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New Victoria Mills Co. Ltd., Kanpur Vs. Raja Ram Gupta and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 1126 of 1963
Judge
Reported inAIR1970All24
ActsUttar Pradesh Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 6E, 6F, 33(1) and 33(2)
AppellantNew Victoria Mills Co. Ltd., Kanpur
RespondentRaja Ram Gupta and ors.
Appellant AdvocateT.N. Sapru, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK.P. Agarwal, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....dispute concerning other person - held, not correct to say all members of trade union espousing a pending dispute are workmen concerned in that dispute. - cantonments act[c.a. no. 41/2006]. section 346 & cantonment fund (servants rules, 1937, rules 13, 14 & 15: [h.l. gokhale, ag. cj, p.v. hardas, naresh h. patil, r.m. borde & r.m. savant, jj] jurisdiction of school tribunal constituted under maharashtra employees of private schools (conditions of service) regulations act, (3 of 1978) held, school run by the cantonment board is a primary school and it is not a school recognised by any such board comparable to the divisional board or the state board. the school tribunal constituted under section 8 of the maharashtra act cannot entertain appeals filed under section 9 by the employees..........the industrial dispute in respect of the suspension and termination of the services of ram sumer, gupta was a workman concerned in that industrial dispute and the provisions of section 6e(ii) (b) were attracted. holding that it had jurisdiction to entertain the application under section 6f, it entered into the merits of the dispute raised by gupta and on november 14, 1962 it made an award directing the petitioner to reinstate gupta in service with effect from the date on which the award became enforceable and to pay him 50% of the back wages from september 28, 1961 to the date of reinstatement. the award was enforced by a notification dated december 4, 1962 of the state government. thereafter gupta applied under section 6h (i) of the act for realisation of the dues which he.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R.S. Pathak, J.

1. The petitioner, the New Victoria Mills Company Limited, Kanpur employed the first respondent, Raja Ram Gupta, as a cotton godown clerk. On August 12, 1961 it framed charges against Gupta on account of misconduct under Standing Order 23(1) in respect of neglecting his work and causing loss to the company. An enquiry upon those charges was made by an officer of the petitioner, and upon the report submitted by the officer Gupta was dismissed on September 28, 1961.

2. On October, 4, 1961, Gupta presented an application before the Labour Court I, Kanpur under Section 6F of the U.P. Industrial Disputes Act. Inter alia, it was pointed out that the petitioner had contravened the provisions of Section 6E of the Act. The Labour Court found that an industrial dispute in respect of the suspension and termination of services of Ram Sumer, an operative in the Weaving Department of the concern, was pending adjudication, that the petitioner was bound to comply with Section 6E (ii) (b) of the Act and before dismissing Gupta apply to the Labour Court for approval of the action of the petitioner. The Labour Court found that inasmuch as Gupta was a member of the Suti Mill Mazdoor Sabha, a trade union of workmen, and the Suti Mill Mazdoor Sabha had sponsored the industrial dispute in respect of the suspension and termination of the services of Ram Sumer, Gupta was a workman concerned in that industrial dispute and the provisions of Section 6E(ii) (b) were attracted. Holding that it had jurisdiction to entertain the application under Section 6F, it entered into the merits of the dispute raised by Gupta and on November 14, 1962 it made an award directing the petitioner to reinstate Gupta in service with effect from the date on which the award became enforceable and to pay him 50% of the back wages from September 28, 1961 to the date of reinstatement. The award was enforced by a notification dated December 4, 1962 of the State Government. Thereafter Gupta applied under Section 6H (I) of the Act for realisation of the dues which he claimed under the award. The proceedings were registered as R.D. Case No. 17 of 1963 and are pending. The petitioner prays for the quashing of the award dated November 14, 1962, the notification dated December 4, 1962 enforcing it and the proceedings in R.D. Case No. 17 of 1963.

