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SOME REFLECTIONS IN INDUSTRIAL AND SERVICE JURISPRUDENCE : THE CONSEQUENCE OF USING

ABUSIVE AND THREATENING LANGUAGE BY AN EMPLOYEE AGAINST SUEPRIOR OFFICERS :SOME


JUDICIAL DICTA

AJAYA KUMAR SAMANTARAY

PRELUDE : I have already penned quite a good number of articles under Section
11-A of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 and Proportionality of Punishment
wherein I have discussed about some erring employees who abused, threatened
and assaulted superior officers and faced dismissal, removal or compulsory
retirement from service. It has been seen that some office bearers of Trade
Unions and Associations behave like extra-constitutional authorities and feel that
they are all powerful and can misbehave with senior officers.They venture to
manhandle senior officers on the road, inside the local train when the officers are
bon their way to home and also in office with the Personnel Manager with
derogatory wordings like : tu pahile bol overtime ka arrear kab dey raha hai…”
You will be surprised to know that during disciplinary proceedings they ask very
funny questions viz. the President and General Secretary of the Association have
been elected by thousands of Chargemen, who is superior…the
President…General Secretary or the Senior Class I officer. See their
audacity…when the Administration is weak or suffers from cowardice such people
think themselves as superior to Class I officers. Some Unions paste posters against
the Head of Establishment and P & A Head because refusal for promotions to
Supervisor post is not accepted by the Head of the Establishment. There are
employees who do not do one paisa work but take salary of Rs.45, 000/- to
Rs.60,000/- per month without doing any work….they say that they have been
doing netagiri…the establishment tolerates this audacity due to cowardice. In this
write-up it is intended to discuss the consequences of threatening or abusing the
official superiors. We will discuss a good number of judicial pronouncements
specifically on the riotous and disorderly conduct of the employees and the
consequences faced by them. It is intended to discuss the following case-laws:

1. Orissa Cement Ltd vs. Adikanda Sahu [1950-83 SCLJ (8) 538 : 1960-I-LLJ-518:
1959-60 FJR 250] :Date of Judgment:30 April 1959:- In the year 1959 also, the
Hon’ble Supreme Court was not taking the riotous, abusive and untoward
behaviour of the employees kindly. In this case, a worker of Orissa Cement Ltd
used filthy language in abusing the Labour Officer of the company. The Labour
Court opined that the workers should not be sacked as he was a young man of
immature and impulsive age and should be given a chance to improve himself.
But the Hon’ble Supreme Court disapproved the approach of the Labour Court
and granted permission to Orissa cement Ltd to dismiss the workman.

2. Ramakanta Mishra vs. State of Uttar Pradesh [AIR 1982 SC 1552 : 1983 SCR (1)
648 : 1950-83 SCLJ (7) 499:1982 FLR (45) 432:1982-II-LLJ-472:1983 SCC (L & S)
26:www.indiankanoon.org/doc/596249 ] :Date of Judgment:21 October 1992:- In
this case the Appellant was found guilty of disorderly behaviour. The Labour
Court found the dismissal of the workman to be proper which was affirmed by the
High Court. The workman approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court against the
order of the High Court. The Apex Court substituted the punishment of reduction
of two increments with future effect.

3. New Shorrock Mills vs. Maheshbhai T Rao [ AIR 1997 SC 252:


www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1087289] : Date of Judgment: 25 October 1996:-
This judgment was delivered on 25 October 1996.In this case the respondent,
who was a badli worker, entered into the office of the Deputy Manager and
started abusing him and also threatened that the mill officers will not be safe
outside the mill and that he did not care if he had to go to jail for murder of four
to five officers. He was dismissed from service. The Labour Court reinstated him.
The case finally reached the Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Apex Court set aside the
order of reinstatement.

4. UP State Road Transport Corporation vs. Subhash Chandra Sharma [2000 SCC (L
& S) 349: 2000 (85) FLR 284: 200-I-LLJ-17: 1999-2000 SCLJ 775: AIR 2000 SC 1163:
2000 LLR 461: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/354320]: Date of Judgment:16
September 2000:- In this case a bus driver along with the Conductor entered into
the room of the Assistant Cashier and demanded money. When he refused the
driver abused him and threatened him with assault. He was charge-sheeted on 3
charges which were enquired into by a retired District Judge. He found charge Nos
1 and 2 not proved but Charge No.3 (use of abusive and threatening language)
proved. On the basis of this finding he was removed from service. The Labour
Court which adjudicate upon the dispute found the punishment to be
disproportionate. It set aside the punishment and ordered reinstatement without
back wages. The management approached the High Court which upheld the order
of the Labour Court. Thereafter the management filed a Special Leave Petition
before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court set aside the
order of the Labour Court which was affirmed by the High Court and restored the
order of removal passed by the Management of UPSRTC.

