Labour Laws Q/A

Witnesses in Domestic Enquiry

Is it obligatory on the part of the management to produce a particular witness in a domestic enquiry when his attendance cannot be secured?

In a domestic enquiry the employee concerned requested the enquiry officer to call two particular witnesses for giving evidence in his favour. In compliance with the request, the enquiry officer wrote letters to those two particular witnesses. They did not respond nor did they put in their appearance before the enquiry officer for tendering the evidence. An unsigned letter said to have been written by one of the two witnesses requesting for allowing him for some time to come and give his evidence. The enquiry officer ignored such an anonymous letter and proceeded with the enquiry. It was held in the circumstances that the domestic enquiry was not vitiated by the violation of any principles of natural justice and the dismissed employee was not entitled to ask for a particular witness to lead such evidence before the industrial tribunal in the course of adjudicate proceedings in regard to his dismissal.1

Source: H L Kumar, Labour Problems & Remedies

1. Tata Oil Mills Co. Ltd. v. The Workman, 1964 (II) LLJ 113 (SC): (1965) 7 SCR 555: (1965) 1 SCWR 204: (1964-65) 26 FJR 199: 1965 Ker LJ 90: 1964 (9) FLR 142: AIR 1965 SC 155.

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