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Labour Law - Theory of “Inequality of Bargaining Power"

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HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR

Coram: Hon’ble Mr Justice Tashi Rabstan, Judge

Director General, All India Radio and another v. Casual Labour Employees Association, Radio Kashmir

Date of order: 30.11.2018

Appearing Counsel: For Petitioner(s): Mr S. N. Ratanpuri, Advocate For Respondent(s): Mr R. A. Jan, Senior Advocate with Mr Sharaf Wani, Advocate

1. Impugned in this writ petition is Award dated 18th September 2017, passed by the Central Government Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Court-II, Chandigarh (for brevity “Tribunal”) in case titled Casual Labour Employees Association, Radio Kashmir, Srinagar, J&K, India v. Director General All India Radio and others, on the grounds set out in therein.

2. Reply has been filed by respondents, vehemently resisting the petition on hand.

3. I have heard learned counsel for parties and considered the matter.

4. According to learned counsel for petitioners, impugned Award has been passed in violation of Casual Labourers (Grant of Temporary Status and Regularisation) Scheme 1993, framed by Department of Personnel and Training, inasmuch as the Scheme of 1993 has tacit approval of the Courts and the Supreme Court as well. He has also averred that the direction of learned Tribunal to grant temporary status and all other benefits as available to workers, who were granted temporary status as per the Scheme of 1993, is not in conformity with the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court in various cases. He also states that learned Tribunal has failed to appreciate that once applicants are given temporary status, they will claim regularisation as a consequence of being temporary status worker, which will be contrary and against the Supreme Court observation that grant of temporary status and regularisation is one-time scheme and not ongoing scheme. The next submission of learned counsel for petitioners is that impugned award has been passed in violation of the Administrative Tribunals Act, which alone is competent to adjudicate upon the dispute of the Central Government employees / casual workers because the impugned award has been passed under Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, when the said Act is applicable to workmen inasmuch as the respondents can in no way be termed as workmen and therefore cannot claim any benefit under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The impugned award, according to learned counsel, is in contravention to the judgement rendered by the Supreme Court in L. Chandra Kumar v. The Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 1151.

5. Petitioners‟ grumble is that respondents are not entitled to the benefit as provided under the Casual Labourers (Grant of Temporary Status and Regularisation) Scheme, 1993 and as a corollary, impugned Award is liable to be set-aside. It is, thus, imperative to have glance of the Scheme of 1993 vis-à-vis the pleadings of parties. The Scheme of 1993 has come into force with effect from 1st September 1993. It is applicable to casual labourers in employment of Ministries/ Departments of Government of India and their attached and subordinate offices, on the date of issue of the Scheme of 1993. In terms of para 4 of the Scheme of 1994, temporary status is to be conferred on all casual labourers who are in employment on the date of issue of the Scheme and who have rendered a continuous service of at least one years, which means that they must have been engaged for a period of 240 days (206 days in the case of offices observing 5 days week) and such conferment of temporary status would be without reference to the creation/availability of regular Group „D‟ posts.

6. Insofar as present case is concerned, a dispute arose between the parties and for its settlement and as a consequence of which, Report on Failure of Conciliation was sent to Government of India, Ministry of Labour, New Delhi, by Regional Labour (C) Jammu vide letter dated 18th December 2015 (Annexure A to Reply). Ministry of Labour, Government of India, vide Order bearing No.L-42011/25/2016 (IR(DU) dated 29th March 2016, referred the dispute for adjudication to learned Tribunal, with the reference that whether the action of the management of Radio Kashmir, Srinagar, representing through its Chief Executive Officer in not regularising the services of 37 casual workers of Radio Kashmir, Srinagar, with effect from the date of their joining in the department was legal and justified and if not what relief these workmen were entitled to and from which date. The parties were directed to file statement of claim complete with relevant documents, list of reliance and witnesses with the learned Tribunal within fifteen days of the receipt of the reference. The contention of learned counsel for petitioners that learned Tribunal is incompetent to adjudicate upon the matter is meretricious. The reason being that that it was at the instance of petitioners that the matter was referred to learned Tribunal. And not only this, petitioners partook in the proceedings before learned Tribunal. If petitioners had any reservation or objection qua squaring off the dispute by learned Tribunal, they ought to have, the moment reference was made to learned Tribunal, approached Government of India with their gravamen that learned Tribunal had not been competent enough to adjudicate upon the matter/dispute under reference. Once petitioners partook in the proceedings before learned Tribunal, they acquiesced to reference made by the Government of India and the proceedings before learned Tribunal.

