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Labour Laws – Reinstatement with back wages – Absence without leave – Deemed as resignation as per Bye-Laws and Rules – Reappointment on compassionate ground ordered – After re-appointment, employee again going on leave without permission – Absence again deemed as his resignation – Writ petition by employee seeking his re-instatement in compliance with order of re-appointment – Single Judge of High Court dismissing the petition holding that the employee concealed the fact of his re-appointment – Division Bench of High Court allowing the writ appeal, holding that despite the order of re-appointment by respondent No. 3, he was not employed and directed reinstatement with back wages – In compliance of Division Bench order, employee reinstated – Thereafter, again he failed to report for work – In departmental inquiry for misconduct found guilty – On appeal, held: The decision of High Court was based on erroneous facts – On facts, High Court order not sustainable so far as payment of back wages and other benefits are concerned – Interference with the order regarding reinstatement not called for in view of his having been found guilty in domestic inquiry – The order is modified to the extent that the employee is entitled to full back wages from the date of his joining duty on reinstatement in compliance of order of Division Bench till the date he failed to report for work – Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Rules, 1988 – r. 149(10)(1). Respondent No. 1, appointed with the appellant-Society, remained absent without leave from November, 1990. Appellant treated him to have resigned from service as per the Bye-Laws of the Society and r. 149(10)(1) of Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Rules, 1988. After a lapse of 5 years, respondent No. 1 raised industrial dispute. During pendency of the dispute, he was re-appointed by respondent No. 3, on compassionate ground on certain conditions inter-alia that the period of his absence from duty till the date of his joining duty after re-appointment, shall be treated as leave without pay. After his re-appointment, respondent No. 1 was asked to join another Society. After joining there, he again failed to report for work for about one year. That Society passed a resolution to send him back to his parent Society. He was once again deemed to have resigned from the services of the Society. After about 3 years of the passing of the resolution, he filed a writ petition seeking his appointment in appellant- Society in pursuance of the order of re-appointment passed by respondent No. 3. He also sought all the salaries and other benefits from November, 1990. The writ petition was dismissed by Single Judge of High Court on account of suppression of material facts. Writ appeal, against the same was allowed by Division Bench of High Court directing to reinstate respondent No. 1 with back wages from the date of his dismissal, till the date of his reinstatement, together with all other attendant benefits. Hence the present appeal. During pendency of the case before Supreme Court, the appellant-Society reinstated the respondent in compliance of the impugned order passed by the Division Bench of High Court. The respondent, after joining, again failed to report for work. He was placed under suspension and domestic inquiry was initiated against him. Inquiry Officer held that charges against him were duly proved. =Disposing the appeal, the Court HELD: 1. The decision of the Division Bench of the High Court impugned in the instant appeal, cannot be sustained at least as far as payment of back wages and other benefits are concerned. The conduct of the respondent No.1 does not justify the relief given to him by virtue of the impugned order. Despite the fact that the Single Judge pointed out that the prayer made in the Writ Petition could not be granted on account of suppression of material facts which ran counter to such prayer, the Division Bench appears to have lost sight of the same. As the facts reveal, the respondent No.1 unilaterally stopped coming to work without submitting any leave application or prior intimation and that too not for a day or two, but for months on end. The decision of the Appellant-Society to re-appoint the respondent No.1 on compassionate grounds leading to the order of respondent No. 3 permitting the Appellant-Society to re-appoint him, was in itself a concession made to the respondent No.1 which he misused subsequently. [Para 17] [331-C-G] 2. Even after he was released from the Vijayapuram Society on 24th February, 1997, the Respondent No.1 remained silent till 30th September, 2000, when he filed the writ petition for a direction to appoint him to a suitable post in the Appellant-Society or the Sankarapuram Taluk Co- operative Housing Society pursuant to the order passed by respondent No. 3. Despite the maximum latitude shown to him by allowing him to rejoin his duties in the Appellant-Society pursuant to the impugned order passed by Division Bench of High Court, the Respondent No.1 again failed to report for work, as a result he was placed under suspension and a domestic enquiry was conducted in which he was found to be guilty of the charges brought against him. [Para 18] [331-H; 332-A-C] 3. The Division Bench of the High Court does not appear to have considered the events which occurred after the respondent No.1 was reinstated in service pursuant to the order passed by respondent No. 3. The fact that thereafter, on account of his failure to report for duties for more than one year, the respondent No.1 was once again deemed to have resigned from the services of the Society u/r. 149(10)(1) of Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Rules, 1988 appears to have been overlooked by the High Court. The Division Bench of the High Court does not also appear to have taken into consideration the fact that the respondent No.1 remained silent for about three years, when he filed Writ Petition for a direction for his appointment. [Para 19] [332-D-G] 4. The events, prior to the date when the respondent No. 1 joined the service after the order passed by the respondent No. 3, and thereafter, were not seriously considered by the Division Bench of the High Court which proceeded on the basis that despite the order passed by the respondent No. 3, the Respondent No.1 had not been given appointment, which fact was entirely erroneous. [Para 20] [332-H; 333-A-B] Novartis India Limited vs. State of West Bengal (2009) 3 SCC 124, distinguished. 5. In the circumstances of the case, the judgment and order of the Division Bench of the High Court cannot be sustained. However, having regard to the fact that a domestic inquiry was conducted against the respondent No.1, in which he was found guilty, interference with that part of the order impugned, directing reinstatement is not called for, but the Court is not inclined to maintain the order of the Division Bench of the High Court regarding payment of back wages. [Para 21] [333-D-E] 6. In the circumstances of the case, the Court is inclined to modify the part of the impugned order directing payment of back wages by directing that the Respondent No.1 will be entitled to full wages only for the period between the date when respondent No. 1 joined duty pursuant to impugned judgment and the date when he failed to join duty for which departmental inquiry was initiated, and other connected benefits, if any. As far as payment of full salary for the period under suspension undergone by the respondent No.1 during which period he was being paid subsistence allowance is concerned, the same will depend on the final order to be passed in the disciplinary proceedings already initiated against the respondent No.1. [Para 23] [334-A-C] Case Law Reference: (2009) 3 SCC 124 Distinguished. Para 20 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 4357 of 2010. From the Judgment & Order dated 27.06.2007 of the High Court of Judicature at Madras in W.A. No. 3748 of 2004. N. Shoba, Sriram J. Thalapathy and Adhi Venkataraman for the appellant. T. Harish Kumar and Anitha Shenoy for the Respondents.

