. In Spadigam v. State of Kerala reported in [1970-I L.L.J. 718] Mathew, J. as he then was, has dealt with this question elaborately and has held as follows :-
"A Criminal Court acquitting an accused on the merits of a case would not bar disciplinary proceedings against him on the basis of the same facts."
The learned Judge expressing his inability to agree with the Division Bench of this Court, has observed as follows :- at para 7 of [1970-I L.L.J. 718] "I do not think that judgment of a Criminal Court acquitting an accused on the merits of a case would bar disciplinary proceedings against him on the basis of the same facts, or that the judgment would operate as conclusive evidence in the disciplinary proceedings. The reason for it is not far to seek. A Criminal Court requires a high standard of proof for convicting an accused. The case must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. The acquittal of an accused by a Criminal Court only means that the case has not been proved against him beyond reasonable doubt. Such a standard of proof is not required for finding a person guilty in a disciplinary proceeding. It would be enough if there is a preponderance of probability of his guilt."
From India, Madras
The workman is free to knock any door for relief and cannot be checked.
The labour court will issue a letter to the employer for an appearance or to submit views over the matter on receipt of complaint from the workman.
The employer has to intimate the labour court that ‘domestic enquiry’ in the matter is on, as per procedure laid down.
In my view the labour court cannot overrule the “domestic enquiry proceeding’ rather advice the workmen to wait till award is passed.
At the present juncture the management has to expedite the proceeding to finish within the time frame. The absence/non-appearance by the workman in domestic enquiry would stand against the delinquent workman.
In case labour court passed any order over the matter can be challenged in the High court and the management would be in a stable postion because the order of labour court is out of law.
From India, Mumbai