Somnath Iyer, J.
1. The source of this writ petition is an application filed by the petitioner who was an employee in the Mysore State Road Transport Corporation for a reference to the Industrial Tribunal under S. 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act. The application was presented on June 6, 1962, and the dispute concerned the dismissal of the petitioner from service on August 13, 1957.
2. The Mysore State Road Transport Corporation was established on August 1, 1961, and the employees of the Mysore Government Road Transport Department were entitled to opt for service in the Corporation. Since the petitioner by then had been dismissed, that option was not and could not be made available to him. The dispute which was sought to be referred to the Industrial Tribunal was the dispute concerning the prayer for reinstatement which the petitioner had made.
3. That application presented by the petitioner under S. 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act was dismissed by Government on February 2, 1966 on two grounds. The first was that the petitioner had 'no case in law' and the second was that he should have approached the Corporation earlier and that if he had done so the Corporation might have considered his case on humanitarian grounds.
4. In this writ petition the petitioner asks us to quash the order made by Government and for a mandamus directing Government to make a reference under S. 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act read with S. 12(5).
5. Mr. H. M. Munivenkataramana, in our opinion, is right in contending that the order made by the Government refusing the reference is unsupportable. It is clear from the elucidation made by the Supreme Court in Bombay Union of Journalists v. State of Bombay : (1964)ILLJ351SC , that although the Government has power when it is asked to make a reference under S. 10 to examine prima facie the merits of the dispute, it could not reach final conclusion. The impugned Government order does not say that the applicant prima facie had no case, but it reached a final conclusion that he had no case in law. This, according to the enunciation made by the Supreme Court, Government could not do. Then again, it is true as pointed out by the Supreme Court that in a case where the dispute is raised at the extraordinarily belated stage it is within the discretion of Government to refuse to make a reference. In the impugned order it was no doubt stated by the Government that the petitioner had approached the Corporation too late. The question was not whether the petitioner had approached the Corporation too late, but, whether the application presented by him for a reference was a belated application.
6. From the chronology which has been supplied to us by Mr. Munivenkataramana, it is clear that Government could not have reached the conclusion that there was any delay on the part of the petitioner in asking for a reference under the Industrial Disputes Act.
7. About a month after the petitioner was dismissed, he preferred an appeal to Government on September 25, 1957 and that appeal was disposed of on May 30, 1958 on which date the petitioner was informed that the appeal was not maintainable. The petitioner could not thereafter take further steps to seek any kind of redress in any other form since by that time he had been convicted by a Magistrate of an offence of rash and negligent driving, and that conviction was set aside on appeal on June 30, 1959 by the Court of Session. The sequel to that acquittal was the presentation of another appeal to Government on August 10, 1959, which was dismissed on March 17, 1960 on the ground that the Government had no reason to take a view different from the one which they had taken earlier.
8. The petitioner then presented a writ petition to this court in W.P. No. 392 of 1960 on April 14, 1960 in which he asked this Court to quash the order of dismissal and to direct his reinstatement. But on July 31, 1961 that writ petition was withdrawn with liberty reserved for having recourse to other remedies which are permissible such as a remedy in the form of an application for a reference under S. 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act or an application under S. 33-C(2) for retrenchment compensation. That application under S. 33-C(2) was indeed made to the Industrial Tribunal, but was dismissed by the Tribunal on the ground that the petitioner was not an employee of the Corporation since after his dismissal by Government he had not been given the option to serve the Corporation and so could not seek any compensation from the Corporation. It is in this situation when the petitioner was on the horns of a dilemma that he presented this application to Government on June 6, 1962, and, had only Government taken into consideration the various events which preceded the presentation of this application, it would have been impossible for it to think that there was any delay in the presentation of the application such as could justify the refusal of the reference under S. 10 of Industrial Disputes Act.
9. Moreover, there was no application of the mind of Government to the question whether there was only delay in seeking the reference. What Government thought was there was delay on the part of the petitioner in approaching the Corporation and delay of that description has no relevance in the consideration of the question whether the reference sought under S. 10 of the Act should be made.
10. So, we get aside the impugned order of Government and make a direction that it shall make a reference, under S. 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, as requested by the petitioner, of the industrial disputes to which he refers. No costs.