Punjab-Haryana High Court
Rbg Security Solutions P Ltd vs Po Industrial Tribunal And Ors on 22 April, 2021 IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT

CWP No. 16979 of 2017(O&M)
DATE OF DECISION: 22.04.2021

RBG Security Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Presiding Officer, Industrial Tribunal, Gurdaspur and others


Argued by: Mr. Dinesh Mahajan, Advocate,
for the petitioner.

Ms. Paramjit Kaur Deol, Advocate,
for respondents No. 2 and 3.

Mr. Deepak Arora, Advocate,
for respondent No. 5.

(Presence marked through Video Conferencing)


1. Grievance of the petitioner company, a security agency

providing guards, is qua impugned award dated 01.06.2007, rendered by

Industrial Tribunal, Gurdaspur (for brevity, Tribunal), whereby reference

under adjudication was decided in favor of the workman and against the

petitioner. While allowing the reference, workman-respondent No. 5 has

been ordered to be reinstated into service of petitioner-company with 50%

back wages and consequential benefits.

2. Grounds of challenge to the award, inter alia, are that there

exists no master-servant relationship between workman/respondent No. 5

and the security agency/petitioner-company; and on his own the workman

1 of 8
::: Downloaded on – 06-06-2021 07:06:59 :::
neither made security agency a party before the Tribunal nor even any relief

was sought against it.

3. Brief factual narrative first, as noticed by the Tribunal in its

award. Workman claimed that pursuant to the recommendations of Deputy

Director, Soldier Welfare Office, Gurdaspur, he was inducted in service of

respondent Bank as Security Guard in an interview held on 03.02.2004.

However, for no valid reason, the services of workman were terminated on

25.06.2007. Stand of the Bank is/was that respondent No.5 did though join

as Security Guard on temporary basis on 03.02.2004, but he left the job of

the Bank on or about 30.04.2004 to join the security agency M/s P.

Checkmate-respondent No. 4. Respondent No. 5 never worked for 240 days

in the preceding 12 calendar months. No claim against the Bank was thus


4. On the other hand, plea of the Security Agency is/was that it

had originally entered into a contract for providing services of security guard

to respondent Bank. Pursuant thereto, services of respondent No. 5 were

deployed at the Bank on 03.02.2004. He worked as such till 25.06.2007

when his services were directly terminated by the Bank itself. As such,

respondent Bank just to avoid its liability, had shifted the burden on Security

Agency, by claiming that respondent No. 5 was not in its service and was an

employee of Security Agency. Accordingly, respondent No.5 had rightly

raised the claim against the Bank before the Industrial Tribunal challenging

termination of his services w.e.f. 25.06.2007, by the Gurdaspur Central

Coop. Bank/respondent No. 2.

5. Bank as well as Security Agency thus resisted the claim of the

workman asserting that there existed no employer-employee relationship.

2 of 8
::: Downloaded on – 06-06-2021 07:07:00 :::
6. It is apposite to mention here that concededly M/s P. Checkmate

Security Solutions/respondent no.4 later merged its business with the

petitioner company-RBG Security Solutions (P) Ltd. Both the entities had

same promoter/Director and were thus under control of the same


7. Perusal of the impugned award dated 01.06.2007, would reveal

that Learned Tribunal framed the following issues:-

“1. Whether the termination of services of workman is
unjustified and illegal? If so, what benefit workman is
entitled for?

2. Whether there exists relationship of employer and
employee in between parties?

3. Whether the workman has not come to the Court with
clean hand?

4. Relief.

4(A) Whether there is relationship of employer and employee
in between the party No.3 and 4?

After appreciation of the evidence adduced, Tribunal came to following

conclusions :-

(a) that workman had worked with respondent Bank with
effect from 03.04.2004 to 25.06.2007;

(b) that services of workman were being provided by M/s P.
Checkmate Security Solutions, Pathankot, which later
merged in M/s RBG Security Solutions(P) Limited and
both the firms were owned by one person;

(c) that the workman was an employee of M/s RBG Security
Solutions on the day his services were terminated by
respondent Bank without any valid ground and hence
Security Agency is bound to take back him in service;

In totality, the termination of workman was held illegal.

Reference was answered in favor of the workman. Security Agency has been

directed to reinstate him in service with 50% back wages from the date of

3 of 8
::: Downloaded on – 06-06-2021 07:07:00 :::
demand notice i.e. 20.08.2012, till reinstatement and consequential benefits.

Aggrieved, Security Agency has preferred the writ petition before this court.

