CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has upheld the dismissal of an MTC driver from service, for his alleged misconduct of quarrelling with his superior and slapping him.
“A person, when dismissed from service, is put to a great hardship but that would not mean that grave misconduct should go unpunished. Although the doctrine of proportionality may be applicable in such matters, but punishment of dismissal from service for such misconduct, cannot be said to be unheard of. Maintenance of discipline of an institution is equally important,” the bench of Justices Dr Vineet Kothari and C V Karthikeyan observed.
The bench was dismissing an appeal from N Mohandass, on July 24. Mohandass raised an industrial dispute, questioning the dismissal order dated July 23, 1997. And the Labour Court passed an award holding that there was no violation of principles of natural justice during the enquiry and also that there was no justifiable reason to interfere with the findings of the enquiry officer. It, however, ordered his reinstatement but denied back wages. Challenging this, the management filed a writ petition and a single judge restored the order of dismissal.
Hence, the present appeal from Mohandass. Dismissing it, the bench said, “In view of the change in the economic policy of the country, it may not now be proper to allow the employees to break the discipline with impunity. In the light of the findings recorded and the legal precedent, it is not a fit case where any relief can be given to Mohandass. The Labour Court clearly erred in directing reinstatement of the workman, though without back wages and it did not take into account the binding precedent of the Supreme Court.” The bench restored the order of dismissal.