25% back wages appropriate in cases where there is no proof of gainful employment of workman

Executive Engineer, Water Services Division, Haryana


Kartar Singh

Facts of the Case:

Respondent, Kartar Singh was appointed as a Chowkidar on daily wages. His services were terminated for which reference was made before the Labour Court challenging legality of termination. Considering the factual background, the Labour Court directed reinstatement of the respondent into service and also payment of back wages to the extent of 50 percent.

Subsequent to the order of Labour Court, the appellant filed a writ petition before High Court of Punjab and Haryana. Hon’ble High Court after considering the facts of the case dismissed the petition and reinstated the order of Labour Court. Meanwhile the respondent was reinstated in service. A Special Leave Petition was filed before the Supreme Court by appellants challenging the order of lower courts.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that, the respondent has already been reinstated in service and that there was no plea nor evidence or proof to show that from the alleged discontinuation of his service till the date of the award, the respondent was not in gainful employment. Appellant is directed to pay 25% of the back wages. The appeal is allowed to this extent. No order as to costs was mentioned.


Source: Labour Law Reporter, pg. no. 471, Supreme Court of India, May 2009


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