Somnath Iyer, J.
1. The petitioner was a garden supervisor in the Government Spun Silk Mills at Channapatna in the district of Bangalore and he was also the convener of the canteen committee of a canteen organised by Government. At one stage there was a criminal prosecution instituted against the petitioner on the allegation that he assaulted the Administrative Officer of the mills who is respondent 3 before us, but that prosecution ended in the petitioner's acquittal. Meanwhile the petitioner had been dismissed from the post of a garden supervisor.
2. It was in that situation that the petitioner sought a reference under Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act after there was an unsuccessful endeavour at conciliation. That reference was refused by Government on December 31, 1966 through an order which reads:
'GOVERNMENT OF MYSORE No. LMA 573 LLD 66.
The Secretary to the Government of Mysore,
Labour the Municipal Admn., Dept.,
1. Sri B. Siddoji Rao.
Government Spun Silk Mills,
2. The Management,
Government Spun Silk Mills,
Sub:-- Industrial dispute between the workmen and Management of Government Spun Silk Mills Channapatna, reg: termination of services.
With reference to the above subject, I am directed to state that Government consider that the dispute in question does not merit reference for adjudication as it was proved that the officer was assaulted by the workmen and the dismissal of the workmen, justified.
Sd/- G. G. Purohit,
Under Secretary to Government,
L. M. A. Department.'
3. In this writ petition which at one stage incorporated another prayer for reinstatement which has since been deleted the only question which we should investigate is the sustainability of the refusal of the reference sought by the petitioner.
4. We are of the opinion that there has been no proper disposal of the application for a reference since the only ground on which it was refused was that in the opinion of Government it was proved that the Administrative Officer was assaulted by the petitioner. Section 12(5) of the Industrial Disputes Act makes the communication of the reasons for refusal of the reference imperative, and It is obvious that there has been no obedience to that sub-section since the only reason for which the reference was refused is an extraneous one which had no relevance to Section 12(5).
5. That that is so is the effect of the pronouncement of the Supreme Court In State of Bombay v. Krishnan (K. P.). : (1960)IILLJ592SC In which it was explained that while It may be open to Government to refuse a reference under Section 12(5) on the ground that the dispute raises a claim which is stale or opposed to the Act or Inconsistent with any agreement between the parties or that it suffers from infirmities of that character, such refusal would be Impermissible on the ground that the workman was guilty of some misconduct. Such refusal could not be founded on the alleged misconduct of a workman even if Government reached the conclusion that that misconduct is proved beyond doubt.
6. In the case before, us, the dispute in respect of which a reference was sought, was a dispute concerning the dismissal of the petitioner on the accusation that he assaulted the Administrative Officer, and it was not possible for Government to refuse that reference on the basis of its own opinion as to the truth of that accusation, and especially after the Criminal Court in which the petitioner was prosecuted had ended in his exoneration.
7. So we quash the impugned order of Government by which the reference was refused, and we make a direction to Government that it shall now dispose of the application for a reference afresh and in accordance with law.
8. No costs.
9. Writ allowed.