Article (December-2017)


5. Reinstatement proper when even after sexual harassment, woman was terminated

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Facts of the case:
The petitioner was working with respondent Company as permanent operator and she had put in more than 12 years of service prior to termination of her services. On account of the factional rivalry between two unions and as the petitioner had joined the new union called Gujarat Kamdar Mandal, she had to face problems. The petitioner was constrained to file complaint that she was sexually harassed at her work place by fellow employees of the respondent Company namely one Shri Kirit Joshi and Shri Pradip Patel. The complaint of the petitioner had resulted into fabrication of charges as a result whereof the charge-sheet dated 01.01.1995 and 22.02.1995 came to be issued to her. The charges were that of misbehaving. The inquiry pursuant to the charges culminated into order of termination of her services w.e.f. 13.10.1997. As this termination of her services were brought about during pendency of Reference (I.T.) No.271/95, the duty was cast upon the respondent employer, respondent hereinabove, to obtain approval from the competent authority before which the dispute was pending in terms of the Reference (I.T.) No.271/95. The termination order was brought about without following the provision of Section 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the I.D. Act, for the sake of brevity). The petitioner was constrained to file complaint being Complaint (I.T.) No.3/98 in Reference (I.T.) No.271/95, inter alia complaining that the order of termination dated 13.10.1997 was illegally passed and the same was not tenable in eye of law, as it was passed without following due procedure of law and was passed in blatant disregard to the provision of I.D. Act. The Tribunal after elaborate hearing came to the conclusion that the order of termination was bad on account of breach of provision of Section 33(2)(b) of the I.D. Act and also accepted the submission of the petitioner qua her entitlement to appropriate relief on account of she being harassed at the work place. The Tribunal, therefore, while setting aside the order of termination dated 13.10.1997, ordered payment of full back wages and other benefits, as if, the order had not been passed and equivalent sum for compensation in lieu of reinstatement and Rs. 50,000/-for sexual harassment at the work place and Rs. 2,000/-toward cost. This order is assailed in this petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.

Sumitraben Mangaldas Mehta Versus Manager, Lyka Labs Limited (Guj. H.C.) 2012 (0) AIJ-GJ 228710. SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION No. 5128 of 2005 decided on OCTOBER 16, 2012. Equivalent Citation(s):-2012 (3) CLR 948 : 2013 (136) FLR 610