Ramesh Chander vs R.L. Chugh, P.O., Industrial … on 1 March, 2002

Delhi High Court
Ramesh Chander vs R.L. Chugh, P.O., Industrial … on 1 March, 2002
Equivalent citations: (2002) IIILLJ 909 Del
Author: S Sinha
Bench: S Sinha, A Sikri


JUDGMENT

S.B. Sinha, C.J.

1. Presiding Officer Industrial Tribunal (1) Delhi dismissed a Complaint Case No. 6/1994, filed by the petitioner workman under Section 33-A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The said order is the subject matter of this writ petition.

2. The petitioner was appointed as an assistant painter on April 5, 1983. He was retired prematurely on medical grounds. On May 17, 1991 he filed an appeal before the Appellate Authority (Indl.) on the ground that he was found fit by a resident doctor of All India Institute of Medical Sciences on May 22, 1991. The same was rejected by order dated July 8, 1991. He thereafter filed an application under Section 33-A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, questioning the said order. By reason of the impugned order, the aforementioned application was dismissed.

3. The learned counsel for petitioner would contend that having regard to the provisions of Persons with Disabilities (Equal opportunities, Protection of Rights and full Participation) Act, 1995, services of the petitioner ought not to have been dispensed with and he should have been allotted a duty which was suitable for him.

4. The petitioner has annexed various documents along with his writ petition to show that he was suffering for a long time from mental stress. By application dated October 15, 1990 he prayed for redesignating him as peon on the ground that he had been suffering for the last six years from the said disease. He, however, by letter dated April 22, 1991 asked for withdrawal of the said prayer on the ground that he would not be able to perform the duty of a peon in the office.

5. A psychiatrist in ESI Hospital, Shahdra, examined him on October 8, 1990 and found him to be suffering from a disease known as siliz and having found that he relapses under stress. It was advised that he might not be put on a duty where so much physical stress is needed. He was thereafter examined by a medical board which found him unfit; whereafter, vide letter dated May 17, 1991 he was retired prematurely with effect from May 18, 1991.

6. The petitioner purported to have filed a fitness certificate dated May 22, 1991 issued by one junior staff surgeon of Deptt. of Psychiatry, AIIMS. However, the said fitness certificate would have been void after the same was countersigned by the Medical Superintendent. It is not a case of the petitioner that the same was countersigned by the Medical Superintendent.

7. As indicated hereinbefore the petitioner’s prayer was rejected on July 8, 1991.

8. From the complaint petition filed in terms of Section 33-A of the Industrial Disputes Act, the nature of the dispute is not clear. The respondent raised a contention that it was merely a case of premature retirement on the ground that the petitioner was found unfit to perform his duty as he was suffering from schizophrenia with manic depression by the Medical Board. The management also placed on record material to show that the petitioner had taken leave without pay in 1986 for 82 days, in 1987 for 107 days, in 1988 for 148 days, in 1989 for 187 days, in 1990 for 145 days and in 1991 for 25 days. He, as noticed hereinbefore, was however given a chance to act as a peon, according to his own prayer, but he refused.

9. Before the Industrial Tribunal, the parties adduced oral evidence. A finding of fact was arrived at by the Tribunal to the effect that on the basis of material brought on record by the parties, it was established that the workman was suffering from schizophrenia and was unfit for holding the post. The Tribunal also did not rely upon the report of the senior resident doctor of AIIMS. It also did not find any merit in the contention that the petitioner should have been given an alternate job as indicated herein before. This Court, in the aforementioned situation, in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 cannot interfere with the finding of fact arrived at by the Tribunal.

10. The questions as to whether a person is unfit to perform his duty is essentially a question of fact. This Court in exercise of power of judicial review can interfere with the finding of procedural Tribunal of fact only when it is found that an illegality, irrationality or judicial impropriety has been committed by the respondent in its decision making process.

11. Furthermore, the petitioner’s services were terminated in 1991 and thus, on that ground too, it is not a fit case where this Court should exercise its jurisdiction in favor of the petitioner. Reliance by the petitioner on the provisions of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation ) Act, 1995 is misplaced. No case thus is made out for grant of any relief to the petitioner. This writ petition is dismissed but without any order as to costs.

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