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 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NO.4357 OF 2010
 (@SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION(C) No.18834 OF 2007)

Kallakurichi Taluk Co-op.
Housing Society Ltd. ... Appellant

 Vs.

M. Maria Soosai & Ors. ... Respondents

 J U D G M E N T
 2

ALTAMAS KABIR, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. This appeal is directed against the judgment

and order passed by the Division Bench of the

Madras High Court on 27th June, 2007, in Writ Appeal

No.3748 of 2004, arising out of the judgment and

order dated 9th January, 2003, in Writ Petition

No.17237 of 2000. By the said order the Respondents

in the Writ Petition were directed to reinstate the

Respondent No.1 herein in service with back wages

from the date of his dismissal from service till

the date of reinstatement together with all

attendant benefits, within eight weeks from the

date of receipt of a copy of the order.
 3

3. In order to appreciate the submissions made on

behalf of the respective parties and the relief

prayed for in the appeal, it is necessary to

briefly set out the facts leading to the filing of

the writ petition before the High Court.
 4

4. There is no dispute that the Respondent No.1,

M. Maria Soosai, was appointed as an Accountant in

the Appellant Society on 9th March, 1984. From 22nd

July, 1990, the Respondent No.1 failed to report

for duty without permission and without submitting

any leave application. Consequently, the said

Respondent was treated to have resigned from

service as per the Bye-laws of the Appellant

Society and in accordance with Rule 149(10)(1) of

the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies' Rules, 1988,

hereinafter referred to as `the 1988 Rules'. On 29th

March, 1995, after a lapse of about 5 years, the

Respondent No.1 raised a dispute before the Labour

Court at Cuddalore, being I.D. No.44 of 1995,

questioning the decision of the Appellant Society

to treat him as having resigned from service since

1990.
 5

5. While the proceedings were pending before the

Labour Court, the Society sought permission of the

Registrar (Housing) and the Deputy Registrar

(Housing), Respondent Nos.2 and 3 herein, to re-

appoint the Respondent No.1 on compassionate

grounds. Accordingly, on 27th July, 1995, the

Respondent No.2 permitted the Appellant Society to

re-appoint the Respondent No.1 upon certain

conditions, which are as follows :-

 "1. He will not be paid from 22.7.90 till
 he joins duty and this period be treated as
 leave without pay.

 2. The employee should withdraw the case
 pending before the Labour Court.

 3. The employee shall be transferred to
 Sankarapuram Co-operative Housing Society
 as soon as the said Society is started.
 6

 4. He should join duty in the place
 appointed by the Special Officer and he
 should not claim seniority."

 Certain other conditions were suggested by the

Respondent No.3 for re-appointing the Respondent

No.1, which are as under :-

 "1. The period between 22.7.1990 and 7.5.95
 shall be treated as leave without pay.

 2. He should involve in society work and
 collect all the pending loans.

 3. As soon as Sankarapuram Taluk Co-op
 Hsg. Society is started, he should go and
 work there."
 7

6. On being reinstated in service by the order of

the Respondent No.3 dated 7th September, 1995, the

Respondent No.1 was relieved from his duties under

the Appellant Society and was asked to join in the

Vijayapuram Co-operative House Building Society.

The Respondent No.1 thereupon joined the services

of the Vijayapuram Co-operative House Building

Society on 11th September, 1995, and worked there

till 7th January, 1996. From 8th January, 1996,

after having barely worked for about four months,

the Respondent No.1 again failed to report for work

with the Vijayapuram Co-operative House Building

Society. Thereafter, on 24th February, 1997, a

Resolution was adopted by the Board of Directors of

the Vijayapuram Co-operative House Building

Society, Chinna Salem, and by Resolution 7 it was

resolved that the Respondent No.1 be sent back to

his parent society on account of his failure to

report for work from 8th January, 1996 to 24th

February, 1997, without any prior intimation and
 8

without applying for leave. It was also noted that

within a short tenure of four months service, the

Respondent No.1 had obtained consumer loan of

Rs.20,990/- in respect whereof there were

outstanding dues of Rs.19,900/-. Furthermore, he

had also obtained Rs.1,500/- towards festival

advance. The said Resolution was duly confirmed

by the President of the Vijayapuram Co-operative

House Building Society on 24th February, 1997.
 9

7. On 30th September, 2000, the Respondent No.1

filed Writ Petition No.17237 of 2000 for a

direction upon the Respondents therein to issue an

order of appointment to him to a suitable post in

the Appellant Society or Sankarapuram Taluk Co-

operative Housing Society, pursuant to the order

passed by the Registrar (Housing) on 27th

September, 1995, and also the order of the

Respondent No.3 dated 11th August, 1995, and for

providing all salaries and other benefits from 2nd

November, 1990. The said writ petition came to be

dismissed on 9th January, 2003, on the ground that

the Respondent No.1 in his writ petition suppressed

the fact that he had joined his duties under the

Vijayapuram Cooperative House Building Society

pursuant to the order passed by the Respondent No.3

on 7th September, 1995.
 10

8. Writ Appeal No.3748 of 2004 was filed by the

Respondent No.1 against the order of the learned

Single Judge dismissing his Writ Petition. On 18th

August, 2003, the said Writ Appeal was allowed with

a direction to reinstate the Respondent No.1 in

service with back wages from the date of his

dismissal till the date of reinstatement, together

with all other attendant benefits, within 8 weeks

from the date of receipt of a copy of the order.

