D. Raju, J.
1. The above writ petition has been filed for a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ, order, or direction, calling for the records of the first respondent in I.D. No. 87 of 1992 dated August 24, 1993, quash the same and pass such further or other orders.
2. The factual details relating to the circumstances under which the charge came to be framed against the second respondent worker and also the details of the charges need not be set out at considerable length in this order. The award of the Labour Court under challenge itself adverts to the details of the same and suffice it to notice certain salient features of the facts leading upto the filing of the writ petition to appreciate the contentions raised by the petitioner, before this Court. The second respondent worker appears to have been employed as Cashier from the year 1968 in the services of the petitioner bank, that the second respondent availed of three months medical leave and also made certain representations accusing the Secretary of the bank of several irregularities as a consequence of which the charge memo in question was said to have been issued. The second respondent worker denied the charges and thereupon a domestic enquiry has been conducted. On the basis of the findings of the domestic enquiry officer, the second respondent was dismissed from service with effect from September 20, 1986. Thereupon he raised an industrial dispute and the same has been referred to for adjudication to the first respondent - Labour Court. The Labour Court, after consideration of the oral and documentary evidence recorded by the domestic enquiry officer came to the conclusion that the findings of the domestic enquiry officer that the charges levelled against the second respondent worker have been proved, do not call for interference and that the findings of the enquiry officer were well justified.
3. After recording such a finding, the Labour Court has chosen to consider the matter, in exercise of its powers under Section 11-A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the quantum of punishment with reference to the nature and gravity of the charges levelled and held proved against the second respondent worker. While so considering the reasonableness of the punishment, with reference to the gravity and seriousness of the charges held proved, the Labour Court thought fit to reduce the punishment to one of withholding of three increments and denial of backwages in the place of dismissal of the worker. Consequently, the Labour Court while interfering with the punishment of dismissal, directed the second respondent worker to be re-employed only with continuity of service, without backwages and further denying three increments. Aggrieved, the petitioner management has filed the above writ petition.
4. The learned counsel for the petitioner while challenging the award of the Labour Court contended that the first respondent Labour Court, having held that the charges to be properly proved, ought not to have interfered with the quantum of punishment and in doing so, on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Labour Court committed a grave error of law. Reliance has been placed by the learned counsel on the decision reported in Sri Gopalakrishna Mills Pvt. Ltd. v. Labour Court (1980-I-LLJ-425) and in Engine Valves Ltd. v. Labour Court (1991-I-LLJ-372)(Mds).
5. The decision in (1980-I-LLJ-425) (supra) is that of a Division Bench of this Court, wherein the Division Bench held that the Labour Court committed an error in interfering with the quantum of punishment in that particular case. In my view, the said decision does not lay down any universal proposition of law of general application. As a matter of fact, the Division Bench itself held that leniency in the matter of punishment can only depend upon the nature of misconduct and not on other considerations as to whether the workman so concerned was married or not or whether he has put in a particular length of service. A perusal of the said decision also discloses that the charge against the workman in that case was not only refusal to do the work, by disobeying the command of the immediate superiors, but obstructing the work being carried out by other workers also. In Engine Valves Ltd. v. Labour Court (supra) a Division Bench of this Court to which I was a party, has considered the Scope and extent of powers of the Labour Court under Section 11-A of the Act. Once again that was a case of dismissal, wherein on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Division Bench came to the conclusion that the Labour Court was totally oblivious to its duties and responsibilities and its exercise of powers does not proceed on an objective consideration as is expected of that authority, and ultimately the matter was remanded for fresh consideration of the Labour Court. The very decisions relied on by the petitioner will by themselves show that the quantum of punishment to be justifiably imposed in a particular case, would depend upon the peculiar facts and circumstances of each case, depending upon the nature and gravity of the charge, and there cannot be any standardised rule of general and universal application to meet the requirements or exigencies of all cases. In this view, it has to be seen whether, on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Labour Court was justified in this case, in interfering with the quantum of punishment by altering the punishment as noticed supra. In Sayed Azam v. State of Madras (1963-I-LLJ-512) a learned Single Judge of this Court had an occasion to deal with the punishment imposed on a Pharmacist in the relevant branch of the Medical Subordinate Service. The worker concerned therein was said to have written certain letters containing vulgar and filthy language. The learned Judge while interfering with the punishment imposed held that the dignity of language expected cannot be totally di-versed of the strata of society to which the persons concerned belonged. In Rama Kant Misra v. State of U.P. (1982-II-LLJ-472), the Supreme Court had occasion to consider the very issue in the context of Section 11-A of the Act. In the said case before the Apex Court, the employee was said to have committed an act of misconduct while explaining about the deduction made from his wages for absence from the place of work and later attendance. In the said context, the Apex Court held as hereunder: p. 475.
"It is now crystal clear that the Labour Court has the jurisdiction and power to substitute its measure of punishment in place of the managerial wisdom once it is satisfied that the order of discharge or dismissal was not justified in the facts and circumstances of the case. And this Court is at present exercising jurisdiction under Article 136 over the decision of the Labour Court. Therefore, this Court can examine whether the Labour Court has properly approached the matter for exercising or refusing to exercise its power under 5. 11A. Before we can exercise the discretion conferred by Section 11A, the Court has to be satisfied that the order of discharge or dismissal was not justified in the facts and circumstances of the case.
These words indicate that even though misconduct is proved and a penalty has to be imposed, the extreme penalty of dismissal or discharge was not justified in the facts and circumstances of the case meaning thereby that the punishment was either disproportionately heavy or excessive. As stated earlier, it is a well recognised principle of jurisprudence which permits penalty must commensurate with the gravity of the offence charged....."
6. The Apex Court, after analysing the issue from all perspectives, held that mere use of indiscreet, improper and abusive language which may only show the lack of culture by itself is no justification to impose a punishment of dismissal. On the facts and circumstances of the case on hand are concerned in the light of the decision above, I am of the view that no exception could be taken to the award of the Labour Court in interfering with the quantum of punishment. I have gone through the explanation of the second respondent worker which according to the management contains language subversive of decorum and said to use unparilamentry words. The gravity of the charge of using indecorous language has to be viewed in the light of the surrounding circumstances also, keeping also in view the action of the management which has driven the worker to resort to such method. Though Courts ought not to encourage the use of indecorous language exhibiting thereby indiscipline, yet the indiscreet use of language per se cannot be the basis of an order of dismissal. On the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, particularly after going through the explanations submitted and the language adopted by the second respondent worker, I am of the view that the Labour Court was right in coming to the conclusion that the punishment of dismissal was grave and disproportionate to the seriousness of the charges, held proved. In my view, the modified punishment imposed by the Labour Court itself is sufficiently harsh and more than sufficient for the gravity of the charges levelled against the second respondent herein. It is by now well settled that this Court, exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, does not exercise appellate jurisdiction and on the other hand only exercises supervisory control over the functioning of the Labour Court, and the exercise of powers by the forums constituted under the Act. Viewed in such context, I am of the view that the award of the Labour Court does not suffer from any patent error of law or perversity of approach, warranting the interference of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The Writ Petition, therefore, fails and shall stand dismissed.