CHENNAI: Pointing out that the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation being an essential service, if the employees of the corporation are in the habit of being absent unauthorised, it is very difficult to render the essential service for the public, the Madras HC has upheld an order of the TNSTC, dismissing an employee from service for his frequent unauthorised absence from duty almost every year.
Allowing the petition filed by TNSTC, Justice R. Suresh Kumar set aside an order of the labour court, Salem, which modified the order of TNSTC and directed it to reinstate him.
Ramalingam was the employee of TNSTC. Since he had been unauthorisedly absent from May 28, 1998, for several days, a charge memo had been issued and after examining his explanation, an enquiry was conducted and finally, he was dismissed from service. He moved the labour court that upheld the enquiry, and directed the TNSTC to reinstate him in continuation of service with all other benefits but without back wages. After perusing the records, the judge said the records would go to show that Ramalingam almost in every year and in some years, for more than two or three occasions, had been unauthorisedly absent for some days or some months. Such unauthorised absence on his part had not been explained and therefore for the said guilt minor punishments had been awarded. If such irresponsible employees were employed in an organisation and if everyone would adopt this kind of attitude, then no organisation can smoothly run their day-to-day activities, the judge added.
The judge said the attitude on the part of Ramal-ingam was very explicit and clear that whenever he wants to report duty, he would report duty and whenever he does not want to report duty, he was absent without assigning any reasons and whenever punishment was given, he would accept the punishment and again the same attitude would be continued on the part of Ramalingam.
Therefore, this court feels that the findings and conclusion given by the labour court was without reason, the judge added....