased employee faced removal from service in 1992 following an inquiry by the DTC.

The conductor passed away during the proceedings against his dismissal under industrial disputes law.

The court noted that the inquiry, which involved only one witness, disbelieved the conductor’s claim of being compelled to take leave due to illness, despite submitting medical certificates through his brother.

The court found the punishment of removal for a 15-day absence as shockingly disproportionate, rendering the workman entitled to relief.

The unfortunate aspect of the case is the workman’s demise, making any reconsideration of the penalty pointless, the court observed.

The court, however, acknowledged that the DTC had paid all terminal dues to the deceased conductor’s wife and legal heirs, implementing the reinstatement award.

In its order, the court stated: “This Court does not find any reason to interfere with the Award… nor with the order passed by the learned Single Judge, especially in the light of the fact that the workman is no longer alive and entire terminal dues have been paid to the widow and other LRs of the deceased workman. The appeal is, accordingly, dismissed.”

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