BANDARA AND ANOTHER v. PREMACHANDRA, SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF LANDS, IRRIGATION AND MAHAWELI DEVELOPMENT AND OTHERS | 1994 1SLR 301

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The 22 petitioners along with 15 others were selected to follow a four-year residential course leading to the award of a Bachelor’s degree in the Surveying Service. Only Class III, Grade III Surveyors were eligible to follow this course. The 1st respondent issued letters of appointment appointing them as Surveyors in Class II Grade III on probation for a period to be notified (but not notified). Shortly thereafter the petitioners became members of the Government Surveyors’ Association, a Trade Union. The Annual General Meeting of the Association was held on 26.09.92 and the petitioners attended this meeting with some difficulty. Thereafter the Union embarked on a work-to-rule campaign and sent in sick notes for their absence. The petitioners joined in this: a vacation of post notice was served on them. Later the petitioners submitted a petition to the 1st respondent pleading excuses for having complied with the decision of the Union.

the second respondent interviewed the petitioners and indicated willingness to reinstate them, if they furnished a written undertaking: (i) to refrain from participating in Trade Union activities during the four year training period; and (ii) to devote themselves exclusively to educational activities. The petitioners gave this undertaking by letter which specifically referred to the 2nd respondent’s request for such an undertaking. The 2nd respondent did not reply or deny the statement attributed to him. However in his affidavit to court he denied the statement but the court did not accept the denial.

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