5. Hindustan Motors vs. Tapan Kumar Bhattacharya and another [2002 AIR SCW
3008: 2002 Lab IC 2640: (2002) 6 SCC 41 :2002 (3) AWC
2444:www.MANU/SC/03005/1980: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/900089] :Date
ofJudgment:12 July 2002 In this case the workman assaulted the General Duty
Supervisor of the department who became unconscious. The workman was
dismissed from service with the prior approval of the Labour Court. The Industrial
Tribunal, on appeal, held that the termination of service of the workman to be
unjustified and ordered his reinstatement with other benefits. The Management
filed a writ petition against the order of the Tribunal which was allowed. The
workman filed a writ appeal before a Division Bench which was allowed. The
Management then filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court. The
Hon’ble Supreme Court maintained the order od reinstatement but reduced the
back wages to 50%.

6. Indian Railway Construction Company Ltd. vs. Ajay Kumar [2003 (2) SCR 387:
AIR 2003 SC 1843: 2003 (97) FLR 411: JT 2003 (2) SC 295: 2003-I-LLJ-150: 2003 SCC
(L & S) 528: 2003 (2) SCALE 481: (2003) 4 SCC 579: www.legalcrystal.com/646970:
www.indiankanoon.org/doc/777136 ]:Date of Judgment:27 February 2003:- In
this case the employee, along with others, was accused of assaulting a Senior
Officer and ransacking the office creating a chaotic situation. He was dismissed
from service. The case reached the Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court
ordered a compensation of Rs.12 lakhs towards back wages and Rs.3 lakhs to
effect the order of dismissal.

7. Engineering Laghu Udyog Employees Union vs. Judge, Labour Court and
Industrial Tribunal and another[2003-04 SCLJ 1419: 2004 SCC (L & S) 974: 2004-I-
LLJ-1105: 2004 (1) SCALE 666: (2003) 1 SCC 1: www.legalcrytstal.com/669419:
www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1667940 ] :Date of Judgment: 25 November 2003:-In
this case a lady employee levelled a wild allegation against the Manager that he
wanted to kidnap her through one, Amar Singh by offering Rs.10,000/-.She was
dismissed from service. The Union espoused her cause and the case reached the
Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld the dismissal order passed
against the lady employee.
8. Management, Krishnakali Tea Estate vs. Akhil Bharatiya Chah Mazdoor Sangh
and another[2004 AIR SCW 5256:2004 Lab IC 4074: 2004 (7) SCALE 608: AIR 2004
SC 4647: (2004) 8 SCC 200: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/79932 ] :Date
ofJudgment:10 September 2004:- In this case a group of workmen of the tea
estate indulged in violence, riotous and disorderly conduct,came to the Manger’s
Bungalow during night armed with lethal weapons, gheraoed the Manager and
forced him to sign on a paper that the workers will be paid bonus @ 20%.They
also put the Manager on wrongful confinementAs per the prior approval of the
Labour Court the workmen were dismissed from service.Ultimately the case
reached the Supreme Court and the Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld the order of
dismissal.

9. Employer,Management,Muriadihi Colliery of M/s Bharat Coking Coal Ltd vs.


Bihar Colliery Kamgar Union [2005-06 SCLJ 950: 2005 (104) FLR 1224: 2005 (2) LLN
47: 2005-I-LLJ-1135: 2005 (2) Lab IC 1341: 2005 LLR 373: 2005 (1) CLR 1070: 2005
(27) AIC 27: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/171846 ]:Date of Judgment:22 February
2005:- In this case a mob of 200 workers armed with lethal weapons barged into
the office of the General Manager of Muriadihi Colliery of Borara Area, Jharkhand
State. Two workmen assaulted the General Manager on his head for which he was
hospitalized. They also assaulted another 4 officers .They faced dismissal from
service. On adjudication, the Labour Court set aside the punishment of dismissal
but denied the back wages and substituted the punishment with that of reduction
of one increment each of the two workmen. The Management filed writ petition
against the order of the Labour Court which came to be dismissed. A writ appeal
filed against the order of the learned Single Judge also came to be dismissed by
the Division Bench. Thereafter, the Management filed a Special Leave Petition
(Civil) No.1195 of 2004 which on grant of special leave, became Civil Appeal No.
1347 of 2005.The Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed the appeal and set aside the
order of reinstatement of the Labour Court which was affirmed by the learned
Single Judge as well as the Division Bench of the High Court.

10. Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd vs. N B Narwade [2005 (104) FLR 1218: 2005-06
SCLJ 944: 2005 (27) AIC 14:2005-I-LLJ-1129 :(2005) 3 SCC 134: 2005 (2) Lab IC
1333:2005 (1) LLN 1074: 2005 LLR 360: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/73046 ]:Date
of Judgment: 22 February 2005:- In this case the workman, on 7 November 1991
used abusive and filthy language against his Supervisor following which a
domestic enquiry was ordered wherein he was found guilty and faced termination
of service. The Labour Court held that the charge-sheet issued by the
Management was vague. A fresh charge-sheet was issued which was followed by
a fresh enquiry wherein he was found guilty and was dismissed from service.
Again, on the second round of adjudication, the Labour Court found the enquiry
to be fair and proper but held the punishment of dismissal from service to be
harsh and improper and set aside the punishment. The Labour Court directed
reinstatement with continuity of service but with 2/3rd back wages. The
Management filed a writ petition before the High Court which was dismissed.
Then the management filed a writ appeal but the Division Bench also held that
punishment of dismissal is too harsh. It reduced the back wages to 40%.Having
felt aggrieved by the order of the Division Bench the management filed a Special
Leave Petitions in the Hon’ble Supreme Court which on grant of special leave,
became Civil Appeal Nos.1508 of 2003.The workman had also filed a Special Leave
Petition, which on grant of special leave became Civil Appeal No 1507 of 2003.The
order of the Division Bench, Single Judge of the High Court and that of the Labour
Courtto the extent that it set aside the order of dismissal and directed
reinstatement was quashed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Apex Court
upheld the order of the Disciplinary Authority dismissing the respondent-
workman from service. The Civil Appeal filed by the workman was dismissed as
infructuous.

11. M P Electricity Board vs. Jagdish Chandra Sharma [2005-06 SCLJ 1168: 2005-II-
LLJ-156: 2005 (2) LLN 67:2005 (105) FLR 155 :(2005) 3 SCC 401: AIR 2005 SC 1924:
www.legalcrystal.com/647680 :www.indiankanoon.org/doc/109584 ] :Date of
Judgment:- 4 March 2005: In this case the employee was working as a muster roll
labourer in M P State Electricity Board. On 19/1/1984 the workman assaulted one
Sri A K Singh who was a superior officer. By his assault Shri AK Singh was seriously
injured. An enquiry was conducted wherein the guilt of the workman was proved
and he was dismissed from service. The Labour Court which adjudicate upon the
dispute ordered the reinstatement of the workman but without back wages. The
workman filed an appeal before the Industrial Court for back wages. The
Industrial Court set aside the order of the Labour Court which had directed
reinstatement of the workman in service. As result of this the dismissal order
passed by the Management was restored. The workman, then, approached the
High Court by filing a writ petition. The High Court restored the order of the
Labour court and set aside the order passed by the Industrial Court but denied
the back wages. Both the employer and employee approached the Supreme
Court. The workman approached the Supreme Court for back wages. On
adjudication, the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed the Civil Appeal filed by the
Employer P Electricity Board and restored the decision of the Industrial Court
which upheld the order of termination passed by the Management/Employer.

12. Ajit Kumar Nag vs. General Manager (P J), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and
others [AIR 2005 SC 4217: 2005 (107) FLR 407: JT 2005 (8) SC 425: (2005) 7 SCC
674: 2006 (1) SLJ 267:2005-06 SCLJ 472: www.legalcrystal.com/662003
:www.indiankanoon.org/doc/309285 ]:Date of Judgment:19 September 2005:-In
this case, an Operator A Grade of Haladia Oil Refinery was charge-sheeted for
assaulting and causing injury to the Chief medical Officer of the Refinery’s
Hospital. On the charges, being proved, he was dismissed from service. Against
the order of dismissal he approached the High Court of Calcutta by filing a writ
petition and also a writ appeal following dismissal of the writ petition. The writ
appeal was also dismissed. Finally he approached the Supreme Court which
dismissed the Civil Appeal filed by him.

13. Hombe Gowda Educational Trust vs. State of Karnataka and others[2006 (1)
LLN 461: 2006 (1) CLR 280: 2005-06 SCLJ 53: 2006 SCC (L & S) 133: (2006) 1 SCC
430: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/154855] :Date of Judgment:16 December
2005:- In this case a college lecturer assaulted the Principal of with chappal and
got dismissed from service. He preferred an appeal before the Educational
Tribunal which ordered his reinstatement as the charges against the lecturer
stood partly proved. The trust challenged the order of the Tribunal in the High
Court but without success. Finally the Trust approached the Supreme court with
an SLP which on grant of special leave became Civil Appeal No.2554 of 2003.The
State of Karnataka also filed an appeal. The Hon’ble Supreme court stated that
the impugned judgments of the educational tribunal as well as the High Court
cannot be sustained. It allowed the appeals and restored the order of dismissal
passed by the Trust.

