1. This is an application under Art. 226 of the Constitution to quash the award of the Industrial Tribunal, Andhra Pradesh, dated 21 February 1957. One Papaiah Naidu, who was employed under the petitioner, was dismissed for attempting to steal one dealwood box contain 15 yards of hessian cloth. The workers of the Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company of India (Private), Ltd., Vijayawada, took up his cause, and the conciliation proceedings having failed, reference was made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to the industrial tribunal to decide whether Papaiah Naidu was properly dismissed. The tribunal held that the dismissal was not in accordance with the principles of natural justice inasmuch as he was not given an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses, upon whose evidence the management acted. As against the award of the industrial tribunal, the writ petition is filed before this Court.
2. Sri Rajarama Ayar, the learned advocate for the petitioner, contended that:
(1) there was no union of the workers of the Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company of India (Private), Ltd., at Vajayawada and Papaiah Naidu was not a member of the Madras union, and.
(2) that even assuming that he was a member of the Madras union, there was no industrial dispute so far as the workers at Vijayawada were concerned.
3. I am not inclined to accept both the contentions.
4. In the statement of the claim filed on behalf of the union, it is specifically stated that Papaiah Naidu was a very active member of the union and was mainly responsible for enrolling the employees at Vijayawada as members of the union. In the written statement of the employers, this allegation is not denied. It appears from the conciliation proceedings that 8 out of 10 workers at Vijayawada were members of the Madras union. In Ex. W. 8 dated 31 March, 1956 six of the workers wrote to the General Secretary, Fire and Rubber Company Employees' Union, Madras, that the dismissal of Papaiah Naidu was unjust and summary, and that the head office of the union should take necessary steps for his reinstatement. A general body meeting was held on 16 July, 1956 and K. T. Srinivasan, vice-president of the union, was permitted to represent Papaiah Naidu at the inquiry. The tribunal, relying on Exs. W. 8 and W. 9, rightly held that Papaiah Naidu was a member of the Madras union. As the trade union, of which Papaiah Naidu was a member, espoused his cause, the dispute should be regarded as an industrial dispute [vide observations of Chandra Sekhara Ayyar, J., in Banerji v. Mukherjee [1953 - I L.L.J. 195]].
5. The next contention of Sri Rajarama Ayyar was that the sub-depot at Vijayawada should be regarded as a separate establishment and that the industrial dispute must have arisen at that depot. In support of this proposition, reliance was placed on the decision in S. R. V. Service, Ltd. v. State of Madras [1956 - I L.L.J. 498]. Sri Srinivasamurthi, the learned advocate for the respondent, does not dispute the proposition that the industrial dispute must have arisen in the sub-depot at Vijayawada. The facts clearly establish that 8 out of the 10 workers belonging to Vijayawada depot were members of the Madras union, and that they supported the cause of Papaiah Naidu. In any event, Ex. W. 8 dated 31 March, 1956 shows that six of the workers recommended his case to the general secretary. There was therefore a collective dispute by the workers at Vijayawada. As already pointed out, there was no separate union of the workers at Vijayawada. Eight of those workers were members of the Madras union. As all those eight people supported his cause and moved the Madras union to take proceedings, it should be taken that an industrial dispute arose in the Vijayawada depot within the meaning of S. 2(k) of the Industrial Disputes Act. I, therefore, overrule both the contentions raised by the learned advocate for the petitioner.
6. In the result, the writ petition fails and is dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.