HC directs regularisation of drivers serving in erstwhile Corporation Bank

The Delhi High Court has ordered regularisation of drivers, who were serving as various executives in the erstwhile Corporation Bank, which has now merged with the Union Bank of India as employees of the bank.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh agreed with a decision passed by the Central Government Industrial Tribunal (CGIT) holding that all the drivers are ‘workmen’ and that there is an employer-employee relationship between the bank and them.

No direct payment

The Union Bank of India had moved the High Court against the decision of the tribunal and various other orders to regularise the service of the drivers, who had been working with the bank for over 10 years.

The bank argued that the cars, which were being driven by the drivers, belonged to the bank. It said that the salaries were never paid to the drivers directly by the bank as they were paid by the senior executives of the bank, under whom the drivers were working.

The bank said it merely reimbursed the money to the senior executives. It further argued that the driver did not receive any provident fund, nor gratuity or any pension. It added that the driver was not given any appointment or termination letter either.

The court, however, rejected the submission saying that the documents on record show that the drivers have not been exclusively used for the executives of the bank but have also been serving the bank in various roles, including picking up parcels, computers, running errands, claiming reimbursements, taking delivery of cars and other sundry jobs.

“Further, the bank has given them letters and certificates, repeatedly confirming that they are the drivers of the bank for issuance of licences and for renewal of driving licences,” Justice Singh said.

Initial appointment

“The initial appointment was also made after confirmation with the bank headquarters. Complete reimbursement of salaries as well as expenses of the drivers has been given by the bank,” it added. The court noted that the above facts clearly show that the functions performed by the drivers was integral to the everyday working of the bank. “The documents establish the existence of employer-employee relationship and that the drivers were the employees of the bank,” it said, while directing regularisation of 11 drivers.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 5:46:31 AM |

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