14. General Secretary, South Indian Cashew Factories Workers’ Union vs. Kerala
State Cashew Development Corporation Ltd [2005-06 SCLJ 693: (2006) 6 SCC 201:
2006-II-LLJ-772: 2006 SCC (L&S) 988: 2006 (3) LLN 761: 2006 (110) FLR 492:
www.indiankanoon.org/doc/268016 ] : Date of Judgment : 12 May 2006:- In this
case the workman was charged with causing willful loss to the Corporation,
habitual absence, making false allegations against officers and gross negligence to
duty. On the basis of domestic enquiry the workman was dismissed from service.
Ultimately the case reached the Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court
dismissed the appeal filed by the Union.

15. Anand Regional Cooperative Oilseeds Growers’ Union Ltd vs. Shaileshkumar
Harshadbhai Shah [2005-06 SCLJ 863:2006 SCC (L&S) 1486: 2006 (4) LLN 157:2006
(7) SCALE 603:(2006) 6 SCC 548: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1908404 ]: Date of
Judgment:8 August 2006:- In this case the employee was charged with the
following misconducts:
a) Having a meeting in the lawn of the office premise without permission,
b) Levelling allegations against the Head of the Establishment,
c) Forcibly entering into the cabin of the Chief Executive,
d) Threatening the Chief executive to leave the organization or he will be
shown the way,
e) Throwing a paper ball at the Chief executive,
f) Misbehaviour and shouting slogans against the Chief Executive.
For the above misconduct the employee was dismissed from service. The
case went upto the Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court modified the
punishment to that of voluntary retirement as given to 6 others who were on the
mob along with Shaileshkumar.

16. Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company Ltd vs. N K Sigh[2005 SCLJ 936:
2007-I-LLJ-726: (2007) 2 SCC (L&S) 327: 2006 (111) FLR 1187: (2006) 12 SCC 554:
www.indiankanoon.org/doc/232382 ]:Date of Judgment: 8 November 2006:-In
this case the workman was in unauthorized occupation of company’s quarters.
The Town Warden, who was on duty to execute the decree of vacation of the
quarters, was assaulted by the workman and others. The Town Warden was also
threatened by them. On the basis of a domestic enquiry, the workman was
dismissed from service. The matter went to Labour Court foradjudication. Though
the Labour Court found that the domestic enquiry was fair and proper, yet it was
of the opinion that the punishment of dismissal is disproportionate to the charge
proved. The Labour Court directed reinstatement withhalf back wages. The
Management filed a writ petition in the HighCourt. The High Court ordered that
half of the back wages will be paid to the workman from the date of the award.
The Management then filed a Letter Patent Appeal which came to be dismissed.
Aggrieved by the judgment of the Division Bench the Management approached
the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Supreme Court set aside the orders of the
Labour Court and also that of the High Court and restored the order of dismissal
passed by the disciplinary authority.

17. U B Gadhe vs. General Manager, Gujarat Ambuja Cement (Pvt) Ltd [ AIR 2007
SC 99: (2007) 13 SCC 634: 2007 AIR SCW 6157: 2007 (3) CLR 834: 2007 LLR 1178:
2008-I-LLJ-156:(2008) 2 SCC (L&S) 672: 2007 (115) FLR 515: 2007 (4) LLN 560:
www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1861503 ] : Date of Judgment: 28 September 2007:-
In this case 8 workmen including Shri U B Gadhe were dismissed from service for
causing cessation of work, strike, disorderly behaviour, demonstration and
committing nuisance etc. , that too in a public utility service. Having lost the case
in the High Court the workman approached the Supreme Court. While taking up
the case for adjudication, the Hon’ble Supreme Court stated that “ they have to
be dealt with seriously when the charges have been proved in the enquiry. The
Labour Court or High Court should not extend misplaced sympathy in order to
vary punishment as imposed by the employer and the modification of the
punishment should not be done in casual manner”. Finally,the Employer agreed
to pay Rs.1 lakh to each of the dismissed workmen and the appeal was disposed
of accordingly.

18. Usha Brecco Mazdoor Sangh vs. Management, Usha Brecco Ltd and another
[2008-I-LLJ-945: 2007-08 SCLJ 838: 2008 (118) FLR 400:2008 (3) LLN 84: (2008) 5
SCC 554: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/734499 ] :Date of judgment: 29 April2008:-
In this case two trade union leaders, who were Secretary and Vice President of
the Union were involved. They used indecent and unparliamentary language with
the officials and instigated other workers not to work and also assaulted officers.
A domestic enquiry was heldand the Enquiry Officer found them guilty and they
were dismissed from service. The Labour Court directed reinstatement stating
that the management did not prove the guilt of the workmen in the domestic
enquiry. A learned Single judge affirmed the award of the Labour Court. The
management filed an appeal in the High Court which was allowed. Against the
judgment and order of the High Court the Union filed a Special Leave Petition in
the Supreme Court which was dismissed.

