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Andhra Scientific Company Employees' Union Vs. Andhra Scientific Company Ltd. and Ors. (15.07.1968 - APHC) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1970)ILLJ555AP
AppellantAndhra Scientific Company Employees' Union
RespondentAndhra Scientific Company Ltd. and Ors.
Excerpt:
.....concerned with the mode of notifying of holidays only. a workman against whom an enquiry has to be held shall be given a charge sheet clearly setting forth the circumstances appealing against him and requiring explanation. what the appellate authority failed to conceder is the feet that standing orders are not being made for the first time for this company. the appellate authority has failed to consider the question from this standpoint. i am, therefore satisfied that the certifying officer and the appellate authority had misdirected themselves in permitting this amendment......holidays to 10 from 17. the employees object and state that under the industrial employment (standingorders) act the certifying officer and the appellate authority have no jurisdiction to permit modification of standing orders by restricting the number of holidays. under section 2(g) of the act standing orders are defined to mean rules relating to matters set out in the schedule. section 3(2) prescribes that standing orders shall provide for matters set out in the schedule and as far as practicable they should be in conformity with the prescribed model standing orders. the schedule to the act contains eleven entries of which we are concerned with entry 5 which is as follows:conditions of, procedure in applying for and the authority which may grant, leave and holidays.the.....
Judgment:

O. Chinnappa Reddi, J.

1. In title application for the issue of a writ of certiorari we are concerned with certain modifications of the standing orders of the Andhra Scientific Company which is were permitted by the certifying officer and the Appellate authority constituted under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act of 1946. The first objection of the employees of the company, who are the petitioners in this writ petition, is to the modification of standing Order 10. Ever since the inception of the company the employees were being given 17 paid festival holidays. The management sought permission to amend the standing orders by reducing the festival holidays to 10 from 17. The employees object and state that under the Industrial Employment (StandingOrders) Act the certifying officer and the appellate authority have no jurisdiction to permit modification of standing orders by restricting the number of holidays. Under Section 2(g) of the Act standing orders are defined to mean rules relating to matters set out in the schedule. Section 3(2) prescribes that standing orders shall provide for matters set out in the schedule and as far as practicable they should be in conformity with the prescribed model standing orders. The schedule to the Act contains eleven entries of which we are concerned with entry 5 which is as follows:

conditions of, procedure in applying for and the authority which may grant, leave and holidays.

The petitioners contend that entry 5 does not empower the prescription of the number of holidays in the standing orders, but only presrirbes the procedure for notifying the holidays, etc The contention of the petitioners appears to be correct. A reference to the model standing orders also supports their contention. Model standing Order 5 is as follows:

5. Publication of holidays and pay-days.-Notices specifying

(a) the days observed by the establishment as holidays, and

(b) pay-day,

shall be pasted on the said notice-boards.

This standing order is clearly concerned with the mode of notifying of holidays only. Sri Narasimha Murti learned Counsel for the company however, urges that in the present case we are not concerned with the framing of original standing orders, but only with modification of existing standing orders and that if the original standing orders prescribed the number of festival holidays, it would be open to the authorities under Section 10 of the Act to modify the standing orders and reduce the holidays. It is difficult to agree with this contention. In the first place, the original standing orders have not been produced before me, They do not also appear to have been produced before the certifying officer or the appellate authority, as I do not find them in the records submitted to the High Court in answer to the rule nisi. The certifying officer and the appellate authority have not also extracted the original standing Order 10 but they do not also say that the original standing order prescribed the number of holidays. They merely say 'at present the workers are getting 17 holidays.' From the correspondence which the learned Counsel for the company produced before me, it appears as if the original standing orders did not presc the number of festival holidays. However, I do not want to base my conclusion on that ground. Even assuming that the original standing orders purported to prescribe the number of holidays, such a standing order would not be in conformity with the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act. The certifying officer and the appellate authority can concern the mselve only with standing orders an defined in the Act. The fact that standing orders dealing with matters falling outside the Act held been previously certified by the certifying officer constituted under the Act, in my opinion, cannot confer Jurisdiction on the certifying officer to mortify such standing orders in relation to the matters with which the Act is not concerned. I am, therefore of the view that the new standing Order 10(b) prescribing the number of holidays should not have been approved by the certifying officer and the appellate authority and should, therefore, be deleted from the standing orders.

2 The next objection of the employees relates to the modification of the standing Order 20(3). The original standing Order 20(3) read as follows:

A workman against whom an enquiry has to be held shall be given a charge sheet clearly setting forth the circumstances appealing against him and requiring explanation. He shall be given an opportunity to answer the charge and permitted to secure, during enquiry, the assistance of a co-workman and office-bearer of a recognized union.

The proposed amendment reads as follows:

A workman against whom an enquiry has to be held shall be given a charge-sheet setting forth the circumstances appearing against him and requiring explanation. He shall be given an opportunity to answer the charge and permitted to secure, during enquiry, the assistance of a co-workman or office-bearer of a recognized union, who is a co-worker.

Both the certifying officer and this appellate authority granted their approval to the management. The certifying officer gaveno raasons but the appellate authority thought that the enquiry contemplated by the standing order being a domestic enquiry the scope of the enquiry would be enlarged if an office-bearer of a recognized union who is not, at the came time a worker in the establishment, is allowed to assist a worker in a domestic enquiry. He, therefore, permitted the amendment. What the appellate authority failed to conceder is the feet that standing orders are not being made for the first time for this company. The original standing order provided for assistance to a worker by an office-bearer of a recognized trade union. This was a provision intended to secure some protection to workers who may not be able to defend themselves. The Question before the appellate authority was not whether a standing order which did not provide for outside assistance should be approved or not, but whether a standing order which provided for such assistance should be amended so as to take away the right to have such assistance. The appellate authority has failed to consider the question from this standpoint. No special reasons have been stated in the company's counter-affidavit which would justify the taking away of a right possessed by the workers or to curtail a legitimate trade union activity. I am, therefore satisfied that the certifying officer and the appellate authority had misdirected themselves in permitting this amendment. In the result, a writ will issue directing the resnondents to delete the new standing Order 10(b) from the standing orders and to delete the words ' who is a co-worker ' occurring after the words 'office-bearer of a recognized union ' in standing Order 20(3). The petitioner is entities to his costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.


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