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Uttar Pradesh Electric Supply Company Ltd. Vs. Assistant Labour Commissioner, Gorakhpur Region and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1966)IILLJ714All
AppellantUttar Pradesh Electric Supply Company Ltd.
RespondentAssistant Labour Commissioner, Gorakhpur Region and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the records have been produced and it appears that the assistant labour commissioner found' that pande's job as an assistant meter engineer was mainly technical and also involved manual operation and a little supervision as well and that, in view of this, he was covered by the definition of the term 'workman' as defined in section 2 (z) of the act. --(1) where any money is due to a workman from an employer under the provisions of sections 6j to 6r under a settlement or award, or under an award given by an adjudicator or the state industrial tribunal appointed or constituted under this act, before the commencement of the uttar pradesh industrial disputes (amendment and miscellaneous provisions) act, 1956, the workman may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, make an..........iii, uttar pradesh, allahabad, in case no. 57 of 1958. after hearing the parties, the assistant labour commissioner issued a certificate to the collector for recovery of rs. 3,162.50 from the petitioner-company. it is against issue of this certificate under section 6h (1) of the act that this writ petition is directed.2. one of the points raised in the petition is that the assistant labour commissioner had no jurisdiction to entertain the application under's. 6h (1) and to issue the certificate. along with the counter-affidavit filed by sri karuna shankar srivastava, assistant regional conciliation officer, allahabad, is annexed, as annexure b, an order of the state government delegating its powers under section 6h to the assistant labour commissioner, uttar pradesh, in view of this.....
Judgment:

G.C. Mathur, J.

1. On 30 March 1961, respondent 3 (Har Prasad Pande) applied to the State Government under Section 6H (1) of the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 5,612.50 as bonus on the basis of the award, dated 12 November 1959, of the Industrial Tribunal III, Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad, in Case No. 57 of 1958. After hearing the parties, the Assistant Labour Commissioner Issued a certificate to the Collector for recovery of Rs. 3,162.50 from the petitioner-company. It is against issue of this certificate under Section 6H (1) of the Act that this writ petition is directed.

2. One of the points raised in the petition Is that the Assistant Labour Commissioner had no Jurisdiction to entertain the application under's. 6H (1) and to Issue the certificate. Along with the counter-affidavit filed by Sri Karuna Shankar Srivastava, Assistant Regional Conciliation Officer, Allahabad, Is annexed, as annexure B, an order of the State Government delegating Its powers under Section 6H to the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh, In view of this delegation, this point does not survive.

3. The next point that was raised by learned Counsel for the petitioner is that there was no determination by the Assistant Labour Commissioner of the question whether respondent 3 was a workman to whom bonus could be paid. Learned Counsel has invited my attention to annexure A to the counter-affidavit of Sri Karuna Shankar Srivastava in which the objections raised on behalf of the petitioner before the Assistant Labour Commissioner are set out. The first objection reads thus:

Pande was an officer of the company and his service conditions are governed by the agreement entered Into by the parties.

4. The petitioner's case is that Pande was an officer and was not a workman during any of the years for which bonus was claimed by him. I had directed Sri H. P. Gupta, learned Junior Standing Counsel, to produce the records of the case before me. The records have been produced and It appears that the Assistant Labour Commissioner found' that Pande's job as an assistant meter engineer was mainly technical and also involved manual operation and a little supervision as well and that, In view of this, he was covered by the definition of the term 'workman' as defined in Section 2 (z) of the Act. There is thus a clear finding given by the Assistant Labour Commissioner that Pande was a workman. In my view, this finding is not vitiated by any manifest error of law. The Assistant Labour Commissioner has further found that, since the award in question covered only the period 1955-56,1956-57 and 1957-58, Pande was entitled to bonus only for those years and he accordingly issued a certificate for the recovery of Rs. 3,162.50 only. There Is no substance in the second contention raised by the petitioner.