7. In reference to Order no.L-42011/25/2016 (IR(DU) dated 29th March 2016, claimants/respondents filed Statement of Claim before learned Tribunal, to which present petitioners filed their reply. Admitted facts that emerged from the pleadings of the parties before learned Tribunal were that respondents are rendering services since 1991 to 1999 and had been deputed for procurement of technical items from the market, running of diesel gensets, maintenance of transmitters, cooking meals and other ancillary jobs. It also come to fore from the pleadings of the parties that respondents had been engaged during the days of militancy and they had worked at the cost of their lives with the hope that some scheme / policy would be devised for regularising their services. They have rendered more than 20 to 25 years of service and have also crossed upper age limit for seeking job or absorption elsewhere. Respondents urged for their regularisation. A committee constituted by petitioners in April 2015, opined and recommended to take up the matter with Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) for final decision. It appears that the matter had been taken up with DOPT but of no avail.

8. Petitioners‟ vehement plea, both before learned Tribunal and before this Court, is that respondents are casual labourers, working on job contract basis (not employees) with stipulated terms and conditions and from the beginning it was stipulated in their job contract, signed by respondents every month, that they would not claim for regularisation inasmuch as they are being paid wages as per rates/ wages approved by Chief Labour Commissioner, New Delhi, as per different categories and once respondents have agreed and signed the job contract that they would not claim for any regularisation, they have no right to lay any claim for regularising their services. Such contention of petitioners is unacceptable as being specious argument. It may not be out of place to mention here that men's concept of the State as a polity or a political unit or entity and what functions of the State are or should be, have changed over years and particularly in the course of this century. A man cannot tenaciously cling to same ideas and concepts all his life. As Emerson said in his essay on “Self-Reliance”, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. Man is by nature ever restless, ever discontent, ever seeking something new, ever dissatisfied with what he has. This inherent feature in nature of man is reflected in society, in which he lives, for a society is a conglomerate of men who live in it. Just as man by nature is dissatisfied, so is society. Just as man seeks something new, ever hoping that a change will bring about something better, so does society. Old values, old ideologies and old systems are thus replaced by new ideologies, a new set of values and a new system; they in their turn to be replaced by different ideologies, different values and a different system. The ideas that seem revolutionary become outmoded with the passage of time and the heresies of today become the dogmas of tomorrow. What proves to be adequate and suited to the needs of a society at a given time and in particular circumstances turns out to be wholly unsuited and inadequate in different times and under different circumstances.

9. The story of mankind is punctuated by progress and retrogression. Empires have risen and crashed into the dust of history. Civilizations have flourished, reached their peak and passed away. In the year 1625, Carew, C.J., while delivering the opinion of the House of Lords inRe the Earldom of Oxford, (1625) W. Jo. 96, 101 SC (1626) 82 E.R. 50, 53, in a dispute relating to the descent of that Earldom, said:

"….and yet time hath his revolution, there must be a period and an end of all temporal things, finis rerum, an end of names and dignities, and whatsoever is terrene…."

10. Cycle of change and experiment, rise and fall, growth and decay, and of progress and retrogression recurs endlessly in the history of man and the history of civilization. T. S. Eliotin First Chorus from “The Rock” said:



“O Perpetual revolution of configured stars,

O Perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,

O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!

The endless cycle of idea and action, endless invention, endless experiment”.

11. The law exists to serve needs of society, governed by it. If the law is to play its allotted role of serving the needs of society, it must reflect ideas and ideologies of that society. It must keep time with heartbeats of society and with the needs and aspirations of people. As society changes, law cannot remain immutable. Early nineteenth century essayist and wit,Sydney Smith, said, “When I hear any man talk of an unalterable law, I am convinced that he is an unalterable fool.” The law must, therefore, in a changing society march in tune with changed ideas and ideologies. Legislatures are, however, not best fitted for role of adapting the law to the necessities of time, for legislative process is too slow and legislatures often divided by politics, slowed down by periodic elections and overburdened with myriad other legislative activities. A constitutional document is even less suited to this task, for the philosophy and ideologies underlying it must of necessity be expressed in broad and general terms and process of amending a Constitution is too cumbersome and time-consuming to meet immediate needs. This task must, therefore, of necessity fall upon the courts because the courts can by the process of judicial interpretation adapt the law to suit the needs of the society.

