Madurai: The Madras High Court has voiced its unhappiness over delay in implementation of labour courts` awards favouring employees.
Justice S Vaidyanathan even suggested amendment of labour laws to ensure awards and decrees favouring employees "were implemented during their life time so that the workers and their families do not die of starvation".
The Madurai bench made the observation while allowing a petition of a driver in the state horticulture department seeking to implement a 2010 order of a labour court directing his reinstatement.
Petitioner Chandran was dismissed on alleged grounds of misconduct. But the labour court in 2005 had directed the officials to reinstate him as a driver in the Horticulture department in Sivaganga.
Since the labour court order was not implemented, he filed the present petition in the high court in 2011.
The Deputy Director of Horticulture in Sivaganga opposed the petition on the ground that the petitioner was only a casual employee and not a government servant to be reinstated with continuity of service.
Rejecting the argument, Justice Vaidyanathan in his order said officials should not raise contentious issues before the high court without raising them in the lower court.
The Judge said labour court award was final as the employer did not challenge it before the appropriate appellate forum, and directed the Deputy Director to reinstate the petitioner with continuity of service but without payment of back wages.
Regarding thee quantum of back wages,the judge said the petitioner could file a petition under Section 33(c)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 and the admitted wages could be computed by approaching the court under Section 33 (c)(1) of the act.