EMPLOYMENT LAWS IN INDIA

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					                             EMPLOYMENT LAWS IN INDIA

         THE PUNISHMENT OF REMOVAL FROM THE SERVICE IS

                        JUSTIFIED FOR HABITUAL ABSENCE

The division bench of justice JN Patel and justice RP Sondur-Baldota High Court of
Bombay has recently passed a judgment [in Pandurang Vithal Kevne Vs Bharat
Sanchar Nigam Ltd] holding that habitual absence from work, without taking leave or
giving prior intimation, amounts to misconduct on the part of employee, even if the
absence is subsequently regularized by the employer by granting leave. The High
Court further upheld the punishment of removal that was imposed on the employee
for the misconduct of habitual absence. The court observed as under:


     •     “Misconduct alleged on the part of the petitioner is not limited to mere
          absence from service. Had it been so valid justification for the absence and
          its subsequent regularisation would have served the petitioner’s purpose.
          What is treated as misconduct under Rule 31 (g) is (i) habitual absence
          without leave or (ii) absence without leave or intimation for more than 10
          days. Therefore, we are of the view that an employee who is in habit of
          remaining absent without prior sanction of leave irrespective of the number
          of days, is guilty of misconduct under the first part of Rule 31 (g)”.



The petitioner was charge sheeted in 1997 for misconduct of absenteeism. An inquiry
held him guilty. The Punishment of removal from service was imposed on him. He
filed an appeal before an appellate authority but it was dismissed. A reference was
made by the government to Industrial Tribunal which upheld the punishment. The
employee appealed to the High Court of Bombay challenging the judgment of the
Industrial Tribunal. The High Court of Bombay dismissed the appeal filed by the
employees up-holding the punishment imposed on the employee.

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