The Supreme Court while dealing with two appeals in a matter related to compassionate appointment under the National Coal Wage Agreement (NCWA) requested the Chhattisgarh High Court to dispose of the writ appeals on its own merits as expeditiously as possible.

The Court said that the stay is operating in the two appeals since January 30, 2017, and May 8, 2017, respectively, and hence the appeals must be decided on merits.

The Bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Bela M. Trivedi held, “At one stage, we were of the view to decide the appeal on merits rather to relegate the parties to get the writ appeal examined on merits by the High Court but after we have looked into the records, we are of the view that it may be advisable and in the interest of justice that the writ appeal pending before the High Court may be heard on merits.”

The Bench observed that its interim orders shall continue until the disposal of the writ appeals pending before the High Court.

“The appeal is accordingly disposed of with a request to the High Court to dispose of the writ appeal on its own merits as expeditiously as possible”, said the Court.

Advocate Aishwarya Sinha appeared for the appellants while Advocate Vikrant Singh Bais appeared for the respondents.

In this case, a compassionate appointment of both respondents was done on account of the death of their fathers while they were in service in the year 2007. The dependents submitted an application seeking compassionate appointment under the scheme, i.e., National Coal Wage Agreement (NCWA), a settlement within the meaning of Section 2(p) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 which is binding under Section 18(3) of the Act.

When the application filed by the dependents of the respondents came to be rejected by the appellant i.e., the employer on the premise that their mothers were in employment and were capable to maintain their family, came to be assailed by the respondents by filing a writ petition before the Single Judge of the High Court. The Single Judge allowed the writ petition with a direction to consider the candidature of the respondents for compassionate appointment in terms of the settlement agreement (NCWA).

The Supreme Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case, noted, “It reveals from the record that at the motion stage, the Division Bench, after hearing the parties while admitting the appeal, declined to grant interim relief prayed for by the appellants. At the same time, directed the appellants to ensure compliance of the Order which was impugned before the Division Bench in writ appeal. The order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court in writ appeal dated 24th August, 2016 came to be challenged in appeal before us.”

Accordingly, the Apex Court disposed of both appeals.

Cause Title- South Eastern Coalfield Ltd. & Others v. Gulshan Prakash & Ors.

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