Karnataka High Court Upholds Penalty for Drunk BMTC Conductor in 2006

In a recent decision, the Karnataka High Court upheld a penalty imposed on a Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) conductor who was intoxicated on duty in 2006.

A single-judge bench, presided over by Justice Jyoti Mulimani on October 5, delivered this judgment in response to a BMTC petition challenging a penalty modification by the Industrial Tribunal in Bengaluru.
Complaints from passengers in 2006 revealed that the conductor had been consuming alcohol and behaving rudely. Subsequent medical examination confirmed his inebriation, leading the BMTC’s disciplinary authority in 2008 to reduce his basic pay to the minimum.

The conductor contested this penalty before the Industrial Tribunal, which, in 2014, acknowledged that the disciplinary authority’s investigation had been fair but altered the punishment to a reduction in two increments. The BMTC then appealed this modification to the high court.

The bench commented, “Generally, a good bus conductor should be reliable, friendly, helpful, and safety-conscious. Drivers and conductors must treat passengers with courtesy. However, this is an intriguing case involving an intoxicated individual who turned a simple journey into a nightmare for passengers. The charges were severe; he was intoxicated and misbehaved with passengers while on duty… Nevertheless, under Section 11A of the I.D. Act, the Industrial Tribunal chose to modify the penalty.”

In response to the BMTC’s petition, the bench stated, “The Tribunal made an error by modifying the imposition of a minor penalty. This alteration falls outside its jurisdiction because the Tribunal cannot modify a minor penalty… For the above reasons, the Industrial Tribunal’s award is subject to being annulled.”

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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