FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP

Employer Employee Relationship
Employer Employee Relationship

Question and Answers on Employer-Employee Relationship

Question: Whether an Employer is bound to reinstate the Employee in terms of  the Specific performance of the Employment agreement?

Answer: The payee/holder of the cheque can file criminal case under section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act against the drawer of the cheque and simultaneously can also file a civil case for recovery.

This question arose before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Nandganj Sihori Sugar Co. Ltd. vs Badri Nath Dixit And Ors decided on 24 April, 1991:  In response to the above question the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that:-

“…1.1A contract of employment cannot ordinarily be enforced by or against an employer.  The remedy is to sue for damages. The grant of specific is purely discretionary and must be refused when not warranted by the ends of justice.  Such relief can be granted only on sound legal principles. In the absence of any statutory requirement, courts do not ordinarily force an employer to recruit or retain in service an employee not required by the employer. There are, of course, certain exceptions to this rule, such as in the case of a public servant dismissed from  service  in  contravention  of  Article  311  of the Constitution; reinstatement of a dismissed worker under the Industrial  Law;  a  statutory body  acting  in  breach  of statutory obligations, and the like. [475-E]….”


Question: Does Civil Court have jurisdiction to try disputes pertaining to Industrial Dispute Act?

Answer: The above question was addressed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Jitendra Nath Biswas vs Empire Of India & Ceylone Tea Co. & Anr decided on 1 August, 1989, thereby stating as follow:

  1. It is clear that wherever the jurisdiction of the civil court was expressly or impliedly barred, the civil court will have no jurisdiction.
  2. It is clear that except under the industrial law, under the law of contract and the civil law, an employee whose services are terminated could not seek the relief  of reinstatement  or  backwages.  At best, he could seek the relief of damages for breach of contract.
  3. The manner in which the relief has been framed by the appellant in this case, although he seeks a declaration and injunction but in substance it is nothing but the relief of reinstatement and backwages. This relief could only be available to a workman under the Industrial Disputes Act.
  4. In view of the language of section 10, read with section 12(5) of the Industrial Disputes Act, an adequate remedy was available to the appellant under the scheme of the Industrial Disputes Act itself which is the Act which provides for the relief of reinstatement and backwages which in fact the appellant sought before the civil court by filing a suit.
  5. The scheme of the Industrial Disputes Act  clearly excludes the jurisdiction of the civil court by implication in respect of remedies which are available under the Industrial Disputes Act and for which a complete  procedure and machinery has been provided in this Act.

Question: What are the remedies available to an employee whose services are illegally terminated by the employer? Whether an employee whose services are terminated can seek the relief of reinstatement and backwages in all the cases from the employer?

Answer: The above question was addressed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Jitendra Nath Biswas vs Empire Of India & Ceylone Tea Co. & Anr decided on 1 August, 1989, thereby stating as follow:

  1. It is clear that wherever the jurisdiction of the civil court was expressly or impliedly barred, the civil court will have no jurisdiction.
  2. It is clear that except under the industrial law, under the law of contract and the civil law, an employee whose services are terminated could not seek the relief  of reinstatement  or  backwages.  At best, he could seek the relief of damages for breach of contract.
  3. The manner in which the relief has been framed by the appellant in this case, although he seeks a declaration and injunction but in substance it is nothing but the relief of reinstatement and backwages. This relief could only be available to a workman under the Industrial Disputes Act.
  4. In view of the language of section 10, read with section 12(5) of the Industrial Disputes Act, an adequate remedy was available to the appellant under the scheme of the Industrial Disputes Act itself which is the Act which provides for the relief of reinstatement and backwages which in fact the appellant sought before the civil court by filing a suit.
  5. The scheme of the Industrial Disputes Act  clearly excludes the jurisdiction of the civil court by implication in respect of remedies which are available under the Industrial Disputes Act and for which a complete  procedure and machinery has been provided in this Act.

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