Allahabad Bank vs Krishan Pal Singh on 20 September, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Allahabad Bank vs Krishan Pal Singh on 20 September, 2021

Author: R. Subhash Reddy

Bench: R. Subhash Reddy, Hrishikesh Roy

                 [email protected] SLP(C) No.19648 of 2019



                                                                             REPORTABLE

                                          IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                          CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.           OF 2021
                         (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No.19648 of 2019)




                      Allahabad Bank & Ors.                           ...Appellant(s)


                                                          vs.


                      Krishan Pal Singh                                ...Respondent



                                                 J U D G M E N T

R.SUBHASH REDDY,J.

1. Leave granted.

2. This appeal is preferred by the appellant – Bank,

aggrieved by the Order dated 25.04.2019 of the High

Court of Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, passed in Service

Single No. 692 of 1998. By the aforesaid order, the

High Court has quashed the award dated 07.10.1997,

Signature Not Verified
passed by the Central Government Industrial Tribunal–
Digitally signed by
Rachna
Date: 2021.09.20
16:52:35 IST
Reason:

cum–Labour Court so far as it relates to refusal of

reinstatement of the respondent with back wages and

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[email protected] SLP(C) No.19648 of 2019

issued directions, directing the appellants to

reinstate the respondent with all consequential

benefits.

3. The sole respondent herein was appointed as

Clerk-cum-Cashier in the appellant – Allahabad Bank

on 23.09.1985 and his service was confirmed on

24.03.1986. During the year 1989, he was posted in

Aurangabad Branch, District Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar

Pradesh. On 08.02.1989, there was fire accident in

the Bank and an FIR was registered with regard to

burning incident of Bank records by unknown persons.

Suspecting the complicity of the respondent, he was

placed under suspension by order dated 13.02.1989 and

disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him.

Ultimately, on completion of enquiry, the respondent

was dismissed from service vide Order dated

22.08.1991. The departmental appeal, preferred by him

was rejected by Appellate Authority on 27.02.1992 and

further, Mercy Appeal was also rejected vide Order

dated 27.05.1992.

4. The respondent raised the industrial dispute and

the same was referred to the Central Government

Industrial Tribunal–cum–Labour Court, Kanpur in

Industrial Dispute No. 98 of 1994. The Industrial
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Tribunal–cum–Labour Court has passed the Award dated

07.10.1997 and held that misconduct alleged against

the respondent is not proved, but on the ground that

a case is made out by the management of loss of

confidence, has ordered payment of compensation of

Rs.30,000/- in lieu of reinstatement. The respondent

– workman, aggrieved by the award of the Industrial

Tribunal–cum–Labour Court, seeking reinstatement with

back wages, carried the matter to the High Court by

way of Writ Petition in Service Single No. 692 of

1998. The High Court, by impugned Order dated

25.04.2019, has ordered reinstatement of the

respondent with all consequential benefits. The said

Order is subject matter of challenge in this Appeal.

While issuing notice, vide Order dated 23.08.2019,

this Court granted interim relief against the

direction of reinstatement with back wages, ordered

by the High Court.

5. Heard Mr. Rajesh Kumar Gautam, learned counsel

appearing for the appellant – Bank and Mr. Rakesh

Taneja, learned counsel appearing for the respondent.

6. Order of dismissal was passed by the Bank,

alleging involvement of the respondent in the

incident relating to burning of relevant Bank
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[email protected] SLP(C) No.19648 of 2019

records. One Mr. Balak Ram was prime accused in the

aforesaid incident, and the respondent being a friend

of said Mr. Balak Ram, was suspected on the ground

that one of the witnesses namely Mr. Ram Singh, MW-1,

examined in the disciplinary proceedings, has deposed

that Mr. Balak Ram and others assembled together on

the date of incident. The Industrial Tribunal has

found that though there was a strong suspicion, but

there was no sufficient evidence to prove his

misconduct to dismiss from service. The Industrial

Tribunal has found that the Bank has lost confidence

on the respondent and ordered payment of monetary

compensation of Rs.30,000/- in lieu of reinstatement.

When the said award was challenged before the High

Court, it has found that suspicion, however, high may

be, can under no circumstances be held a substitute

to legal proof. By further recording a finding that

the appellants have not challenged the award passed

by the Industrial Tribunal, has allowed the Writ

Petition by directing reinstatement with all

consequential benefits.

7. In this case, it is to be noted that the

respondent was appointed in the Bank as Clerk–cum–

Cashier on 23.09.1985 and he was placed under

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[email protected] SLP(C) No.19648 of 2019

suspension on 13.02.1989 and dismissed from service

vide Order dated 22.08.1991. Including the suspension

period, he was in Bank service for about six years

before dismissal. Thereafter, he was unsuccessful

before the departmental Appellate Authority and the

Industrial Tribunal ordered payment of lump sum

monetary compensation of Rs.30,000/- in lieu of

reinstatement.

8. The directions issued by the High Court of

Allahabad for reinstatement were stayed by this Court

on 23.08.2019. During the pendency of these

proceedings, the respondent – workman had attained

age of superannuation. Though, there was strong

suspicion, there was no acceptable evidence on record

for dismissal of the workman. However, as the workman

has worked only for a period of about six years and

he has already attained the age of superannuation, it

is a fit case for modification of the relief granted

by the High Court. The reinstatement with full back

wages is not automatic in every case, where

termination / dismissal is found to be not in

accordance with procedure prescribed under law.

Considering that the respondent was in effective

service of the Bank only for about six years and he

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[email protected] SLP(C) No.19648 of 2019

is out of service since 1991, and in the meantime,

respondent had attained age of superannuation, we

deem it appropriate that ends of justice would be met

by awarding lump sum monetary compensation. We

accordingly direct payment of lump sum compensation

of Rs.15 lakhs to the respondent, within a period of

eight weeks from today. Failing to pay the same

within the aforesaid period, the respondent is

entitled for interest @ 6% per annum, till payment.

9. This Civil Appeal is partly allowed. Order of the

High Court dated 25.04.2019 stands modified to the

extent indicated above.

……………………………………………………………………J
(R. SUBHASH REDDY)

……………………………………………………………………J
(SANJIV KHANNA)

NEW DELHI;

September 20, 2021

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