1. The petitioner is a private limited company doing business of producing cine films and hiring its studios to other producers for shooting their films.
2. Respondent 2 in the petition is a trade union which represents the employees of the petitioner. In 1958 the Government of Bombay referred for adjudication to the industrial tribunal (respondent 1) as industrial dispute between the petitioner and its employees relating to classification, wagescales, dearness allowance, gratuity, bonus, etc. During the pendency of this reference the petitioner dismissed 51 workers in 1964 and filed application before the industrial tribunal under S. 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, for approval of the action taken by it. At the hearing of these applications two advocates appeared before the industrial tribunal on behalf of the petitioner. An office-bearer of the union, Sri R. J. Mehta, who was to appear for the workmen, was unable to be present. A message was covered by him to the tribunal that he desired to object to the appearance of any advocates on behalf of the petitioners and that the hearing of the applications should be adjourned. The hearing was adjourned on that date, and eventually on 16 September, 1964 the industrial tribunal passed an order by which the objection taken on behalf of the workmen to representation by advocates was upheld and the petitioner was directed to make other arrangements for its appearance. The petitioner approached this Court for an order under Art. 227 of the Constitution to quash this order of the industrial tribunal.
3. The impugned order of the industrial tribunal was made under Sub-section (4) of S. 36 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which provides :
'In any proceedings before a labour court, tribunal or national tribunal, a party to a dispute may be represented by a legal practitioner with the consent of the other parties to the proceedings and with the leave of the labour court, tribunal or national tribunal, as the case may be.'
4. Since the workmen who were parties to the proceeding under S. 33(2)(b) had not given consent to the petitioner being represented by legal practitioner, the industrial tribunal was fully justified in making the impugned order under the terms of Sub-section (4) of S. 36.
5. It was urged on behalf of the petitioner before the industrial tribunal that Sri R. J. Mehta had no authority from the workmen to object to the appearance of legal practitioner for the petitioner. The industrial tribunal held that the workmen had authorized the Chitrapat Kamgar Sabha (respondent 2 before us) to appear on their behalf, that Sri Mehta was an office-bearer to that union and that Sri Mehta had, therefore, requisite authority on behalf of the workmen. We seen no reason to interfere with this finding of the industrial tribunal.
6. On behalf of the petitioner Sri Vakil urged before us that the petitioner as well as the labour union are represented by legal practitioners in the main reference which is pending before the industrial tribunal, that the applications of the petitioner under S. 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act are in the nature of interlocutory proceedings in the main reference and that therefore the advocates who represent the petitioner and the union in the main reference are entitled to appear for the petitioner and the concerned workmen in the applications under S. 33(2)(b) of the said Act. We do not find any substance in this argument. Section 33(2)(b) applies where an employer discharges or punishes, whether by dismissal or otherwise, a workman for any misconduct 'not connected with the dispute,' i.e., the dispute which is pending in proceeding referred to in Sub-section (1) of S. 33. In this case the workmen are alleged to have been dismissed by the petitioner for misconduct not connected with the dispute which is being adjudicated upon by the industrial tribunal in the main reference. The advocates who are entitled to appear in the main reference for the petitioner and the union, are, therefore, not entitled to appear as of right in the proceedings under S. 33(2)(b).
7. In the result the petition fails and is dismissed. The petitioner to pay the costs of respondent 2. In assessing costs the advocate's fees will be Rs. 250.