Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: Rajesh Kumar, J., allowed the petition filed by the petitioner stating that the tribunal has failed to pass a reasoned order by considering the evidence and pleading of the parties.

In the pertinent case, the petitioner moved to this Court for quashing of the award passed in Reference Case No. 34 of 2014 whereby the reference was in favor of the respondent, directing the petitioner to reinstate the service of the respondent as a daily wager.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that even after passing an order for representation, the respondent has kept silent in this matter and after the lapse of 16 years, an industrial dispute was raised. Further, an award was passed which ordered for reinstatement of the workman as daily wager and option has been given for regularization but with no direction.

The Court held that from the perusal of the award it is observed that during the pleadings, neither any documents were exhibited nor any witnesses were examined and the Tribunal had passed its order only relying upon the judgment of Patna High Court passed in CWJC No. 4115 of 1997. The Court also observed the following :

It is trite that principle of res-judicata applies often in the case of Industrial Dispute. If there was an order in favour of the workman then the reference was not maintainable. The Tribunal is supposed to answer any reference by considering the evidence and pleading of the parties.”

In view of the above, the Court found that the impugned award passed in Reference Case is not sustainable and stands quashed as the Tribunal has passed the order without considering the pleading and evidence of the party. The Court also observed that the respondent was removed from daily wager w.e.f. March, 1997 and reference are of the year 2014 i.e. after a lapse of more than 16 years. In this manner as well, the dispute has become stale and requires no adjudication.[Employers in relation to the Management of UCO Bank v. Surendra Ramani, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 1118, decided on 26-08-2019]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Discouraging the practice of the appellate courts of reproducing the passages of the lower court’s order without proper analysis, the bench of Dipak Misra and A.M. Khanwilkar, JJ said that quoting passages from the trial court judgment and thereafter penning few lines and expressing the view that there is no reason to differ with the trial court judgment, can by no stretch be termed as a reasoned order. The Court said that the absence of analysis not only evinces non-application of mind but mummifies the core spirit of the judgment. A Judge has to constantly remind himself that absence of reason in the process of adjudication makes the ultimate decision pregnable.

Stating that the first appellate court has a defined role and its judgment should show application of mind and reflect the reasons on the basis of which it agrees with the trial court, the Court said that there has to be an “expression of opinion” in the proper sense of the said phrase. It cannot be said that mere concurrence meets the requirement of law. It was said that it is one thing to state that the appeal is without any substance and it is another thing to elucidate, analyse and arrive at the conclusion that the appeal is devoid of merit.

The Court was hearing an appeal challenging the Karnataka High Court order where the learned Judge had posed the question about the defensibility of the ultimate direction by the trial Court and thereafter proceeded to quote paragraphs from the trial court judgment. Remitting the matter for fresh disposal within 6 months, the Court said that posing a question which is relevant for adjudication of the appeal is not enough. There has to have been proper analysis of the same. Stating the facts and thereafter reproducing few passages from the trial Court and ultimately referring to certain exhibited documents in a cryptic manner will not convert an unreasoned judgment to a reasoned one. [U. Manjunath Rao v. U. Chandrashekar,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 865, decided on 04.08.2017]