9. It is the said order which has been challenged

in the present proceedings.
 11

10. Appearing on behalf of the Appellant Society,

Ms. N. Shobha, learned Advocate, submitted that

having regard to the conduct of the Respondent No.1

from 1995 onwards, the learned Single Judge had

quite rightly dismissed the writ petition filed by

the Respondent No.1, inter alia, for issuance of a

writ in the nature of Mandamus to direct the

Respondents to issue an order of appointment to a

suitable post either in the Appellant Society or in

the Sankarapuram Taluk Co-operative Housing Society

which had since come into existence and was made

Respondent No.4 in the writ petition and for a

further direction to pay all his arrears and other

benefits alleged to be due from 2nd November, 1990.

Ms. Shobha submitted that in his order dated 9th

January, 2003, the learned Single Judge, while

dismissing Writ Petition No.17237 of 2000, noted

the fact that after the Respondent No.1 was deemed

to have resigned from service, he was re-appointed

on 7th September, 1995, and that he joined his
 12

duties on 11th September, 1995, which meant that the

Appellant had given due effect to the orders which

were alleged not to have been given effect to in

the writ petition. Without taking into

consideration the said fact and the other facts as

indicated hereinabove, including the fact that the

Respondent No.1 had once again failed to report for

work from 8th January, 1996 to 24th February, 1997,

the Division Bench quite erroneously came to a

finding that the Appellant Society had not passed

orders appointing the Respondent No.1 despite the

orders passed by the Deputy Registrar (Housing) on

10th March, 1997, directing the Appellant Society to

do so.
 13

11. Ms. Shobha submitted that it is soon thereafter

on 10th March, 1997, that the Deputy Registrar

(Housing) wrote to the Society requesting it to

compassionately consider the request that the

Respondent No.1 could be appointed in the Appellant

Society, subject to the order of the Registrar

(Housing).
 14

12. Ms. Shobha indicated that the said order of the

Deputy Registrar (Housing) was only a request and

the fact remains that on his failure to report for

duties for more than one year from 8th January,

1996, in addition to his earlier absence from

duties between 1990 and 1995, the Vijayapuram

Cooperative House Building Society resolved that

Respondent No.1 be sent back to his parent Society,

the Appellant herein. Ms. Shobha frankly stated

that in view of his conduct, the Appellant had

rightly not passed any order of reinstatement

pursuant to the impugned order of the Division

Bench of the High Court since the Respondent No.1

was, once again, deemed to have resigned from

service under Rule 149(10)(1) of the 1988 Rules.

Ms. Shobha urged that the question of reinstatement

with full back wages from the date of dismissal,

namely, 10th October, 1990, till the date of his

reinstatement, which would mean a period of about

20 years, despite the fact that the Respondent No.1
 15

had been re-appointed in July, 1995, on certain

terms and conditions and had himself stayed away

from his duties, even thereafter, was unjust and

inequitable, besides being erroneous, and could not

be sustained.