12. Following passage is worthwhile to be reproduced below as it has become a classic, from opening paragraph of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's The Common Law”, which contains lectures delivered by him while teaching law at Harvard and which book was published in 1881 just one year before he was appointed an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court:

“It is something to show that the consistency of a system requires a particular result, but it is not all. me life of the law has not been logic : it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed. The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics. In order to know what it is, we must know what it has been, and what it tends to become. We must alternately consult history and existing theories of legislation. But the most difficult labor will be to understand the combination of the two into new products at every stage. The substance of the law at any given time pretty nearly corresponds, so far as it goes, with what is then understood to be convenient; but its form and machinery, and the degree to which it is able to work out desired results, depend very much upon its past.”

13. Let us revert to contention of petitioners that once respondents accepted and acted upon terms and conditions of job contract, they are estopped in law to urge and implore in contravention thereof. To this, learned senior counsel for respondents has strenuously argued, and rightly so, that by virtue of superior position of petitioners vis-à-vis respondents, they were made to comply job contract inasmuch as respondents had no option but to kneel down before petitioners. His further submission is that parties did not stand on an equal footing and did not enjoy same bargaining power, and that the power used and utilized by petitioners was arbitrary and uncanalized. The Supreme Court in Central Inland Water Transport Corporation Ltd and another v. Brojo Nath and another AIR 1986 SC 1571, has accepted the position that certain regulations made by employers need to be struck down, being a reflection of unequal bargaining powers. This position was reiterated in Delhi Transport Corporation v. D.T.C. Mazdoor Congress and others JT 1990 (3) 725.

14. The general rule as said by Willes, J., in Pickering v. Ilfracombe Ry. Co., [1868] L.R. 3 C.P. 235 (at page 250) is as follows:



"The general rule is that, where you cannot sever the illegal from the legal part of a covenant, the contract is altogether void; but where you can sever them, whether the illegality be created by statute or by the common law, you may reject the bad part and retain the good".

15. Under which head would an unconscionable bargain fall? If it falls under the head of undue influence, it would be voidable but if it falls under the head of being opposed to public policy, it would be void. No case of the type before us appears to have fallen for decision under the law of contracts before any court in India nor has any case on all fours of a court in any other country been pointed out to us. The word "unconscionable" is defined in theShorter Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, Volume II, page 2288, when used with reference to actions etc. as “showing no regard for conscience; irreconcilable with what is right or reasonable”. An unconscionable bargain would, therefore, be one, which is irreconcilable with what is right or reasonable. Although certain types of contracts were illegal or void, as the case may be, at Common Law, for instance, those contrary to public policy or to commit a legal wrong such as a crime or a tort, the general rule was of freedom of contract. This rule was given full play in nineteenth century on the ground that parties were best judges of their own interests, and if they freely and voluntarily entered into a contract, only function of the court was to enforce it. It was considered immaterial that one party was economically in a stronger bargaining position than other; and if such a party introduced qualifications and exceptions to his liability in clauses which are today known as “exemption clauses” and other party accepted them, then full effect would be given to what parties agreed. Equity, however, interfered in many cases of harsh or unconscionable bargains, such as, in the law relating to penalties, forfeitures and mortgages. It also interfered to set aside harsh or unconscionable contracts for salvage services rendered to a vessel in distress, or unconscionable contracts with expectant heirs in which a person, usually a money-lender, gave ready cash to the heir in return for property, which he expects to inherit and, thus, to get such property at a gross undervalue. It also interfered with harsh or unconscionable contracts entered into with poor and ignorant persons who had not received independent advice [See: Chitty on Contracts, Twenty-Fifth Edition, Volume I, paragraphs 4 and 516].

16. Legislation has also interfered in many cases to prevent one party to a contract from taking undue or unfair advantage of other. Instances of this type of legislation are usury laws, debt relief laws and laws regulating the hours of work and conditions of service of workmen and their unfair discharge from service, and control orders directing a party to sell a particular essential commodity to another.

