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Purohit and Purohit Vs. Sarva Shramik Sangh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Civil Application No. 100 of 1968
Judge
Reported in(1968)IILLJ185Bom
AppellantPurohit and Purohit
RespondentSarva Shramik Sangh and anr.
Excerpt:
- - the supreme court observed that in case of controversy as to the capacity of the industry to bear the burden of the additional increases, it is the bounden duty of the tribunal to come to a definite finding whether the company was capable of bearing the additional burden and only if it was satisfied that it was financially capable of bearing such additional burden, could there be any justification for the increased wages. under the circumstances, it was the duty of the tribunal to be satisfied about the financial capacity of the industry to bear that burden. the company has a good business potential and stability......the tribunal has not considered the important question as to whether the business will be able to bear the additional financial burden imposed on it by allowing certain of the demands wholly or in part. sri chitale has relied upon the decision in air lines hotel (private), ltd. v. their workmen : (1961)illj663sc . in this case also the employers produced their statement of accounts and balance sheet under seal with a request to treat them as confidential. under the circumstances, the tribunal did not make a definite finding as to whether in granting the demand, even partially as it did, the employer would be able to bear the burden financially. the supreme court observed that in case of controversy as to the capacity of the industry to bear the burden of the additional increases, it is.....
Judgment:

Per Patel, J.

1. This application arises out of an award made by the industrial tribunal in a dispute referred by the Government to it between the petitioner-firm and their workmen. Those workmen are represented by respondent 1, the trade union. In all there are 26 workers in this firm. The workers made several demands numbering fourteen mentioned in Para. 3 of the award. These demands were adjudicated upon by the tribunal. Five of these demands which are very important are regarding the pay-scales, refixation of pay-scales, dearness allowance, provident fund and gratuity. The rest of the demands also involved monetary burden on the business. Out of the fourteen demands, the tribunal modified the scales of wages covered by demands 2 to 5, namely, the wage-structure of the workmen in the company. Demand 11 was practically adjusted by agreement and demands 12 and 14 were not pressed before him. The other demands were demands 1, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 13, some of which he granted. The petitioners challenge the award.

2. The main and the only contention of the petitioners is that the tribunal has not considered the important question as to whether the business will be able to bear the additional financial burden imposed on it by allowing certain of the demands wholly or in part. Sri Chitale has relied upon the decision in Air Lines Hotel (Private), Ltd. v. Their workmen : (1961)ILLJ663SC . In this case also the employers produced their statement of accounts and balance sheet under seal with a request to treat them as confidential. Under the circumstances, the tribunal did not make a definite finding as to whether in granting the demand, even partially as it did, the employer would be able to bear the burden financially. The Supreme Court observed that in case of controversy as to the capacity of the industry to bear the burden of the additional increases, it is the bounden duty of the tribunal to come to a definite finding whether the company was capable of bearing the additional burden and only if it was satisfied that it was financially capable of bearing such additional burden, could there be any justification for the increased wages. In the present case almost all the demands which were conceded in part by the tribunal below, do place a financial additional burden on the business. Under the circumstances, it was the duty of the tribunal to be satisfied about the financial capacity of the industry to bear that burden.

3. Sri Warke contended that the finding of the tribunal in Para. 5 would serve the purpose. He argues that the same words as have been used by the Supreme Court need not be used by the tribunal. That indeed may be so. But then the finding made by the tribunal must show that it had actually considered what the burden would be by the increase demanded or granted to the workers and whether the company was in a position to bear that burden. The tribunal said :

'The Company was, nevertheless, in profit margin throughout. The company has a good business potential and stability. Its financial position could, therefore, be said to be fairly satisfactory.'

4. In our view, this is not the finding that the tribunal is expected and is required to make. Under the circumstances, the award cannot stand. We, therefore, set aside the award and direct that the tribunal rehear the matter in accordance with law in the light of the observations in the case to which we have already referred to. The tribunal may consider the evidence already on record and such other further evidence as either party may produce. Costs will be costs in the cause.


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