Rajasthan High Court: In a case of an illegal termination of a Manager of Kotak Mahindra Bank being pending for relief and having no effective hearing owing to the post of Deputy Labour Commissioner being vacant, Arun Bhansali J. instructed the State to appoint competent authority which was thereby appointed.
The Petitioner was appointed as Senior Manager with the respondent-bank Kotak Mahindra Bank. The petitioner received several awards and accolades for his exceptional performance but on a not so fateful day, he was terminated from his services with immediate effect without any notice or enquiry whatsoever for alleged admitted indulgence in fraudulent activities prejudicial to the interest of the Bank by routing the direct business through DSA (Direct selling agents).
A complaint was filed under Section 10-A of the Industrial Dispute Act (‘ID Act') with an objective to resolve the dispute through conciliation before the Joint Labour Commissioner and Labor Conciliation Officer, Labour Department/Office, Jodhpur. However, owing to vacancies in the office of the Labour Department and thus due to no effective hearing, no action could have been undertaken.
Being aggrieved of the illegal termination order by the respondent bank, the Petitioner filed a Complaint under Section 28-A(2) of the Rajasthan Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1958 (‘1958 Act') read with Rule 24B of the Rajasthan Shops and Commercial Establishments Rules, 1959 (‘1959 Rules'). Hence, in the absence of an efficacious remedy to provide any relief against the prima facie illegal termination by the respondent bank, the present writ petition was preferred before the instant Court.
The petitioner contended that the illegal termination was justified as per Clause 19 of the employment agreement which is void ab initio being in contravention to the applicable law. It was further contended that though the petitioner has availed himself of his remedy under the Rajasthan shops and Commercial Establishments Act, on account of the office of the Labour Commissioner at Jodhpur being vacant present petition was filed.
Counsel for respondent submitted that steps have already been taken for appointment of Joint Labour Commissioner and needful is likely to be done by the next date of hearing.
Thus, it was brought to the notice of the Court that the competent authority, i.e. the Dy. Labour Commissioner has been appointed vide order dated 14-07-2022, and hence in light of this, the Court disposed of the petition.
However, the Court remarked that it is expected of the competent authority to deal with the matter filed by the petitioner with utmost expedition.
[Aaraj Sharma v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 7614/2022, decided on 27-06-2022 and 21-07-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Siddharth Tatiya, Advocate, for the Petitioner(s);
Mr. Himanshu Shrimali, Advocate, for the Respondent(s).
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.