17. In Lingappa Pochanna Appelwar v. State of Maharashtra (1985) 1 SCC 479, the Supreme Court said that Legislators, Judges and administrators are now familiar with concept of distributive justice. Our Constitution permits and even directs the State to administer what may be termed “distributive justice”. The concept of distributive justice in the sphere of law-making connotes, inter alia, removal of economic inequalities and rectifying injustice, resulting from dealings or transactions between unequals in society, as is the position in present case. Law should be used as an instrument of distributive justice to achieve a fair division of wealth among members of society based upon the principle: „From each according to his capacity, to each according to his needs‟. Distributive justice comprehends more than achieving lessening of inequalities by differential taxation, giving debt relief or distribution of property owned by one to many, who have none by imposing ceiling on holdings, both agricultural and urban, or by direct; a regulation of contractual transactions by forbidding certain transactions and, perhaps, by requiring others. It also means that those who have been deprived of their properties by unconscionable bargains, should be restored their property. All such laws may take the form of forced redistribution of wealth as a means of achieving a fair division of material resources among members of society or there may be legislative control of unfair agreements.

18. When our Constitution states that it is being enacted in order to give to all the citizens of India “Justice, social, economic and political”, when clause (1) of Article 38 of the Constitution directs the State to strive to promote welfare of people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which social, economic and political justice shall inform all institutions of national life, when clause (2) of Article 38 directs the State, in particular, to minimize inequalities in income, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations, and when Article 39 enjoins upon the State that it shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood and that operation of economic system does not result in concentration of wealth and means of production to common detriment and that there should be equal pay for equal work for both men and women, it is doctrine of distributive justice which is speaking through these words of the Constitution.

19. Yet another theory, which has made its emergence in recent years in the sphere of the administrative laws, is test of reasonableness or fairness of a clause in administrative matters, where there is inequality of bargaining power. Lord DenningM.R., appears to have been propounder, and perhaps originator – at least in England, of this theory. In Gillespie Brothers & Co. Ltd. v. Roy Bowles Transport Ltd., [1973] 1 Q.B. 400, Lord Denning said:

“The time may come when this process of 'construing' the contract can be pursued no further. The words are too clear to permit of it. Are the courts then powerless? Are they to permit the party to enforce his unreasonable clause, even when it is so unreasonable, or applied so unreasonably, as to be unconscionable? When it gets to this point, I would say, as I said many years ago :

„there is the vigilance of the common law which, while allowing freedom of contract, watches to see that it is not abused' : John Lee & Son (Grantham) Ltd. v. Railway Executive [1949] 2 All. E.R. 581, 584. It will not allow a party to exempt himself from his liability at common law when it would be quite unconscionable for him to do so.”

20. It was in Lloyds Bank Ltd. v. Bundy, [1974] 3 All E.R. 757 that Lord Denning first clearly enunciated his theory of “inequality of bargaining power”. He began his discussion on this part of the case by stating:



“There are cases in our books in which the courts will set aside a contract. Or a transfer of property, when the parties have not met on equal terms, when the one is so strong in bargaining power and the other so weak that, as a matter of common fairness, it is not right that the strong should be allowed to push the weak to the wall. Hitherto those exceptional cases have been treated each as a separate category in itself. But I think the time has come when we should seek to find a principle to unite them. I put on one side contracts or transactions which are voidable for fraud or misrepresentation or mistake. All those are governed by settled principles. I go only to those where there has been inequality of bargaining power such as to merit and intervention of the court.”

21. He then referred to various categories of cases and ultimately deduced therefrom a general principle in these words:

“Gathering all together, I would suggest that through all these instances there runs a single thread. They rest on „inequality of bargaining power‟. By virtue of it, the English law gives relief to one who, without independent advice, enters into a contract on terms which are very unfair or transfers property for a consideration which is grossly inadequate, when his bargaining power is grievously impaired by reason of his own needs or desires, or by his own ignorance or infirmity, coupled with undue influences or pressures brought to bear on him by or for the benefit of the other. When I use the word „undue‟ I do not mean to suggest that the principle depends on proof of any wrongdoing. The one who stipulates for an unfair advantage may be moved solely by his own self-interest, unconscious of the distress he is bringing to the other. I have also avoided any reference to the will of the one being „dominated‟ or „overcome‟ by the other. One who is in extreme need may knowingly consent to a most improvident bargain, solely to relieve the straits in which he finds himself. Again, I do not mean to suggest that every transaction is saved by independent advice. But the absence of it may be fatal. With these explanations, I hope this principle will be found to reconcile the cases.” (Emphasis supplied)

