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HC junks plea of temporary worker seeking job reinstatement

The Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a temporary worker in Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd seeking a direction to the automobile company to reinstate him in job with back wages as he had performed the duties of a workman during his training period.

“We do not think it is a matter that requires any interference by this court,” observed a bench of K R Sriram and Anoop Mohta, which heard a petition filed by Nilesh Shivaji Sapkar (27), a resident of Bhosari in Pune.

“The issue in this matter is only to consider whether the government action (in rejecting petitioner’s claim to refer the dispute to labour court) was proper or not. We cannot be influenced by other factors as to whether the petitioner will not have any other remedy, etc.

“The petitioner, may, if he is so advised, approach any forum, including the labour court directly, and the forum, we are sure, will consider claims of the petitioner in accordance with law, including on jurisdiction,” the Judges said in their order on May 8.

The Judges also noted that they were not sitting in appeal over the order and that they are not entitled to consider the proprietary or statutory character of the reasons given by the government.

“In the impugned order, the government has correctly stated that the Certified Standing order is applicable to respondent no. 4 (company). The government has considered the offer letter of the company in which it is expressly mentioned that the petitioner was being appointed only as a trainee and what was expected from him during the training period etc,” the bench noted.

“We do not find anywhere that the government considered any irrelevant or foreign material to come to a conclusion that there existed no industrial dispute because the petitioner was not a workman,” said the Judges.

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