Illegal termination – Reinstatement is not an Automatic Relief for Illegal termination – Delhi HC



August  08, 2018

Illegal termination – In this recent case, the Delhi High Court has in view of precedents ruled that even if termination of a workman under the Industrial Dispute Act is illegal, reinstatement of the workman is not an automatic relief and will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The Court in the case also drew a distinction between consequential relief available to a regular employee and a daily wager.

Illegal termination Case

August 8, 2018

Case name: Radha v. Food and Civil Supplies Department

Date of Judgment: August 07, 2018

The Petitioner, a workwoman was a daily wager and she alleged that her services were terminated by the Respondent without giving her any notice and retrenchment compensation as required under the Industrial Dispute Act.

Aggrieved by the aforesaid, the Petitioner issued a legal notice to the Respondent and sought reinstatement with full backwages and continuity of service. The Labour Court held that the termination of services of the petitioner by the respondent were illegal, however the Court did not grant reinstatement with full back wages and in lieu of the same granted a lumpsum compensation of Rs.60,000/-.

The Petitioner has challenged the aforesaid holding of Labour Court’s order on the ground that for the illegal termination of her services she is entitled to the relief of reinstatement, continuity of service, and full back wages.

Bench’s Verdict

The High Court though it came to the conclusion that the Petitioner’s termination was illegal, the Court did not grant her relief of reinstatement. The Court made reference to plethora of judgments pertaining to the legal issue in the case and made the following observations:


  • That the workwoman herself showed that she had been employed as daily wager and had worked for two years and six months and was thus not entitled for reinstatement and full back wages in as much as even in cases of illegal termination of service, reinstatement cannot be held to be automatic.


  • The Court while arriving at its verdict made reference to Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Sujanpur Vs. Surinder Kumar, wherein the Apex Court observed that reinstatement is not automatic but it was for the Labour Court to consider the facts of each case to ascertain the relief that can be granted in terms of Section 11A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
  • The Court also made reference to Apex Court’s judgment in the case of Asstt. Engineer Rajasthan Development Corporation and Anr. Vs. Gitam Singh  to the effect that a distinction has to be drawn between a daily wager and a regular employee’s post for the purposes of a consequential relief and that where the length of engagement as a daily wager has not been long, award of reinstatement should not follow and rather compensation should be directed to be paid.

In view of the aforesaid precedents and facts of the case the High Court observed that as the petitioner was a daily wager and that she had not been recruited for regular appointment, nor had she been appointed as a regular employee on the basis of any regular employment, the Labour Court had rightly not granted the relief of reinstatement and full back wages.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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