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Judiciary

‘Can’t take lightly’: Dismissal of workman frequently using abusive language not disproportionate, rules Karnataka HC [Read Order]

By Rintu Mariam Biju      07 March, 2024 06:03 PM      0 Comments
Cant take lightly Dismissal of workman frequently using abusive language not disproportionate rules Karnataka HC

BENGALURU: In a recent case, the Karnataka High Court has held that a workman using abusive language on several occasions cannot be treated lightly and dismissal, in such cases, is proportionate. 

“In the circumstances narrated above and the decisions stated supra, in the instant case the act of the workman by using abusive language not once, but on several occasions cannot be treated lightly, as held by the Labour Court, the imposition of punishment of dismissal by the Disciplinary Authority to the gravity of misconduct by the workman was justified and the imposition of punishment by way of dismissal cannot be held to be disproportionate, unjust or illegal in any manner and the points framed for consideration is answered in favour of the petitioner –management warranting interference by this Court”, ruled Justice KS Hemalekha. 

The Court was considering a plea filed by the Management of Shakti Precision Components (India) Ltd. seeking to assail an order passed by the Labour court directing the company to reinstate a workman who conducted himself in a manner lacking discipline and good conduct, on several occasions. The Labour Court held that the domestic enquiry was not fair and proper, thereby directing the employee’s reinstatement. 

According to the Company, the Labour Court failed to consider the evidence tendered by witnesses, against one of whom the respondent used unparliamentary and derogatory language. Another witness said the workman used abusive language and threatened the Enquiry Officer of dire consequences. Owing to the repeated serious acts of misconducts, the management suspended him by issuing a detailed charge sheet. The charge sheet cum show-cause notice also indicated that the workman remained absent from work for 38 days between May 2015 to September 2016.

The company said this oral evidence remained un-rebutted. It was further argued that the discipline at work places are necessary and the employees cannot be allowed to break the discipline in any manner. 

The acts of subversive of discipline are as such acts that tend to subverts discipline of tendency over through, upset and destroy discipline in any establishment, the Court noted, before venturing into the specific facts of the case. 

“Broadly speaking, all acts which tends to destroy discipline would tantamount to “acts subversive of discipline” and which may include misconduct relating to duty, negligence going on illegal strikes, go slow, in subordination and disobedience of orders, riots and disorderly behavior.”

Relying on Top Court judgements, the Court noted that writing a letter to the director of the company containing offensive remarks against him, behaviour insulting and insubordinate to be incompatible with the continuance of the relation of employer and employee, abusing a superior officer by using vulgar and filthy language are all examples of such lack of discipline. 

The Court also relied on Mahindra and Mahindra Limited and J.K Synthetics Limited; in that case the Court criticised such type of acts of employee and said that it had to be treated as serious and held, removal/dismissal in such cases are justified.

[Read Order]



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