13. Ms. Shobha submitted that one of the conditions

for the re-appointment of the Respondent No.1 was

that he would not be paid from 22nd July, 1990, till

he rejoined service and the said period would be

treated as leave without pay, but if the order of

the Division Bench in the Writ Appeal No.3749 of

2004, is to be accepted as it is, it would mean

that payment of salaries and other emoluments would

have to be made for the said period as well.
 16

14. Ms. Shobha submitted that during the pendency

of the Special Leave Petition, one G. Anbalagan was

appointed as Special Officer of the Appellant

Society. By his letter dated 24th November, 2007,

the Special Officer reinstated the Respondent No.1

in the service of the Society without prejudice to

its rights and contentions in the pending Special

Leave Petition. Pursuant thereto, the Respondent

No.1 rejoined duty on 6th December, 2007, but, once

again, he failed to report for work from 16th

February, 2009 and committed other acts of

misconduct. As a result, the Respondent No.1 was

again placed under suspension on 4th March, 2009,

and a charge memo dated 13th April, 2009, was issued

to him. Thereafter, a domestic inquiry was

conducted by the Appellant Society in respect of

the charge memo and by his report dated 19th

October, 2009, the Inquiry Officer held that the

charges against the Respondent No.1 had been duly

proved. In the affidavit filed by the Special
 17

Officer, it has also been indicated that the copy

of the Inquiry Report had been duly sent to the

Respondent No.1 seeking his comments and that on

receipt of the same, the proceedings would be

conducted against the Respondent No.1 in accordance

with law. Ms. Shobha submitted that during this

period, the Respondent No.1 was being paid

subsistence allowance as per the rules and in the

said circumstances, the direction to reinstate the

Respondent No.1 in service with back wages during

the pendency of the inquiry, was not only wrong,

but improper and the same was liable to be quashed.
 18

15. On the other hand, Ms. Anitha Shenoy, learned

Advocate appearing for the Respondent No.1,

submitted that although an attempt has been made on

behalf of the Appellant Society to blame the

Respondent No.1 for his alleged lapses, it was the

Appellant Society which had not acted in terms of

the conditions imposed by the Registrar (Housing)