22. From the above it emerges that should our Courts not advance with the times? Should they still continue to cling to outmoded concepts and outworn ideologies? Should we not adjust our thinking caps to match the fashion of the day? Should all jurisprudential development pass us by, leaving us floundering in the sloughs of nineteenth-century theories? Should strong be permitted to push weak to wall? Should they be allowed to ride roughshod over weak? Should Courts sit back and watch supinely while strong trample underfoot rights of weak? We have a Constitution for our country. Our judges are bound by their oath to “uphold the Constitution and the laws”. The Constitution was enacted to secure to all the citizens of this great Country social and economic justice. Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees to all persons, equality before law and equal protection of laws. The principle deducible from above discussion on this part of the case, is in consonance with right and reason, intended to secure social and economic justice and conforms to mandate of great equality clause in Article 14. This principle is that Courts will not enforce and will, when called upon to do so, strike down an unfair and unreasonable contract, or an unfair and unreasonable clause in a contract or unfair and unreasonable act of employer upon employees, who are not equal in bargaining power. Respondents, obviously, in the present case are not in bargaining position, but for all practical purposes, petitioners have been in bargaining position.

23. By a hair‟s breadth ever has the voice of timorous spoken more clearly and loudly than in the words of Lord Davey in Janson v. Uriefontein Consolidated Mines Limited [1902] A.C. 484, 500 Public policy is always an unsafe and treacherous ground for legal decision.” That was in the year 1902. Seventy-eight years earlier, Burrough, J., in Richardson v. Mellish, [1824] 2 Bing. 229, 252; s.c. 130 E.R. 294, 303 and [1824-34] All E.R. Reprint 258, 266, described public policy as “a very unruly horse, and when once you get astride it you never know where it will carry you.” The Master of Rolls, Lord Denning, however, was not a man to shy away from unmanageable horses and in words, which conjure up before our eyes the picture of young Alexander the Great Taming Bucephalus, he said in Enderyby Town Football Club Ltd. v. Football Association Ltd., [1971] Ch. 591, 606, “With a good man in the saddle, the unruly horse can be kept in control. It can jump over obstacles.” Had the timorous always held the field, not only the doctrine of public policy but even the Common Law or the principles of Equity would never have evolved. Sir William Holdsworthin his “History of English Law”, Volume III, page 55, has said:

“In fact, a body of law like the common law, which has grown up gradually with the growth of the nation, necessarily acquires some fixed principles, and if it is to maintain these principles it must be able, on the ground of public policy or some other like ground, to suppress practices which, under ever new disguises, seek to weaken or negative them.”

24. It is thus clear that principles governing public policy must be and are capable, on proper occasion, of expansion or modification. Practices considered perfectly normal at one time, have today become obnoxious and oppressive to public conscience. If there is no head of public policy which covers a case, then the court must in consonance with the public conscience and in keeping with the public good and public interest declare such practice to be opposed to the public policy. Above all, in deciding any case which may not be covered by the authority, our Courts have before them beacon light of Preamble to the Constitution. Lacking precedent, the Court can always be guided by that light and principles underlying Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles enshrined in our Constitution.

25. So far as the original terms of employment, in the present case vis-à-vis services of respondent with petitioners, are concerned, they are governed and regulated by the Casual Laboure‟s (Grant of Temporary Status and Regulations) Scheme, 1993. Respondents, admittedly, have been working and discharging their duties. Communication dated 13thJanuary 2014 (Annexure C to Reply) is an Achilles‟ heel in the case of petitioner against impugned Award. The said communication divulges that engagement of respondent was made when the Valley was totally in grip of militancy and that they are continuing. It also reveals that case of respondents had been time and again forwarded to Directorate General, AIR, New Delhi, for their regularization as the power regularize the services of respondents was lying with Directorate General, All India Radio, New Delhi.