19. West Bokaro Colliery (TISCO Ltd) vs. Ram Prakash Singh [2009 (4) LLN 599: AIR
2009 SC 1162: 2008 (116) FLR 108: JT 2008 (2) SC 272: 2009-I-LLJ-220: 2008 (2)
SCALE 1: www.legalcrystal.com/665952 : www.indiankanoon.org/doc/378045 ]:
Date of Judgment:1 February 2008:-In this case the workman was charged with
leaving the workplace without permission and indecent, riotous and disorderly
behaviour with a Supervisor as well as co-worker. On the basis of a domestic
enquiry, wherein he was found guilty, the workman was dismissed from service.
The Labour Court, on the plea of non-production of independent witness during
the domestic enquiry, directed reinstatement of the workman with 50% back
wages. The Management unsuccessfully challenged the award of the Labour
Court and also in the High Court. Finally the matter was taken to the Supreme
Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court set aside the award of the Labour Court as
affirmed by the High Court and restored the order of dismissal passed by the
disciplinary authority.

20. Biecco Lawrie Ltd vs. State of West Bengal [2009 (4) LLN 91:2010 SCLJ 291:
2010 (124) FLR 108: 2010 (1) CLR 328: AIR 2010 SC 142: JT 2009 (10) SC 340:
2009-IV-LLJ-644: 2009 (10) SCALE 334: (2009) 10 SCC 32: 2009 AIR SCW 5779:2010
SCLJ 291:2009 LLR 1057:(2009) 8 MLJ 451:www.legalcrystal.com/71186:
www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1467890 ]: Date of Judgment: 28 July 2009:- In this
case, a workman, named Provash Chandra Mondal was a general mazdoor. He
was proceeded against departmentally and a charge-sheet was issued to him on
charges of major misconducts, namely, instigation, insubordination and using of
abusive and filthy language against his superiors and dilatory tactics. On the
charges being proved, he was dismissed from service. The Industrial Tribunal, on
adjudication of the dispute directed reinstatement of the workman with full back
wages on the ground that the management had failed to establish by cogent
evidence that the workman had developed the habit of being negligent to his
duties and using abusive language. It was further held that the charge-sheet had
not disclosed the specific abusive language used by the delinquent and without
recording such language, the charge-sheet was bad. The Management
unsuccessfully challenged the award of the Industrial Tribunal in the High Court in
writ petition as well as in writ appeal. Finally a Special Leave Petition was filed in
the Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court set aside the award of the
Industrial Tribunal which was affirmed by the High Court in writ petition and also
in writ appeal stage. The order of dismissal passed by the disciplinary authority
was restored.
Decisions of some High Courts
After discussing some decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the
subject, let us discuss some decisions rendered by various High Courts which are
as follows:

1.Pure Gulakib Colliery vs. Workmen [1960 (1) FLR 470 (IT)] : In this case some
workers behaved in the most indecent manner with officers of the Colliery who
used to issue rule based directions in the interest of the administration.The
workers faced dismissal from service. The case went to the Industrial Tribunal
which ruled as follows:

“The employer and his officers are entitled to give all reasonable and legal directions regarding
the manner in which the work of the establishment should be conducted and if their directions
are flouted and workers behave in an insubordinate manner, then the proper functioning of the
establishment becomes impossible, and therefore, such disobedience or insubordinate
behaviour is also a serious misconduct”. [Industrial Tribunal]

2. Nestle India Ltd, Moga vs. Jaswinder Singh [1996 LLR 1044] : In this case the
Management sought the approval of the Labour Court to dismiss one, Shri
Jaswinder Singh , who used filthy and abusive language but the Industrial tribunal
did not approve the proposal which prompted the Management of Nestle india
Ltd to approach the High Court .The High Court , on appreciation of the facts,
stated that using filthy and abusive language against the officers of the company
warrants the punishment dismissal from service and the Industrial tribunal must
grant approval. [Punjab and Haryana High Court]

3. Narayanan vs. State of Tamil Nadu [1999 (1) LLN 693: 1999 LLR 382] : In this
case the workman assaulted and abused the factory Manager and was dismissed
from service. The Labour Court upheld the dismissal following which the workman
approached the High Court of Madras which ruled follows:

“Assaulting and abusing the Factory Manager outside the factory premises will amount to
misconduct and the dismissal of the workman will be justified”. [Madras High Court]

4. Management of Sri Ram Coffee Estate vs. Presiding Officer, Labour Court
andanother [2002-II-LLJ-220 : www.legalcrystal.com/825121] : In this case a
workman of Sri Ram Coffee Estate abused one, Shri Chinnaih, the Superintendent
of the Estate. The workman also threatened him with assault. The matter was
reported to the management and a domestic enquiry was held wherein the
workman was found guilty and faced dismissal from service. The workman
approached the Labour Court which set aside the dismissal and directed the
reinstatement of the workman with back wages. The Management filed a writ
petition in the High Court. The High Court partially allowed the writ petition. It
upheld the reinstatement of the workman in service but denied the back
wages.(see also www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1193574 ): [ Madras High Court]

