Gainful Employment And Non-Confirmed Probation Status Negate Reinstatement: Karnataka High Court While Setting Aside Labor Court’s Order
The Karnataka High Court upheld that if a person is gainfully employed, the question of reinstatement does not arise. The petitioner is a limited company engaged in the manufacture and sale of diesel generators, and the respondent was employed as a Supervisor. The respondent's probationary period was extended multiple times on humanitarian grounds. However, after the final extension, the respondent did not secure alternate employment, and the company asked for the return of its No Objection Certificates (NOCs). Instead, the respondent alleged that his services were terminated. The dispute was taken to the Labour Court, which ruled in favor of the respondent, directing the petitioner company to reinstate him with continuity of service and benefits but without back wages. The petitioner challenged this ruling in this writ petition.
A Bench of Justice Jyoti Mulimani said that, “The law is well settled that if a person is gainfully employed, question of reinstatement does not arise. That apart, it is not in dispute that the respondent was on probation period and his service was not confirmed. Hence, the question of reinstatement does not arise.”
Advocate Somashekar appeared for the Petitioner and Advocate Adinarayana appeared for the Respondent.
The Court noted that the respondent was indeed appointed as a "Supervisor" and that the terms and conditions of his appointment allowed for termination during the probation period without notice or reason. The respondent's probationary period had been extended multiple times.
The Court held, “It is not in dispute that the respondent was appointed as a Supervisor but, he was paid a salary of more than Rs.10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only) per month. Hence, in view of Section 2(S)(iv) of the I.D Act, he cannot be considered as the workman. Furthermore, a perusal of the Writ Papers would reveal that certain documents are filed to show that the respondent is gainfully employed.”
The Court emphasized that if a person is gainfully employed, reinstatement does not apply and since the respondent's probation had not been confirmed, there was no basis for reinstatement.
As a result, the Court allowed the writ petition, setting aside the Labour Court's award.
Cause Title: M/S. Powerica Limited (DTA Unit) v. Manjunath Pattar, [2023:KHC:33603]