26. The submission of petitioners that once respondents signed job contract, accepting thereby terms and conditions contained therein including not to claim for regularizing their services, they are estopped in law to turnaround and reagitate the matter and this Court, therefore, cannot interfere with it. It is not possible for me to equate casual workers/labourers with goods, which can be bought and sold. They are after all human beings. It is equally not possible for me to equate a contract of employment with a mercantile transaction between two businessmen and muchless to do so when contract of employment is between a powerful employer and a weak casual labour. The actions of the State and its functionaries must be inconformity with Article 14 of the Constitution. The progression of judicial concept of Article 14 from a prohibition against discriminatory class legislation to an invalidating factor for any discriminatory or arbitrary State action has been traced in Union of India v. Tulsiram Patel (1985) SCC 398. The principles of natural justice have now come to be recognized as being a part of the Constitutional guarantee contained in Article 14. InTulsiram Patel's case the Supreme Court said:



“The principles of natural justice have thus come to be recognized as being a part of the guarantee contained in Article 14 because of the new and dynamic interpretation given by this Court to the concept of equality which is the subject-matter of that Article. Shortly put, the syllogism runs thus: violation of a rule of natural justice results in arbitrariness which is the same as discrimination; where discrimination is the result of State action, it is violation of Article 14; therefore, a violation of a principle of natural justice by a State action is a violation of Article 14. Article 14, however, is not the sole repository of the principles of natural justice. What it does is to guarantee that any law or State action violating them will be struck down. The principles of natural justice, however, apply not only to legislation and State action but also where any tribunal, authority or body of men, not coming within the definition of „State‟ in Article 12, is charged with the duty of deciding a matter.”

27. Nevertheless, in the context of the unequal bargaining power of petitioners qua respondents, who had been desperate for sustaining their respective families, particularly during turmoil and hard days, conditions sketched in job contract qua deciding their fate of regularization of service through unequal bargaining power, is nothing but an unconscionable covenant, forced by petitioners on the persons (respondents) who hardly had any strength to resist might of petitioners. In fact, respondents had practically no choice in the matter and had to relinquish their claim for making both ends meet. This type of covenant cannot be said to be right or reasonable and amounts to unconscionable contract, as has been held by the Supreme Court in the case of Central Inland Water Transport Corpn Ltd. v. Brojo Nath Ganguly (supra).

28. The act of the petitioners not granting and giving respondents the same benefit as has been bestowed to similarly situated persons, violates the Constitutional rights guaranteed to respondents. It is not only in cases to which Article 14 applies that the rules of natural justice come into play. As pointed out in Tulsiram Patel’s case (supra), “The principles of natural justice are not the creation of Article 14. Article 14 is not their begetter but their constitutional guardian.” That case has traced in some detail the genesis and development of the concept of principles of natural justice and of audi alteram partem rule. They apply in diverse situations and not only to cases of State action. As pointed out by O. Chinnappa Reddy, J., in Swadeshi Cotton Mills v. Union of India AIR 1981 SC 818, they are implicit in every decision-making function, whether judicial or quasi-judicial or administrative. Indubitably, in certain circumstances principles of natural justice can be modified and, in exceptional cases, can even be excluded as pointed out in Tulsiram Patel’s case (supra).

29. In the backdrop of preceding discourse, the Award, impugned in this petition, has been passed by learned Tribunal after taking into consideration all facets of the matter including the Scheme of 1993 as also the pleadings of both parties that unequivocally furnish aid and assistance to the case of respondents. And the reference made by learned counsel for petitioners to J. D. Jain v. Management of SBI & anr, (1982) 1 SCC 143; Sadhu Ram v. Delhi Transport Corporation, (1983) 4 SCC 156; Mukand Ltd. V. Mukand Staff & Officers Association, (2004) 10 SCC 460; and Anurag Kumar Singh & ors v. State of Uttarakhand & ors, 2016 (9) SCC 426, has not furnished any aid and assistance to the case of petitioners. Having said so, writ petition is liable to be dismissed.

30. Taking the foregoing discussion, observations and reasons together, the writ petition on hand lacks in merit, and is, accordingly dismissed. Interim direction, if any, shall stand vacated.

31. Record be returned.

 

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