Bombay High Court Reduces Back Wages To 50% Citing The Financial Condition Of The Employer

Posted On - 15 May, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

In WP No. 2574 of 2017, the Respondent was an employee at Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (“MSRTC”) working as a driver. The Respondent did not report to duty after his transfer which resulted in a charge sheet being filed against him for unauthorized absence. Subsequently, the Respondent was dismissed after an inquiry. The Respondent challenged the dismissal and the labour court awarded reinstatement with 25% backwages as MSRTC had failed to provide evidence during the disciplinary proceedings.  The Respondent approached the Industrial Tribunal for an increase in backwages to 100% and the Industrial Tribunal awarded the same. The High Court in the appeal filed by MSRTC stated that the Respondent didn’t follow the appropriate procedure to obtain sanctioned leave during his absence, even if there were valid reasons. The Court emphasized the financial strain on MSRTC due to increased back wages and its status as a government transport undertaking facing losses. Ultimately, the Industrial Court’s order was set aside, and the High Court decided to award 50% back wages, considering the prolonged absence period.