Daily-wager cannot ordinarily seek relief of reinstatement upon Illegal Termination

The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that ordinary principles of grant of reinstatement is not to be applied mechanically in all cases. It may be employed in cases where the services of the regular/permanent workman are terminated illegally etc. However, where the illegal termination is of a daily-wage worker, reinstatement with back wages is not automatic and instead workman should be given monetary compensation which will meet the ends of justice.

This was so held in the matter of District Developer Officer Vs. Satish Kantilal Amrelia Civil appeal no. 19857-19858, decided on 28th November, 2017.

Supreme Court dealt with the following interesting question of law

“What is the effect of a conflicting order passed by a labour Court and Civil Court in regard to employment of a person, engaged as a daily wager”

The Respondent was employed as an office boy on a daily wage basis by the Petitioner who remained in the employment for a period of two and a half years. Upon termination of his employment, the Respondent, challenged the same before the Civil court. During the pendency of the matter before the Civil Court, the Respondent also approached the labour Court under Section 10 of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

The Civil Court’s order upheld the termination order, however, the labour Court found that the case of illegal retrenchment and directed restoration of the Respondent in the job along with payment of 40% back wages.


The Supreme Court relying upon the Judgement in the matter of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Vs. Bhurumal [ (2014) 7 SCC 177] modified the order of the labour Court by setting aside the order of reinstatement and directed to award lump sum monetary compensation to the Respondent in full and final satisfaction of his claim for reinstatement and other consequential benefits by taking recourse to Section 11-A of the I D Act.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited judgement further held where the termination of a daily wage worker is found to be illegal on the ground that it was restored to as unfair labour practice or in violation of the principle of last come first go etc. reinstatement should be the rule and only in exceptional cases for the reasons stated to be in writing, such a relief can be denied. Supreme Court did not find the present case falling under any of these exceptions thus denied the relief of reinstatement.