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The Banaras Ice Factory Ltd., Banaras Vs. the U.P. Government and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Appeal No. 87 of 1955
Judge
Reported inAIR1956All730; (1956)IILLJ297All
ActsUttar Pradesh Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 3, 8, 19(3) and 19(5); Industrial Disputes (Appellate Tribunal) Act, 1950 - Sections 20(1)
AppellantThe Banaras Ice Factory Ltd., Banaras
RespondentThe U.P. Government and ors.
Appellant AdvocateR.S. Pathak, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
labour and industrial - enforcement of award - sections 3 and 8 of industrial dispute act, 1947 - award by state industrial tribunal for payment of bonus - bonus not paid by company - award remains in force for one year - provision for attachment of property - state government within one year of award ordered collector to attach property - property attached after more than one year of date of award - appeal for release of property dismissed by single judge - second appeal - held, money due from employer under award need not necessarily be recovered within period of operation of award. - - for these reasons we are of opinion that the order of the learned judge was right and this appeal must fail......dispute with regard to bonus for the year 1949 was referred by the state government to the state industrial tribunal which, on 28-11-1952 made a similar award. the company appealed to the labour appellate tribunal from the award of the adjudicator but that appeal was dismissed on 29-9-1953. the appellant company did not make the bonus payments in accordance with the awards, and on 28-10-1953, the state government, respondent 1, ordered the collector of banaras, respondent 3, to recover from the appellant company the amounts awarded as bonus as arrears of land revenue, and in march 1954 the collector attached certain property belonging to the company.3. on 14-4-1954, the appellant company filed the petition out of which this appeal arises. it challenged the legality of the attachment of.....
Judgment:

Mootham, C.J.

1. This is an appeal from an order of Chaturvedi J. dated 28-3-1955, dismissing a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.

2. Disputes arose between the appellant Company and its workmen in respect of claims by the latter for bonus for the years 1949 and 1951. The dispute with regard to bonus for the year. 1951 was referred by the State Government to an Adjudicator who, by an award made on 23-7-1952, held that a bonus equivalent to two months' pay should be paid to each workman.

The dispute with regard to bonus for the year 1949 was referred by the State Government to the State Industrial Tribunal which, on 28-11-1952 made a similar award. The company appealed to the Labour Appellate Tribunal from the award of the Adjudicator but that appeal was dismissed on 29-9-1953. The appellant Company did not make the bonus payments in accordance with the awards, and on 28-10-1953, the State Government, respondent 1, ordered the Collector of Banaras, respondent 3, to recover from the appellant Company the amounts awarded as bonus as arrears of land revenue, and in March 1954 the Collector attached certain property belonging to the Company.

3. On 14-4-1954, the appellant Company filed the petition out of which this appeal arises. It challenged the legality of the attachment of its property and sought the issue of a writ of mandamus commanding respondents 1 and 3 to release the appellant's property from attachment.

The learned Judge dismissed the petition and the appellant Company now appeals from that part of the learned Judge's order refusing to direct the release from attachment such of the Company's property as was attached as a means of obtaining payment of the sum of Rs. 12,399/- awarded as bonus for the year 1951. The Company does not appeal from the refusal of the learned Judge to direct the other property to be released from attachment.

4. It is common ground that by virtue of Section 18of the Industrial Disputes (Appellate Tribunal) Act,1950, the award of the Adjudicator dated 10-9-1952,became enforceable thirty days thereafter, that ison 10-10-1952, and the appellant's contention is that,as under Clause 17 of the order of the Governor dated15-3-1951, made in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Sections 3 and 8, U. P. IndustrialDisputes Act, 1947, that award remained in forcefor only one year, the State Government ceased tohave on 28-10-1953, the date upon which orders wereissued to the Collector, any power to recover theamount specifie.d in the award as arrears of landrevenue.

5. Now Clause 17 of the Order of 15-3-1951, so far as it is relevant, provides that

'The decision or award of the Industrial Tribunal or the Adjudicator shall remain in operation for a period of one year or such shorter period as the Tribunal or the Adjudicator may fix',

and the question which arises is whether that clause applies to an award which does not impose any continuing obligation on the party liable under it. Learned counsel for the appellant has invited our attention to Sub-sections (3) and (5) of Section 19 of the (Central) Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. That section deals with the period of operation of settlements and awards under that Act and Sub-section (3) provides, as does Clause 17, that an award shall ordinarily remain in operation for a period of one year; but this provision must be read with Sub-section (5) which states that:

'(5) Nothing contained in Sub-section (3) shall apply to any award which by its nature, terms or other circumstances does not impose, after it has been given effect to, any continuing obligation on the parties bound by the award',

and the argument of learned counsel is that the absence of any such provision in the Government's Order of 15-3-1951, makes it clear that Clause 17 applies to all decisions or awards of an Industrial Tribunal or an Adjudicator, The question is not free from difficulty but we have come to the conclusion that the submission of learned counsel is one which should not be accepted.

The award of an Industrial Tribunal or an Adjudicator may impose upon an employer the duty of doing some act which extends over a period of time, such for example as the re-instatement of dismissed employees, or it may impose upon the employer an obligation to pay a sum of money. In the first case the obligation is one of a continuing nature, in the second it is not; and in our opinion the terms of Clause 17 are such as to make its provisions applicable to obligations of the first kind only. We think that Sub-section (5) of Section 19 of the (Central) Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, explains and does not modify the provisions of Sub-section (3). Sub-section (S) is not in form nor, we think, in effect, a proviso to Sub-section (3).

6. The matter can be looked at from another aspect. Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Disputes (Appellate Tribunal) Act provides that

'Any money due from an employer' under any award or decision of an Industrial Tribunal may be recovered as arrears of land revenue by the appropriate Government on an application made to it by the person entitled to the money under that award or decision.'

The appellant's contention is that the right of an employee to recover any money due from an employer under an award lapses when that award ceases to remain in operation as there is then no longer any money 'due' under the award. If this argument be accepted it would follow that the State Government must, if it proposes to enforce the award, not merely institute proceedings within the period of the award but actually recover the amount due with in that period.

We do not think that this can have been the intention of the Governor as expressed in Clause 17. In our opinion the money due from an employer under an award has not necessarily to be recovered within the period during which that award remains in operation. For these reasons we are of opinion that the order of the learned Judge was right and this appeal must fail. It is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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