Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court: The present petition was filed seeking to challenge the award dated 25-11-2019 passed by the Presiding Officer, First Labour Court, Pune (‘Labour Court’). A Single Judge Bench of Sandeep V. Marne, J., held that an act of overwriting on the gate pass by changing the reason for absence was undoubtedly a misconduct but did not warrant a penalty as harsh as dismissal from service.


Respondent was engaged by petitioner in its factory and on 30-7-2013, he was terminated from service after he tampered with the gate pass. Thereafter, at respondent’s behest, industrial dispute was referred to the Labour Court, which was decided in his favour and his termination was held to be disproportionate though the internal enquiry set up by petitioner was found to be legal, fair, proper, and in accordance with the principles of natural justice. The Labour Court set aside the dismissal order and respondent was awarded full back wages and reinstatement to his position with liberty to petitioner to impose lesser punishment than that of dismissal. Aggrieved by the Labour Court’s decision, petitioner filed the present petition.


The Court noted that respondent was faced with the charge of making alterations in the gate pass and respondent’s supervisor could not locate him at his workplace and upon making enquiries, it was noticed that respondent had left the company premises for personal reasons and had obtained gate pass stating the reason of attending funeral and later made overwriting on the gate pass by mentioning ‘R. S. Enterprises’. It was alleged that the same was done to save his absence from being treated as leave. The Court also noted that respondent himself did not dispute that he made overwriting on the gate pass, but he denied any malafide intention in doing so.

The issue for consideration was “whether petitioner had any malafide intention of overwriting on the gate pass and whether this act was so grave so as to attract penalty of dismissal from service?”.

The Court observed that the Labour Court’s Award was not happily worded, especially where it held that in absence of police complaint, respondent’s act could not be treated as forgery. But the Court opined that the misconduct committed by respondent was not so grave to impose harsh penalty of dismissal from service. Even if there was malafide intention behind the overwriting, the only objective that could be achieved was to be saving one day’s leave and therefore his termination for this action was indeed disproportionate.

The Court observed that out of all previous infractions committed by respondent there were none which were of a grave nature. The Court opined that there was no question of reinstating respondent because of him already reaching retirement age, therefore, the lumpsum compensation would offer adequate solace to him.

The Court held that the order dated 25-11-2019 of the Labor Court was to be modified to the extent that the lumpsum compensation of Rs 25,00,000 shall be paid by petitioner to respondent over and above the amount already paid in lieu of reinstatement and back wages. The Court also stated that beyond the compensation so awarded, respondent shall not be entitled to any further amount from petitioner. The writ petition was therefore, partly allowed.

[Danfoss Systems Ltd. v. Johnson Gomes, 2024 SCC OnLine Bom 1265, decided on 19-4-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the Petitioner: Senior Advocate Sudhir Talsania and Advocate Mihir Beradia i/by. V.M. Legal

For the Respondent: Advocate B.S. Nayak and Advocate Smita S. Solwat

Must Watch

maintenance to second wife

bail in false pretext of marriage

right to procreate of convict

Criminology, Penology and Victimology book release

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.