8. In the return filed by respondent-Bank, as before, master-servant

relationship between the respondent Bank and respondent No.5 has been

denied. It is averred that though services of respondent No.5 were engaged

as Security Guard with respondent Bank on 09.02.2004, but he worked for

only two months. On introduction of Bank policy to engage Security Guards

through Security Agencies, a contract was awarded to M/s P. Checkmate

Security Solutions. Respondent No.5 on his own volition quit his job with

respondent Bank on 30.04.2004 to join the services of said Security Agency,

who had provided the Security Guards, including respondent No.5, to the

respondent Bank with effect from 30.04.2004. From 01.05.2004 to

30.06.2007, bills for Security Guards deployed were raised by security

agency and accordingly paid. Later, on the verbal instructions of principal

employer/security agency, the bank discontinued the services of the

respondent No.5. Learned Tribunal thus rightly directed the principal

employer i.e. petitioner to reinstate the workman in service, is the defense.

9. I have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the paper-

book. I shall now proceed with my discussion and out come thereof.

10. To begin with, it would be pertinent to first refer to the relevant

provisions of sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 11 of the Industrial

Disputes Act, 1947, which are as under:

“11. Procedure and power of Conciliation Officers, Boards,
Courts and Tribunals –

(1) Subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, an
arbitrator, a Board, Court, Labour Court, Tribunal or National
Tribunal shall follow such procedure as the arbitrator or other
authority concerned may think fit.

4 of 8
::: Downloaded on – 06-06-2021 07:07:00 :::
xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

(2) A conciliation officer or a member of a Board, or Court
or the Presiding Officer of a Labour Court, Tribunal or
National Tribunal may for the purpose of inquiry into the
existing or apprehended industrial dispute, after giving
reasonable notice, enter the premises occupied by any
establishment to which the dispute relates. ”

A perusal of above would show that the proceedings before the

Tribunal for adjudication of disputes, are in the nature of inquiry and for

such adjudication, Tribunal can follow such procedure as it may think fit. It

seems that the scope of inquiry is wider than the trial of a civil suit.

11. To my mind, to arrive at the truth by way of an inquiry

precursor to adjudication, learned Tribunal can travel beyond the pleadings,

unlike a Civil Court which has to follow the procedure prescribed in the

Code of Civil Procedure and stay confined to the pleadings and evidence

adduced in conformity with the pleadings, for adjudication of cases.

12. Herein, no doubt, the workman had originally filed the case

against the respondent Bank. Later on, the learned Tribunal impleaded the

petitioner/security agency as a party to the case. The petitioner then filed its

independent written statement (Annexure P-3). Impugned award shows that

the petitioner had duly cross-examined the workman and the witness

produced by the Bank. Further, it shows that the petitioner had also led its

own evidence. In the premise, the impugned award against the petitioner

cannot be said to be bad in law merely because in the statement of claim, the

workman had claimed the relief only against the Bank and not against the


13. It is not disputed between the petitioner and the Bank that

initially the workman was appointed as a direct employee of the Bank w.e.f.

5 of 8
::: Downloaded on – 06-06-2021 07:07:00 :::
03.02.2004. Agreement dated 28.04.2004 (Annexure P-5), operative for one

year, was later executed between the Bank and respondent No. 4 / M/s P.

Checkmate Security Solutions, for providing security guards to the Bank.

The workman then left the services of the Bank. He joined employment

under respondent No. 4. / M/s P. Checkmate Security Solutions w.e.f.

28.04.2004. Respondent No. 4 in turn deputed him with the Bank from the

same date. Later, respondent No. 4 merged its business with the petitioner


14. The stand of the petitioner is that on expiry of the term of

agreement on 27.04.2005, for providing security guards to the Bank, the

workman became a direct employee of the Bank. Per contra, case of the

Bank is that even after 27.04.2005, the workman continued to be the

employee of the petitioner.

15. The aforesaid inter se blame game controversy has been dealt

with, by the learned Tribunal in paras 15 to 18 of the impugned award. The

relevant text thereof is as under:

“15. …… It is established by letter Ex-RX-1 that Lt.
Col. Rajinder Singh (Retd.) as proprietor of M/s P. Checkmate
Security Solutions had submitted quotation for providing
security services to the District Manager, Cooperative Bank,
Gurdaspur with list of existing guards as Ex-RX-3 wherein
name of Kulwant Singh workman is also mentioned and his
quotation was accepted and an agreement was inked between
M/s P. Checkmate Security Solutions and Gurdaspur Central
Cooperative Bank through its District Manager, copy of which
is Ex-RX-2 and this agreement has come into existence on
28.4.2004 which is actual date of this dispute.

