In the Instant Matter of Food Corporation of India Executive Staff Union v. Employer Two appeals were filed by the Executive Staff Union of Food Corporation of India against the division bench of the Jharkhand High Court. In an appeal against the directive ordering the workers’ reinstatement and payment of 75% of back wages, the Union intervened on behalf of the employees who were wronged by the refusal to regularise their services and the management of FCI. The Central Government Industrial Tribunal determined that the 21 casual workers were employed as casual workers by FCI in Patna and that their retrenchment was invalid under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which was submitted to the Ministry of Labour, Government of India. The Tribunal determined that the management’s decision to lay off the workers was unjustified and ordered them to be reinstated and have their employment status regularised as of the date of the layoff. The Jharkhand High Court affirmed the Tribunal’s verdict after receiving a writ appeal from the administration. Until the writ petition’s outcome, a temporary injunction was given instructing the management to pay the workmen’s full salary. Workers sought compliance with the orders through a contempt petition, and the court ruled that if management did not comply, the award stay would be revoked. In response to the management’s appeal, the decision was changed to the degree that it instructed the regularisation of the workers’ services, but the instruction to pay 75% of the past salaries remained unaltered. Appeals have been filed by both parties against the Division Bench’s ruling.
Supreme Court Verdict
The division bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Sanjay Kumar of the Supreme Court, in setting aside the impugned judgement, stated that the management can no longer assert an inalienable right to continue with and pursue its challenge to the Award simply because it made its compliance with the Award conditions a long time ago.
The Court ruled that the division bench failed to take into account the fact that FCI management decided to fully implement the Award while the writ suit was pending and that the labourers benefited from it for 18 years. The Court additionally stated that it could not accept the management of FCI’s inadequate argument that it was forced to obey the Award under the prospect of being held Because the contempt procedures were over before the orders of restoration and absorption in November 2000, the person was held in contempt. The Court declared that the Jharkhand High Court’s Single Judge Bench was right in dismissing the writ petition and sustaining the Award
The Court determined that because of the long-ago conditional compliance, the management cannot have an inalienable right to continue with the Award. The workers, who had been in regular employment for more than 20 years, changed positions and stayed with the FCI, making it impossible for management to try to go back in time. The Division Bench did not take these important factors into account, hence the Court was reluctant to change the long-held view. The Bench reinstated the Single Judge Bench’s decision, the Central Government Industrial Tribunal’s Award, and set aside the contested judgement.
CASE NAMEE – Food Corporation of India Executive Staff Union v. Employer Civil Appeal No. 4152 of 2023