Justice S Nagamuthu of the Madurai bench dismissed the appeal filed by the GM against the Labour Court order in 2008, directing the management to reinstate S Chellakannan with back wages.
The bench noted that the conductor had been waging a legal battle for 12 years. The dispute was pending before the labour court for six years and then the appeal was filed after two years and three months. There was no explanation on why the labour court's award was challenged after such a delay.
It said the effort of the court to settle the issue through Lok Adalat had also failed as neither the GM nor his counsel appeared before it. This showed the GM was interested only in litigation and not to settle the issue.
Chellakannan submitted he was without any financial aid and suffering a lot. He had three daughters and a son and had not arranged for the wedding of his first daughter due to financial constraints.
Though he had retired on Dec 22, 2013, his retirement benefits were not settled till date. It was obvious he had been put to irreparable loss and great hardship.
The court said it would appropriate to slap a cost of Rs 25,000 on the GM, which should be paid to the conductor within two weeks and then posted the case to August 19.
Chellakannan said the checking inspector had charged him with issuing 21 invalid tickets and had filed a report to the effect. A departmental enquiry was ordered and he was dismissed. But the labour court had found he was not at fault and had directed the GM to reinstate him with back wages.
The bench noted that the labour court had gone through the evidence and concluded that the charges had not been proved.

The checking inspector had not been examined. When the enquiry officer had not held a proper enquiry, the GM could not ask this court to go into the officer's report, it said.
The court said it was satisfied with Chellakannan's explanation for issuing invalid tickets. He said the corporation had not issued ticket books with the required denomination though fares were hiked during the relevant period. There was instruction to use old tickets.

During the check, the inspector felt one ticket was valid and the other not valid, the conductor had submitted.

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