16. There is an affidavit proved as well as admitted
(Ex-R2) duly sworn by Kulwant Singh, whereby he has stated
that he has left the job of respondent No.1 & 2 and joined M/s
P. Checkmate Security Solutions, Pathankot and through that
agency, he had been providing services of security guard/
gunman with bank respondent No.2.

6 of 8
::: Downloaded on – 06-06-2021 07:07:00 :::
17. Lt. Col. Rajinder Singh Retd. (RW-1) admits all
documents i.e. Ex-RX-1 to Ex-RX-10, which are comprised of
payment vouchers and list of security guards provided by his
firm in terms of agreement. Through these documents, he has
received payment for providing services of security guards to
respondent No.1 & 2 and repeatedly while drawing bills, name
of Kulwant Singh figured in the list whereby an instruction has
been issued to Manager, Gurdaspur Central Cooperative Bank,
Pathankot to credit a sum of Rs.3,000/- in the name of Kulwant
Singh as salary along with Wassan Singh, Makhan Singh and
Satnam Singh. Ultimately, a letter Ex-R 15 was issued by M/s
RBG Security Solutions (P) Ltd. Defence Road, Mamoon Cantt.
Pathankot to District Manager, Gurdaspur Central
Cooperative Bank, Gurdaspur with the contents that vide letter
No. RBG/GSP Coop. Bank dated 12.6.2007, M/s RBG Security
Solutions (P) Ltd. had requested the bank to give sanction to
claim salary of Gunmen conforming to labour laws and
statutory dues w.e.f. 1-7-2007. It is further mentioned in this
letter that on Manager’s telephonic message, the period was
extended to 31-7-2007, however, they have not received any
communication from Bank. It has further been mentioned that
decision of the bank is in negative then they shall be unable to
provide Guards beyond 31-7-2007. After letter dated 12-6-2007
bad day of Kulwant Singh had started because he was relieved
from service by bank on 25-6-2007.

18. It is thus established on record that services of
Gunmen/ Security Guards were being provided by M/s P.
Checkmate Security Solutions, Pathankot, which stood merged
in M/s RBG Security Solutions (P) Ltd, and both the firms were
owned by one and the same person and Kulwant Singh was the
employee of M/s RGB Security Solutions (P) Ltd. on the day,
when he was relieved from duty by respondent No.2.”

16. On appreciation of respective evidence adduced, the learned Tribunal

thus gave cogent reasons and returned a firm finding that it was established

on record that the workman (Kulwant Singh-respondent No. 5) was an

employee of M/s RBG Security Solutions (P) Ltd./petitioner, on the day

when he was relieved from duty by the Bank (respondent No. 2).

17. It was argued by the learned counsel for the petitioner that this finding

of the learned Tribunal is erroneous, as agreement between the petitioner

and the Bank for providing security guards had expired on 27.04.2005.

There was no extension, renewal or fresh agreement between the petitioner

7 of 8
::: Downloaded on – 06-06-2021 07:07:00 :::
and the bank for providing guards after 27.04.2005. Thereafter, the workman

was, thus, in direct employment of the Bank till his discharge.

18. I am unable to accept the afore noted contentions. There is nothing on

record to reflect or to urge or contend that a written agreement was sine qua

non for providing guards by the security to the Bank. Especially, when the

bills/payment vouchers of security agency providing the guards have been

proved, which proof flies in the face of said contention. The aforesaid

evidence/overwhelming material on record referred to by the Tribunal, in my

opinion, was/is sufficient and reliable for holding that the workman was the

employee of security agency, during the term of the agreement (from

28.04.2004 till 27.04.2005), even after 27.04.2005 and also on 25.06.2007,

when he was relieved from duty by the Bank on the petitioner’s request, vide

its letter dated 12.06.2007 (referred as Ex. R-15 in the award). Absence of

any written extension, renewal or fresh agreement between the petitioner and

the bank for providing guards after 27.04.2005, would not be fatal to the

finding returned by the Tribunal. I am, therefore, inclined to uphold the said

finding of the learned Tribunal.

19. As an upshot of the above discussion and reasons contained therein,

the petition is dismissed.

20. Pending civil miscellaneous applications, if any, are also disposed of


April 22, 2021 (ARUN MONGA)
Pkapoor JUDGE

Whether speaking/reasoned : Yes/No
Whether reportable : Yes/No

8 of 8
::: Downloaded on – 06-06-2021 07:07:00 :::


Leave a Reply

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.