5. The last contention raised on behalf of the petitioner is that Pande was not a workman on the date on which he made the application under Section 6H (1) of the Act and as such he was not entitled to make such an application. The foundation for this argument is a statement contained in the application of Pande under Section 6H (1) to the effect that he had resigned from service on 30 September 1959. The contention is that, since, on the face of the application Itself, It was apparent that respondent 3 was not a workman on the date of the application, the Assistant Labour Commissioner should have rejected the application forthwith. If the petitioner's submission that the person making the application under Section 6H (1) must toe a workman on the date of making the application were correct, there would be coniderable force in its contention. Section 6H is as follows:

6H. Recovery of money due from an employer.--(1) Where any money is due to a workman from an employer under the provisions of Sections 6J to 6R under a settlement or award, or under an award given by an adjudicator or the State Industrial Tribunal appointed or constituted under this Act, before the commencement of the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Disputes (Amendment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1956, the workman may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, make an application to the State Government for the recovery of the money due to him, and if the State Government is satisfied that any money is so due, it shall issue a certificate for that amount to the Collector who shall proceed to recover the same as if it were an arrear of land revenue.(2) Where any workman is entitled to receive from the employer any benefit which is capable of being computed in terms of money, the amount at which such benefit should be computed may, subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, be determined by such labour court as may be specified in this behalf by the State Government, and the amount so determined may be recovered as provided for in Sub-sectiontion (1).

6. I am of the view that this section does not require that the person making the application should be a workman on the date of making the application. All that it requires is that the money or the benefit should be due to a person who was a workman on the date when the money or the benefit became due. In other words, this section applies to those persons who were workmen when they became entitled to the money or to the benefit. Once it is found that the money or the benefit was due to a person who was a workman, then it is permissible for him to make the application under 8. 6H, even though he has ceased to be a workman at the time of making the application. This section is not concerned with the determination of any industrial dispute in which proceedings it is necessary that the relationship of employer and workman should subsist at the time of the reference. This section provides a summary method for the recovery of money or the money equivalent of a benefit to which a workman has already become entitled. These proceedings are in the nature of execution proceedings. The legislature could not have Intended to deny the benefit of these provisional to those workmen who, though they were entitled to some money or benefit, had, either by retirement or resignation or otherwise, later ceased to be workmen. In the expression 'where any money is due to a workman from an employer' in Sub-section (1), the word 'workman' refers to the status of the person on the day he became entitled to the money; and in the expression 'the workman may ... make an application,' the words 'the workman' refer to the same person. I am fortified in the view that I am taking by two decisions of the Madras High Court, Tiruchi-Srirangam Transport Co. (Private), Ltd. v. Labour Court, Madurai 1961--1 L.L.J. 729 which is a decision of a learned single Judge and Manicka Mudaliar v. Labour Court, Madras 1961--1 L.L.J. 592 which is a decision of a Division Bench. It has been held in these cases that, for purposes of Section 33C (2) of the Central Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, a person need not be a workman on the date of making an application under that provision. The language of Section 33C of the Central Industrial Disputes Act is identical with that of Section 6H of the Uttar Pradesh Act. It is contended that the decisions relate to Sub-sectiontion (2) and will not apply to Sub-sectiontion (1). I cannot agree with this. Under Sub-sectiontion (2), the words used are ' where any workman is entitled to receive from the employer any benefit' and, in Sub-section (1), the words, used are ' where any money is due to a workman from an employer.' in my opinion, the language in the two Sub-sectiontions is similar and the object of the two Sub-sectiontions is identical. The computation under Sub-sectiontion (2) is also for the purpose of recovery under Sub-section (2). A person who is entitled to apply under Sub-sectiontion (2) for computation of a benefit in terms of money will also be entitled to apply for the realization of the money under Sub-sectiontion (1). I am accordingly of the view that it was not necessary that respondent 3 should have been a workman on the date on which he made the application under Section 6H (1) of the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Disputes Act. In this view, the application made by respondent 3 was competent and the Assistant Labour Commissioner had full jurisdiction to entertain it and to issue the certificate under Section 6H (1).

7. In the result, I find no force in any of the contentions raised by the learned Counsel for the petitioner. The writ petition Is accordingly dismissed with costs.

8. The stay order, dated 1 January 1963, is discharged.


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