5. Union of India vs. Vishnu Lal Naik [2005 (1) RRD 415:RLW 2005 (3) Raj 1545:
2005 (2) WLC 38: www.legalcrystal.com/756669
:www.indiankanoon.org/doc/259853] : In this case the employee was working as
a Postman in Sub-post Office, Devgarh in Rajasthan State. He rushed into the
office of the Inspector, misbehaved with him. Hurled abuses with him and threw
chairs which fell near the gate. Due to such misconduct he was proceeded against
departmentally under the provision of Central Civil Service (Classification, Control
and Appeal) Rules, 1965 wherein he was found guilty and was compulsorily
retired from service. He approached the Central Administrative Tribunal with an
original application. The Tribunal set aside the punishment of compulsory
retirement but reduced his pay by 3 stages of increment for a period of 3 years
with cumulative effect. The Union of India approached the High Court by filing a
writ petition and thereafter a writ appeal. The High Court maintained the
punishment of reduction of 3 increments with cumulative effect.[ Rajasthan High
Court:Division Bench]

6. Mafat Lal Engineering Industry Ltd vs. Ishwarbhai K Makwana [(2005) 2 GLR
1230: www.legalcrystal.com/733612 ] : In this case the workman was issued with
a charge-sheet dated 29 October 1982 for committing misconduct .During
enquiry he misbehaved with the Enquiry Officer and abused him on 13 February
1983. He was served with another charge-sheet on 14 February 1983.He was
served with yet another charge-sheet on 20 April 1983 for the gross and serious
misconduct of abusing and assaulting the Supervisor and indulging in riotous,
disorderly and indecent behaviour while on duty in company’s premises for the
incident which took place on 19 April1983. After domestic enquiry his service was
terminated vide an order dtd. 28 May 1984.The matter went to Labour Court for
adjudication. The Labour Court felt that the punishment of dismissal inflicted on
the workman is highly disproportionate. Itdirected the reinstatement of the
workman with 25% back wages. The management approached the High Court of
Gujarat with a writ petition. The High Court set aside the award of the Labour
Court and restored the punishment of dismissal inflicted on the workman.
[Gujarat High Court]

7. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd vs. Industrial Tribunal [2005 (106) FLR 880 :
2005-III-LLJ-271: www.legalcrystal.com/724605 ]: This is a case of a lady employee
who was appointed as a Peon on probation for one year. She got charge-sheeted
even before completion of probation period. The charges were as follows:

a) That despite several verbal and written advices she refused to go to Post
Office on 21/11/1989, 25/11/1989, 11/12/1989, 4/1/1990, 6/1/1990,
8/1/1990, 9/1/1990 and 10/1/1990 to carry out the works assigned to her.

b) That she refused to mail the OTNs given to her by one Sri P N Sasikumar,
Clerk-Typist on 18/4/1990.When requested by Shri K Ramachandran, D O
she said that she will mail the letters only on the next day. It was also
learnt that on the same day, instead of going to Post Office by herself to
mail the letters , she handed over the letters to the post man who came
to the Plant to hand over registered letters.

c) That she was rude to her co-workers and used rude and intemperate
language not fit to be used in office. For instance, she used following
language against Sri B Neeliyath, Dy Manager, Trivandrum LPG on
20/3/1990 in presence of D Ds Shri K Ramachandran and Sri Chinmay S
Panth:
‘You have not appointed me , so are you giving letters to me?’
‘My uncles are I G, S P, S I. They will break your legs’.
‘Mr Madhu, RSP leader promised me that he will break your spine and put you
in hospital. Only because of me you are surviving’.
‘Why are you not doing the jobs of a peon and clerk and asking me to do?’
‘I will deal with people in Bombay and Madras and not with you’.

d) Similarly, on 2/5/1990 when Sri K Ramanathan, D D asked her to go to the


Plant to hand over the slip to Sri Saji George D D, she reached by saying in
Malayalam that she will beat him with chappals.

e) On 3.5.1990 when the Sub-Inspector of Police was in the Dy Manager’s


room speaking to him regarding the workmen’s strike, she walked in
with cold drinks and told the Police Officer in Malayalam regarding Sri B
Neeliyath , ’Take this fellow into custody as he is a corrupt fellow’.

f) In connection with observance of Fire Prevention Week when a


questionnaire was issued to her as well as other employees by Sri S V
Byju on 12.4.1990 to enable him to assess her knowledge on safety and
Fire prevention, she told him that she is not supposed to know these
things and her work was only to go to post office . When Sri Byju
requested her to leave the room, she tore up the question paper and
walked out. She attended the post lunch session and when the
responses from other workmen were being evaluated, she said loudly
that anyone, who studied in school, will frame better questions.

g) On 12.5.1990 she walked into the office with a stick and behaved in an
unruly manner by brandishing the stick at her co-workers. She also
walked into the room of Vijayakumar, Steno-Clerk and told him that this
Balakrishnan has killed one Sukumaran and he is a criminal. She asked
him not to go to his cabin and to be careful.