in his order dated 27th July, 1995, indicating that

the Respondent No.1 would be transferred to the

Sankarapuram Taluk Co-operative Housing Society as

soon as the said Society was started. Ms. Shenoy

urged that the Sankarapuram Taluk Co-operative

Housing Society was started on 26th June, 1998, but

pursuant to the order passed by the Division Bench

of the Madras High Court on 27th June, 2007, the

Respondent No.1 was reinstated in service not in

the Sankarapuram Housing Society as agreed upon,

but in the Appellant Society.
 19

16. Countering the submission made on behalf of the

Appellant society that the Respondent No.1 must be

deemed to have resigned from service as per the

bye-laws of the Appellant Society and Rule

149(10)(i) of the 1986 Rules, Ms. Shenoy submitted

that even when an employee is deemed to have

abandoned his service, the employer was under a

duty to conduct a departmental enquiry before

dispensing with his services. In this regard

reference was made to the decision of this Court in

Novartis India Limited vs. State of West Bengal,

[(2009) 3 SCC 124], wherein the dismissal of an

employee for not joining the place to which he had

been transferred, fell for consideration and it was

held that the same was hit by the principles of

natural justice and such dismissal could only be

effected after holding a domestic enquiry/

disciplinary proceeding. Mr. Shenoy urged that if

not from 1990, the respondent No.1 was certainly

entitled to back wages from February, 1997, when he
 20

was sent back from the Vijayapuram Co-operative

House Building Society to the Appellant Society.
 21

17. Having carefully considered the submissions

made on behalf of the respective parties, we are

inclined to agree with Ms. Shobha that the

decision of the Division Bench of the High Court in

Writ Appeal No.3748 of 2004, impugned in the

instant appeal, cannot be sustained at least as far

as payment of back wages and other benefits are

concerned. The conduct of the Respondent No.1 does

not justify the relief given to him by virtue of

the impugned order. Despite the fact that the

learned Single Judge pointed out that the prayer

made in the Writ Petition could not be granted on

account of suppression of material facts which ran

counter to such prayer, the Division Bench appears

to have lost sight of the same. As the facts

reveal, the Respondent No.1 unilaterally stopped

coming to work without submitting any leave

application or prior intimation and that too not

for a day or two, but for months on end. It is, in

fact, surprising as to why a decision was taken to
 22

consider his case on a compassionate basis, despite

laches of his own making. The decision of the

Appellant Society to re-appoint the Respondent No.1

on compassionate grounds leading to the order of

the Registrar (Housing) dated 27th July, 1995,

permitting the Appellant Society to re-appoint

him, was in itself a concession made to the

Respondent No.1 which he misused subsequently.
 23

18. Even after he was released from the Vijayapuram

Society on 24th February, 1997, the Respondent No.1

remained silent till 30th September, 2000, when he

filed Writ Petition No.17237 of 2000 for a

direction upon the Respondents therein to appoint

him to a suitable post in the Appellant Society or

the Sankarapuram Taluk Co-operative Housing Society

pursuant to the order passed by the Registrar

(Housing) on 27th September, 1995. Despite the

maximum latitude shown to him by allowing him to

rejoin his duties in the Appellant Society on 6th

December, 2007, the Respondent No.1 again failed to

report for work from 16th February, 2009, as a

result he was placed under suspension and a

domestic enquiry was conducted in which he was

found to be guilty of the charges brought against

him.
 24

19. The Division Bench of the High Court does not

appear to have considered the events which occurred

after the Respondent No.1 was reinstated in service

on 7th September, 1995, to the effect that the

Respondent No.1 had again failed to report for work

from 8th January, 1996 till 24th February, 1997, when

