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Gopal Das and Co. Vs. Regional Labour Commissioner, Government of India and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1966)ILLJ566All
AppellantGopal Das and Co.
RespondentRegional Labour Commissioner, Government of India and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....constitution directed against the order of the subdivisional magistrate shahganj, holding that the district magistrate, jaunpur, could transfer the case to the subdivisional magistrate on the basis of the fact that the subdivisional magistrate, shahganj, had the jurisdiction to hear and decide the instant case.2. the facts leading up to this petition are these. an application was first moved on 1 december 1961 by the inspector (the regional labour commissioner) before the subdivisional magistrate, jaunpur, under section 15(3) of the payment of wages act allesing non-payment of wages in respect of fifty-one workmen alleged to have been employed by the petitioner-firm and for compenastion due to them. the subdivisional magistrate, jaunpur, entertained the application and issued notice to.....
Judgment:

S.C. Manchanda, J.

1. This is an application under Article 227 of the Constitution directed against the order of the Subdivisional Magistrate Shahganj, holding that the District Magistrate, Jaunpur, could transfer the case to the Subdivisional Magistrate on the basis of the fact that the Subdivisional Magistrate, Shahganj, had the Jurisdiction to hear and decide the instant case.

2. The facts leading up to this petition are these. An application was first moved on 1 December 1961 by the Inspector (the Regional Labour Commissioner) before the Subdivisional Magistrate, Jaunpur, under Section 15(3) of the Payment of Wages Act allesing non-payment of wages in respect of fifty-one workmen alleged to have been employed by the petitioner-firm and for compenastion due to them. The Subdivisional Magistrate, Jaunpur, entertained the application and issued notice to the petitioner-firm. This application was filed within the period of limitation. Ultimately, however, the Subdivisional Magistrate, Jaunpur, by his order dated 14 September 1962, rejected the application on the ground that he had no Jurisdiction to hear and decide the case, the dispute not having arisen in his area as required by Section 15(3) of the Act. On 22 September 1962 the Regional Labour Commissioner, Kanpur sent another application to the District Magistrate, Jaunpur, along with, a letter praying for the condonation of the delay in the making of the application. The District Magistrate forwarded that application to the Subdivisional Magitstrate, Maldahiya, Varanasi. This Subdivisional Magistrate returned the application to the District Magistrate who again transferred it for disposal to the Subdivisional. Magistrate, Shahganj, Jaunpur. The petitioner appeared before the Subdivisional Magistrate, Shahganj, and opposed the application for condonation of the delay. The application, however, was allowed and the delay condoned. Thereupon the petitioner raised an objection that the District Magistrate had no jurisdiction to transfer the application under Section 15(3) to the Subdivisional Magistrate, Shahganj-both of them being concurrent authorities under the provisions of the Act. This preliminary objection was decided by the impugned order dated 19 March 1964. Hence this writ petition.

3. Sri Yashodanandan, learned Counsel for the petitioner, has contended that when two authorities have concurrent jurisdiction no question of transfer by one to the other can possibly arise and the transfer if made is entirely without jurisdiction.

4. There is no force in this contention. When two authorities are mentioned as having jurisdiction, both those authorities have concurrent jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the application. In this case the District Magistrate had jurisdiction and so had the Subdivisional Magistrate, Shahganj. The Labour Commissioner had rightly presented the application to the District Magistrate but later on instead of disposing of the application himself he forwarded it to the Subdivisional Magistrate who also had jurisdiction in the matter. In these circumstances, it cannot be said that the Subdivisional Magistrate, Shahganj, had no jurisdiction to entertain the application at all. The mere fact that the application came to him not directly but through some other agency will not debar him from having jurisdiction if the Act provides that he has jurisdiction over the particular matter in dispute. This is not a case of any initial lack of jurisdiction. It is merely a case where an application was not filed directly before that authority but before another authority. The Subdivisional Magistrate, Shahganj, therefore, had the necessary jurisdiction and the application having reached him 'and he being seized of it.' It cannot be said that the order passed by him was entirely without jurisdiction as would justify interference under Article 227 of the Constitution. In any event if there had been a patent lack of jurisdiction or an error of law, in the circumstances of this case, I would have declined to have exercised my discretionary powers under Article 227. No manifest injustice or prejudice has been caused to the petitioner. For these reasons the application is dismissed. In the circumstances of the case, the parties are however left to bear their own costs.


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