Jagdish Sahai, J.
1. By means of this petition an interlocutory order dated 4 April 1968 passed by the presiding officer of an industrial tribunal has been challenged. The industrial tribunal is seized of a reference made to it for adjudication by the State Government. In the proceedings before it, union 2, which is a party to the proceedings, objected to the acceptance of the accounts furnished by the company. By means of the impugned order the Carew and Co., had been directed to produce the records mentioned in the order, before the industrial tribunal.
2. Sri Bishun Singh, the learned Counsel for the petitioner, has made the following two submissions before us:
(1) That the order violates the provisions of Section 23 of the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 (hereinafter referred to as the Act.).
(2) That the production of records would cause great inconvenience to the Carew and Co., which has its business spread at several places in India and Pakishan.
3. Learned Counsel's contention is that Section 23 of the Act requires, as a condition precedent to summoning of accounts, that the presiding officer must record his considered opinion that the accounts of the company are not correct. In our judgment the submission is based upon misreading and misconception of Section 23 of the Act.
4. Section 23 of the Act does not deal with the summoning of evidence or records. All that is provides is that there will be a presumption in favour of the correctness of the duly and properly-audited accounts produced by a company and normally the case should be decided on their basis. It only provides for drawing a rebuttable presumption in favour of the correctness of the accounts produced by a company, while deciding the case. Since it does not feel with the summoning of the evidence or production of accounts, it has no application at the stage when accounts are being summoned to consider whether they are in fact correct and whether the objection of union 2 should or should not be allowed. If the tribunal comes to the conclusion that the accounts are wrong, it can decide the case on the basis of other material. In our opinion, Section 23 has no application to the facts before us. The order passed by the presiding officer is not only within his jurisdiction, but also eminently just and proper. It was necessary to pass this order to decide the objection of union 2 and in order to do justice in the case.
5. Arguments of convenience cannot be allowed to prevail over considerations of justice. The industrial tribunal has to decide the case on the basis of evidence. If the accounts of the company have been seriously challenged, the same must be examined. There is no conclusive presumption in favour of their correctness.
6. The petition is dismissed.