a direction was given by the Division Bench to the

Registrar (Housing) to consider the appointment of

the Respondent No.1 in the Appellant Society. The

fact that thereafter, on account of his failure to

report for duties for more than one year from 8th

January, 1996, the Respondent No.1 was once again

deemed to have resigned from the services of the

Society under Rule 149(10)(1) of the 1988 Rules,

appears to have been overlooked by the High Court.

The Division Bench of the High Court does not also

appear to have taken into consideration the fact

that the Respondent No.1 remained silent till 30th

September, 2000, when he filed Writ Petition

No.17237 of 2000 for a direction for his
 25

appointment and that despite being allowed to

rejoin his duties in the Appellant Society on 6th

December, 2007, the Respondent No.1 again failed to

report for work from 16th February, 2009, as a

result of which he was placed under suspension and

a domestic inquiry was conducted.

20. The events, prior to 11th September, 1995, and

thereafter, were not seriously considered by the

Division Bench of the High Court which proceeded on

the basis that despite the order passed by the

Deputy Registrar (Housing) on 27th September, 1995,

the Respondent No.1 had not been given appointment,

which fact was entirely erroneous, as would be

evident from what has been mentioned hereinbefore.

The decision of this Court in Novartis India

Limited's case (supra) cited by Ms. Shenoy is not

of any help to the case of the Respondent No.1

since in the said case the order of dismissal of

the employee was passed as he did not join the post
 26

to which he had been transferred. In the instant

case, the Respondent No.1 joined the post to which

he had been transferred, but, thereafter, stopped

reporting for work without any application for

leave or prior intimation.

21. In such circumstances, the judgment and order

of the Division Bench of the High Court impugned in

this appeal cannot be sustained and must

necessarily be set aside. However, having regard

to the fact that a domestic inquiry was conducted

against the Respondent No.1, in which he was found

guilty, we do not propose to interfere with that

part of the order impugned directing reinstatement,

but we are not inclined to maintain the order of

the Division Bench of the High Court regarding

payment of back wages. Ever since his appointment

on 9th March, 1984, as an Accountant in the

Appellant Society, the Respondent No.1 has shown

lack of interest in his duties under the Appellant
 27

Society and stopped attending his duties as and

when he felt like without permission and without

submitting any leave application. This habit did

not show any signs of improvement on his re-

appointment in service on 27th July, 1995, or the

subsequent order by which he was allowed to rejoin

his duties in the Appellant Society on 6th December,

2007.

22. In these circumstances, while not interfering

with the order of reinstatement passed by the

Division Bench of the High Court, which was duly

acted upon, we are inclined to modify that part of

the said order directing payment of back wages.

23. In the circumstances, we allow the appeal in

part and modify the order of the Division Bench of

the High Court in Writ Appeal No.3748 of 2004, by

directing that the Respondent No.1 will be entitled

to full wages only for the period between 6th

December, 2007 and 15th February, 2009, and other
 28

connected benefits, if any. As far as payment of

full salary for the period under suspension

undergone by the Respondent No.1 during which

period he was being paid subsistence allowance is

concerned, the same will depend on the final order

to be passed in the disciplinary proceedings

already initiated against the Respondent No.1.

24. The appeal is disposed of in the above terms.

There will, however, be no order as to costs.

 .............................................J.
 (ALTAMAS KABIR) .............................................J.
 (CYRIAC JOSEPH)
New Delhi
Dated: 6th May, 2010.

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