“Spotlight on unlawful termination”: Experts on the Chennai About Court Decision.
Principal Labour Court in Chennai, under presiding officer C Kumarappan adjudicated the present case.
The Chennai Labour Court recently directed TATA Consultancy Services to reinstate an employee who had been terminated around 7 years ago.
The issue came to light when Thirumalai Selvan Shanmugam, an employee of TCS has wrongfully terminated based on his performance 7 years ago. Upon a plea filed by him, the Court directed the Company to reinstate Mr. Shanmugam, with continuity of service, back wages, and other attendant benefits after a seven-year trial.
Experts say that this case may be used as a reference point in the future whenever there are mass layoffs or performance-related wrongful termination. It is said that the spotlight is now on the unlawful termination of employees.
In its defense, TCS contended that the employee did not fall within the definition of ‘workman’ of the Industrial Disputes Act, however, the Court did not accept this argument as the employee was performing a supervisory role.
Atul Gupta, a partner at law firm Trilegal, commented on the COurt’s ruling, “Normally, one can go to the High Court to challenge the ruling. The basis will again be fact-specific – it would depend on whether the employer views the ruling as flawed enough to approach the Court under its writ jurisdiction. But the matter can be disputed.”