The above acts of the lady employee (Peon) , if proved would constitute
misconduct under the following provisions of the Standing Orders of the
Corporation, applicable to her :

Clause 29.1.4 :Riotous,disorderly behaviour during working hours,

Clause 29.1.6 : Use of abusive language, threatening….within the premises of the


establishment.

Clause 29.1.20 :Willful insubordination or disobedience whether or not in


combination with other of any lawful or reasonable order of a superior,

Clause 29.1.11 : Habitual neglect of work,

29.1.35 : Malicious or false allegation against the Corporation, its officials…,


A detailed enquiry was conducted by the Management into the charges
levelled against her and the charges were found conclusively proved and the
enquiry officer’s findings were as follows:

Clause 19.1.24 : Riotous, disorderly …behaviour during working hours - Proved.

Clause 29.1.6 : Use of abusive language, threatening within the premises of the
establishment ….threat of assault within the premises of the establishment of any
person authorized to work on the premises of the establishment.

Clause 29.1.20: Willful insubordination or disobedience whether or not in


combination with another any lawful or reasonable order of a superior.

Clause 29.1.21 : Habitual neglect of work.

Clause 29.1.35 : Malicious or false allegations against the Corporation officials.

The Labour Court, which, adjudicated upon the dispute, found the enquiry
to be fair and proper which were supported by legal evidence but found the
punishment of dismissal from service to be disproportionate as compared to the
gravity of misconduct. The Labour Court ordered reinstatement with continuity of
service but withholding full wages for a period of one year. A writ petition filed by
the Management against the award of the Labour Court was dismissed.
Thereafter, a writ appeal was filed by the management was allowed. The learned
Division Bench of the High Court set aside the award of the Labour Court which
was affirmed by the Single Judge. [ Kerala High Court ]

8.Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation vs. Ramesh Narayan


Sanap[2006 Mh L J 568: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/850257 ]: In this case the
workman was charge-sheeted for abusing one, Shri Chhote Khan on 21.2.1998.
Shri Sanap was working as a Vehicle Inspector and Shri Chhote Khan was working
as an Assistant Labour Officer. On the basis of an enquiry Shri Sanap was
dismissed from service. The matter went to the Labour Court for adjudication
which found that the punishment of dismissal is shockingly disproportionate and
ordered reinstatement of Shri Sanap with back wages. On an appeal filed by the
Management, the Industrial Court maintained the order of the Labour Court. The
Management, thereafter, filed a writ petition in the High Court which partially
allowed. The High Court reduced the back wages to 50% from the date of
dismissal till the date of his retirement. [ Bombay High Court ]

9.Madhavan S vs Management of Sundaram Motors [2006 LLR 187:


www.legalcrystal.com/844522 :www.indiankanoon.org/doc/342316 ] : In this
case the workman addressed a small gathering of employee at the workplace
without permission and use the words “if anybody say me anything I will beat him
with chappal”. For using such abusive words he was charge-sheeted and the
charges were proved in the domestic enquiry. On the basis of the findings of the
enquiry officer he was dismissed from service. He approached the Labour Court
which found the enquiry to be fair and proper and therefore, did not interfere
with the punishment. The workman then approached the High Court by filing a
writ petition which was dismissed. [ Karnataka High Court ]

10. South Indian Bank Ltd vs. V G Krishnakumar and another [2006-II-LLJ-661:2006
LLR 415: www.legalcrystal.com/730894 : www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1233676 ]:
In this case the workman was working as a clerk in the Bank. Due to certain acts of
omissions and commissions he was proceeded against departmentally and issue
with charge-sheet which contained the following charges:

1) That on 31 August 1992, at about 11.30 a.m. , he refused in the first


instance , to accept the cheques tendered by Mr. M Ashokan, an employee
of P P Abdulla and Bros. for discounting and crediting the proceeds to their
D D account.
2) That after accepting the cheques he abused Mr. Ashokan using
words….’vernacular text omitted’.
3) That when Mr. Ashokan refused to seat as directed by him, he threatened
Mr. Ashokan with tearing off the entire cheques.
4) That when he was advised by the Branch Manager to enter the cheques in
the D.C. Register, he posed a threatening posture to the Branch Manager
and shouted at her using the words….’vernacular text omitted’.
5) That after entering the cheques in the D.C. Register he continued in hot
temper and shouted at other members of staff in abusive language.
6) That he used to shout at the customers and Branch Manager and created
noisy scenes at the branch.
The Malayalam portion in charge No. 2 could be translated into English as
‘you go and sit there’ and in charge No.4 as ‘ then you come and do it’.
In the domestic enquiry charge Nos. 2 and 4 were found proved and the
workman was dismissed from service .The Labour Court, which adjudicated upon
the dispute, set aside the punishment of dismissal and substituted the same with
one year suspension without back wages. The Management of the bank filed a
writ petition against the award of the Labour Court but the petition was
dismissed. Thereafter, the Management filed a writ appeal in the same High
Court. The learned Division Bench, which heard the writ appeal, quashed the
award of the Labour Court which was affirmed by the Single judge. The
punishment of dismissal from service imposed by the Management was restored.
[Kerala High Court]