3. A number of contentions has been raised before me by the learned counsel for the petitioner.

4. The first contention is that Gupta was not a workman concerned in the dispute relating to Ram Sumer and that, therefore, the application under Section 6F of the Act moved by Gupta before the Labour Court was not maintainable. In my opinion, the contention is well founded. Gupta was a cotton godown clerk while Ram Sumer was an operative in the Weaving Department. It has not been shown that having regard to the nature of the dispute relating to Ram Sumer, Gupta could be said to be interested in that dispute. No common feature which could serve as a connecting link between Gupta and the pending dispute relating to Ram Sumer has been found by the Labour Court. The Labour Court has confined itself to the circumstance that Gupta is a member of the Suti Mill Mazdoor Sabha which sponsored the dispute relating to Ram Sumer. That consideration, in my opinion, is not sufficient to make Gupta a workman concerned in that pending dispute.

I have been referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in New India Motors (P) Ltd. New Delhi v. K.T. Morris, AIR 1960 SC 875 where the Supreme Court was called upon to decide what was the scope of the expression 'workman concerned in such dispute' under Section 33(1) (a) of the Industrial Disputes Act. In that case, the Supreme Court expressed the opinion that all workmen on whose behalf the dispute had been raised as well as those who would be bound by the award which may be made in the pending dispute would be included within the expression 'workmen concerned in such dispute.' This was followed by the decision of the Supreme Court in Digwadih Colliery v. Ramji Singh 1964-2 Lab LJ 143 (SC) where that Court considered it necessary to ascertain the nature of the dispute pending in the reference while deciding whether the workmen in question could be said to be concerned in the pending dispute. It was pointed out:

'unless it is known as to what was the nature of the dispute pending in the said reference, it would plainly be impossible to decide whether the respondent is a workman concerned within the meaning of Section 33(2).'

Thereafter in Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. v. D.R. Singh, AIR 1966 SC 288 the Supreme Court declared that it was the duty of the Tribunal to decide the preliminary question raised before it as to the applicability of Section 33(2) and that the preliminary question fell to be decided in the light of the decisions of the Supreme Court in the New India Motors P. Ltd. AIR 1960 SC 875 (supra), and Digwadih Colliery, 1964-2 Lab LJ 143 (SC) (supra).

5. It appears to me that In order to ascertain the true scope of the expression 'workmen concerned in such dispute' it is necessary to read the judgment of the Supreme Court in these two cases together. So read, it is clear that what must be ascertained is the nature of the pending dispute and the relationship which particularly links the workman, against whom action is proposed, with the pending dispute. It is not easy to accept the proposition that all the members of the trade union expousing a pending dispute are workmen concerned in that dispute. To accept that understanding of the scope of the section would be to give to it a far wider expression than was in fact intended by the Supreme Court and which runs counter to what the Supreme Court said in Digwadih Colliery, 1964-2 Lab LJ 143 (SC) (supra). In this view, I am fortified by the decision of the Patna High Court in Cane Manager, New India Sugar Mills Ltd. Dharbhanga v. Krishna Ballabh Jha, AIR 1967 Pat 10.

6. In my opinion, the consideration upon which the Labour Court has held that the application filed by Gupta under Section 6F of the Act was maintainable is manifestly erroneous in law. The Labour Court must now decide the matter afresh and in the light of the observations made above. It is open to it to permit the parties to lead fresh evidence in the matter.

7. In the circumstances it is not necessary to consider the other contentions raised on behalf of the petitioner.

8. The petition is allowed. The award dated November 14, 1962 of the Labour Court, I, Kanpur and the notification dated December 4, 1962 of the State Government enforcing the award are quashed. The proceedings under Section 6H(1) registered as R.D. Case No. 17 of 1963 are also quashed. The Labour Court will now dispose of the application made under Section 6F of the U.P. Industrial Disputes Act in accordance with law and in the light of the observations set out in this judgment. In the circumstances of the case there is no order as to costs.


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