Legal Precedents on Holding Enquiries

The court’s legal analysis in employment termination cases, specifically regarding the holding of enquiries, is crucial for ensuring fair treatment of employees. By examining significant legal precedents such as Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation v. Jadeja Govubha Chhanubha and Workmen of the Motipur Sugar Factory Private Ltd. v. Motipur Sugar Factory, employers can navigate the complexities of labour law and uphold due process. Let’s delve into the key principles outlined by the court and understand their implications on disciplinary inquiries in the workplace.


  • The Respondent filed a complaint before the School in July 2006 claiming continuous work until 07.03.2006.
  • The School contested this claim stating that the Respondent had abandoned her job since marrying in 1997 and moving to Dehradun.
  • The Records did not show any leave application or work by the Respondent from July 1997 onwards.
  • Another clerk was hired in place of the Respondent in 2002 due to continuous absence.
  • The Respondent alleged illegal termination on 08.03.2006 without a hearing or inquiry.
  • The School maintained that the claimant had not worked post her marriage in 1997 and only complained after the school started receiving state grants.
  • The Basic School Inspector’s report highlighted the familial links of the Respondent to the school’s management.
  • Witness testimony supported the school’s stance that the claimant had not worked up to her alleged termination date.
  • The List sent for staff approval in 2005 did not contain the claimant’s name but included another clerk, Sneh Lata.
  • The Audit Report of 2008 was presented, and the Respondent alleged illegal retrenchment on 08.03.2006.
  • The High Court reversed the Labour Court’s Award and directed reinstatement of the Respondent.
  • The Respondent was engaged as an Assistant Teacher and later as a Clerk in an unaided private school.
  • There was no disciplinary enquiry conducted regarding the alleged abandonment of service by the Respondent.
  • The School claimed the employee abandoned her job in 1997 but did not contest her termination on 08.03.2006.
  • The High Court set aside the Labour Court’s decision due to the lack of a disciplinary enquiry by the School.
  • It was held that the claimant concealed material facts and did not approach the Court with clean hands.
  • The Management presented evidence of the employee’s continued absence since 01.07.1997.

Also Read: Upholding Judicial Integrity: Importance of Reasoned Judgments


  • School has led evidence to prove Respondent abandoned her service in 1997.
  • Respondent failed to prove she worked for 240 days prior to termination.
  • Respondent’s initial employment in 1993-1994 was invalid due to lack of qualifications.
  • Respondent did not produce evidence of continuous employment till termination date.
  • Reliance on Block Development Officer’s letter not valid as evidence.
  • Employer can justify dismissal before Labour Court by leading evidence.
  • Recommendation based on Labour Court’s set aside award cannot be relied upon.
  • In the case of Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation v. Jadeja Govubha Chhanubha, a division bench of the court outlined the principles regarding the holding of enquiries.
  • The judgement in Workmen of the Motipur Sugar Factory Private Ltd. v. Motipur Sugar Factory, delivered by a four Judge Bench, is significant in this context.
  • Delhi Cloth and General Mills Co. v. Ludh Budh Singh also provided relevant legal precedents on holding enquiries.
  • Another important case cited is Workmen of Firestone Tyre & Rubber Co. of India (P) Ltd. v. The Management of Firestone Tyre & Rubber Co. of India (P) Ltd and Others.

Also Read: Analysis of Consent Orders and Appellants’ Rights


  • Present Appeal allowed
  • High Court Judgment set aside
  • Award dated 22.8.2016 restored
  • No Order as to Costs
  • Pending applications disposed of

Also Read: Legal Analysis: Appointment of Sole Arbitrator Under 1996 Act


Case Number: C.A. No.-000142-000142 / 2021

Click here to read/download original judgement

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