Unauthorised absenteeism from work means no work no pay: SC
The Supreme Court has ruled that an employee who has remained absent from duty for a long time in an unauthorised manner is not entitled to any back wages and the principle of ‘no work no pay’ comes into play.
In this case an assistant engineer of the Airports Authority of India(AAI) Shambhu Nath Das was allowed 50 per cent back wages for a period of ten years, that is from August 1985 till August 1995 by the Calcutta High Court.
AAI allowed him to rejoin duty with effect from November 1, 1999 as per the orders of the High Court, but refused to pay back wages.
A bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Harjit Singh Bedi while allowing the appeal of AAI noted, “We are of the opinion that in the light of the fact that the respondent did not report for duty for 15 years, there was no justification whatsoever to grant him any back wages on the general principle that nobody could be directed to claim wages for the period that he remained absent without leave or without justification.” Das was transferred from Calcutta to Delhi and after serving for seven days in Delhi proceeded on leave on March 26, 1985 but never reported back for duty even after the expiry of leave period and challenged the notice asking him to report for duty in the High Court.