11. Premier Automobiles Ltd vs. H S T Hegde [2007 LLR 118] : In this case the
workman as dismissed from service against the misconduct of shouting abuse at
the officers of the Company but the Labour Court took a lenient view. The
Company approached the High Court against the said award of the Labour Court.
The Hon’ble High Court in its judgment stated as follows:

“Dismissal of a workman for shouting abuses will not be disproportionate to the misconduct
when his past record was also not satisfactory”. [Punjab and Haryana High Court]

12. Jarnail Singh vs. Presiding Officer, Labour Court[2007 LLR 245: (2006) 144 PLR
621: www.indiankanoon.org/doc/481343 ] : In this case the workman hurled
abusive languages against superior officers and was dismissed from service. The
Labour Court, on adjudication of the dispute, upheld the order of dismissal
against which the workman filed a writ petition in the High Court. The Hon’ ble
High Court ruled as follows:

“Using abusive language against superior officers will be major misconduct to justify
punishment no lesser than dismissal from service”. [Punjab and Haryana High Court]

13. Management of Chemplast Sanmar Ltd. vs. Presiding Officer, Labour Court,
Salem (Respondent I) and A Robert,Workman (Respondent II):
[www.indiankanoon.org/doc/124438] : In this case the workman slapped an
Apprentice thrice when the Apprentice was doing some work. He also threatened
the Apprentice that he will thrash him. An enquiry was conducted against the
workman wherein he was found guilty and subsequently he was dismissed from
service. The matter went to the Labour Court for adjudication. The Labour Court
felt that the punishment of dismissal is disproportionate to the misconduct and
order his reinstatement without back wages but with continuity of service and
other consequential benefit. The Labour court in its award stated that depriving
him of the back wages for 25 months which calculates to Rs.50,000/- would be
proportionate to the misconduct alleged against him. The management
approached the High Court with a writ petition but the High Court did not
interfere with the award of the Labour Court. The High Court also felt that denial
of back wages for 25 months would be the proportionate punishment looking to
the misconduct. [Madras High Court]

14. Harnak Gill vs. State Bank of Patiala through its General Manager,Head Office
[2009 LLR 80] : In this case the workman was in a drunken state and hurled abuses
against the General Manager and faced dismissal from service. The Labour Court
upheld the dismissal of the workman for hurling abuses against superior officers.
The workman, thereafter, approached the High Court by filing a writ petition. The
High Court refused to interfere with the award of the Labour Court and dismissed
the writ petition. [Punjab and Haryana High Court]

THE ASSUMPTIONS

From the foregoing discussions the following assumptions could be deduced:

1.Using abusive languages against the official superior, colleague or a workman is


a major misconduct in any organization whether Government, Private or Public
sector. An employee, using abusive languages, can be charge-sheeted for major
misconduct [in Government organization/offices under Rule 14 of central Civil
Service ( Conduct ) Rules, 1964]. The charge would be “the conduct of the
employee is unbecoming of a Government servant which is prejudicial to the
interest of the State and against good order and discipline”.

2. Other employees, who were present at the spot of occurrence and called some
other colleagues over mobile phone to join them, can also be charge-sheeted as
abettors and co-conspirators to the misconduct.

3. A Government servant, who abused an official superior outside the


factory/premise/workplace can be charge-sheeted with major misconduct
because a Government servant enjoys a privileged position. The Government
servant, being public servant, should behave decently in public. If he/she
misbehaves then his/her conduct is unbecoming of being a Government servant
and such a Government servant has no right to be retained in Government
service.

4. Using threatening words like ‘it will take 5 minutes to blow off the Head of the
Establishment by planting a bomb in his car’ could be compared to criminal
behaviour and sedition for which Criminal proceedings can also be initiated and
such employees can be removed/dismissed from service even without conducting
any enquiry.[Article 311 (2) (b) of the Constitution of India].

5. A person, being a member or office bearer of any association or union, does


not have the licence to misbehave with official superiors. The rights for Unions or
Associations can be exercised subject to reasonable restrictions. It is not an
absolute or unfettered right. No leniency can be shown to such persons, who
behave like roadside hooligans or third rated criminals. For such persons the
punishment of dismissal would be proportionate and also appropriate.

[AKS,NCHC:13 November 2014]