Supreme Court: The payment of ‘Gratuity’ to an employee can be refused on his removal from service, on charges of proved misbehavior

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A division bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Justice RF Nariman in ‘Jorsingh Govind Vanjari Vs. Divisional Controller Maharashtra, State Road Transport Corporation’ held that gratuity payment can be refused to be paid to an employee, on his removal from service on charges of proved misbehavior filed against him.

In the present case, a conductor of a bus was removed from service on the ground that he had failed to provide bus tickets to six passengers despite having charged them for the bus ride. The department inquiry found him liable of the above charge and was sought his removal from service. The Labour Court revoked the department’s dismissal order and held that the petitioner was entitled to receive fifty per cent of the ‘back wages’ from the date of his removal from service to the date of his ‘superannuation’.The  High Court modified the labour court’s order and held that the petitioner was entitled to a final payment amount of  fifty per cent of the total back wages and was not entitled to receive any gratuity.

The Supreme Court observed while overruling the order of the High court observed that “In order to deny gratuity to an employee, it is not enough that the alleged misconduct of the employee constitutes an offence involving moral turpitude as per the report of the domestic inquiry. There must be termination on account of the alleged misconduct, which constitutes an offence involving moral turpitude.” 

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