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Himachal Pradesh HC dismisses plea seeking addition of jail time to service

The bench held that Sub Section (1) does not contain any specific provision for including the relief claimed by the petitioner within the definition of continuous service.

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The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday dismissed the petition of a workman seeking relief that the period of his becoming incarcerated, either in police custody or in judicial custody should be declared to be continuous service.

A single-judge bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur while denying the relief to the petitioner referred to the Sub Section (1) of Section 25-B of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. 

“25B-Definition of continuous service- For the purposes of this Chapter- (1)A workman shall be said to be in continuous service for a period if he is, for that period, in uninterrupted service, including service which may be interrupted on account of sickness or authorized leave or an accident or a strike which is not illegal, or a lock-out or a cessation of work, which is not due to any fault on the part of the workman”

The bench held that Sub Section (1) does not contain any specific provision for including the relief claimed by the petitioner within the definition of continuous service. Contrarily, only interruption(s) in service, rather caused on account of sickness or authorized leave or an accident or a strike which is not illegal, or a lock-out or a cessation of work which is not due to any fault on the part of the workman is statutorily enumerated to be not disrupting the continuity in service of a workman under his employer. 

While dismissing the petition, the Court clarified that the condition explicitly mentioned in Sub Section (1) of Section 25-B of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 is exhaustive and the relief claimed by the petitioner deemed to be specifically excluded.

Read Also: ADR processes can provide millions of people a platform to settle their disputes: Justice NV Ramana

Petitioner Saran Dass has claimed a relief that the period of his becoming incarcerated, either in police custody or in the judicial custody ending on his acquittal in a FIR under Section 20 of the NDPS Act registered at Chamba Police Station be declared to be continuous service. He further claimed that therefrom be computed the terms of his qualifying service for the purpose of regularization.

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