The process before the Industrial Adjudicator is laid down clearly under labour laws in India. After completion of pleadings, i.e. filing of Statement of Claims, Written Statements, filing of Documents, the Industrial Adjudicator will frame issues based on the pleadings.
Thereafter, the Adjudicator will examine whether domestic enquiry is held and if the domestic enquiry is pleaded and documents in support thereof are filed and the Workman has challenged the validity of the domestic enquiry, the Adjudicator will determine whether such a challenge is on any factual or purely legal grounds.
The employer may also lead additional evidence beyond enquiry proceedings. The validity of the enquiry will be decided and if the enquiry is found to be valid, the Adjudicator will look into perversity of findings. If the findings are held to be perverse and the employer has prayed for leading evidence in case the findings are held to be perverse, the Adjudicator will allow employer to adduce evidence, justify his action before the Adjudicator.
However, opportunity of leading evidence to prove misconduct in the alternative shall have to be pleaded specifically in the pleadings if there are no pleadings, the employer will not get the right and the matter will be decided on the basis of the material available.
If the employer has pleaded to exercise the right to lead evidence, the adjudicator will give liberty to employer to lead evidence before the adjudicator, the workman will also have the right to rebut the evidence of the employer.
Based on the evidence, adjudicator will decide the case on merits without being influenced by the findings as to invalidity of the enquiry.