Skip to content


General Manager, M.P. State Road Transport Corporation Vs. Radhey Lal Son of Sukhdev and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Petn. No. 161 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1964MP156; (1965)IILLJ669MP
ActsMadhya Pradesh Industrial Relations Act, 1960 - Sections 31(3) and 66; Madhya Pradesh Industrial Relations Rules, 1961 - Rule 34
AppellantGeneral Manager, M.P. State Road Transport Corporation
RespondentRadhey Lal Son of Sukhdev and ors.
Appellant AdvocateR.K. Tankha, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateJ.N. Bhatnagar, Adv. for Respondent No. 1 and ;R.J. Bhave, Govt. Adv. for Respondents (Nos. 2 and 3)
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- - ..the condition precedent to the jurisdiction of the labour court to entertain an employee's application under subsection (3) is, therefore, the making of an application to the employer as enjoined by the proviso read with rule 34 and the failure of the employer and the employee to reach an agreement within the prescribed period. the revisional powers of the industrial court had been defined by section 66 of the act which inter alia lays down that an industrial court shall not vary or reverse any order of the labour court unless it is satisfied that the labour court has: or (b) failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested:.....writing to the employer and is required to forward a copy of his application to the commisioner of labour and labour officer of the industry for the local area concerned. when such an application is made, the employer and the employee are required to arrive at an agreement within fifteen days of the receipt of the application by the employer or within such further period as may be mutually agreed upon between the employer and the employee. it is only when an application as contemplated by the proviso to section 31(3) read with rule 34 is made and no agreement is arrived at between the employer and the employee in respect of the change that the employee can make an application to the labour court under the substantive provision of sub-section (3) of section 31. the labour court has no.....
Judgment:

Dixit, C.J.

1. By this application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the petitioner seeks a writ of certiorari for quashing an order of the Labour Court, Ujjain, directing the reinstatement of the opponent No. 1, Radhye Lal, in the service of the petitioner. The order of the Labour Court was upheld in revision by the Industrial Court and a writ of certiorari is sought for quasing the decision of the Industrial Court also.

2. The respondent Radhye Lal was employed as a driver by the Madhya Bharat Road Ways, which, along with the Central Provinces Transport Service, has now been incorporated in the M. P. State Road Transport Corporation. On 6th April 1961, the General Manager of the M. B. Road Ways passed anorder under Clause 13(a) of the Standing Orders terminating Radhye Lal's services on the ground that he had attained the age of superannuation prescribed for the holder of a civil post under the State of Madhya Pradesh. The termination was made effective on the expiry of thirty days from the date of delivery of the order to Radhey Lal. Thereafter Radhey Lal made an application to the Labour Court under Section 31(3) of the M. P. Industrial Relations Act, 1960, contending that .the order of the General Manager retiring him was illegal inasmuch as the Standing Orders framed by the M. B. Road Ways did not provide for retirement of any of its employees at the age of 55; that he was in no sense a civil servant governed by Rule 56(a) of the Fundamental Rules and that he had also not attained the age of 55. The Labour Court came to the conclusion that the M. B. Road Ways had not been able to establish that the petitioner was governed by the Fundamental Rules or the fact that he had attained the age of 55 and that the retirement of, the respondent was nothing but an 'unfair labour practice'. Accordingly, the Labour Court set aside the order of the petitioner terminating Radhey Lal's service.

3. The petitioner then filed a revision petition under Section 66 of the Act before the Industrial Court. The Industrial Court agreed with the view taken by the Labour Court and dismissed the revision petition.

4. In our judgment, this application must ba granted on the ground that the Labour'Court had no jurisdiction at all to entertain the application filed by Radhey Lal under Section 31 challenging the legality or propriety of the order passed by the petitioner terminating his services. The only way in which the respondent Radhey Lal could have the order of the petitioner terminating his services set aside was undoubtedly by making an application under Section 31(3) of the Act. This sub-section runs as follows:

'A representative of employees or an employee desiring a change in respect of an industrial matter specified in Schedule II or any other matter arising out of such change may make an application to the Labour Court in such manner as may be prescribed: Provided that no such application shall lie unless the representative of employees or the employee, as the case may be, has in the prescribed manner approached the employer With a request for the change and no agreement has been arrived at in respect of the change within the prescribed period.'

Schedule II inter alia specifies 'The propriety or legality of an order passed or action taken by an employer acting or purporting to act under the standing orders' and 'employment' as industrial matters. The order passed by the petitioner terminating the respondent Radhey Lal's services fell under the category of industrial matters just mentioned above. Now, according to Sub-section (3) of Section 31 an employee desiring a change in respect of an industrial matter enumerated in Schedule II or any other matter arising out of such change has to make an application to the Labour Court in the prescribed manner. The proviso to that Sub-section however imposes the condition that no application shall lie to the Labour Court unless the employee has first approached the employer in the prescribed manner with a request for a change and if no agreement is arrived at 'in respect of the change within the prescribed period. Rule 34 of the M. P. Industrial Relations Rules, 1961, framed under the Act, prescribes the manner in which the employee has to approach the employer with a request for a change and the time within which an agreement must be reached. It runs as follows:

'34. (1) The representative of employees or an employee desiring a change in respect of an industrial matter specified in Schedule II or any other matter arising out of such change, may make an application in writing to an employer. A copy of the application shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of Labour and the Labour Officer of the industry for the local area concerned.

(2) Where an application has been made by an employee or representative of employees under Sub-rule (1), the employer and the employee may arrive at an agreement within fifteen days of the receipt of the application by the employer or within such further period as may be mutually fixed by the employer and the employee or the representatives of the employees concerned, as the case may be.'

It will be seen that under this rule an employee seeking a change has to make an application in writing to the employer and is required to forward a copy of his application to the Commisioner of Labour and Labour Officer of the Industry for the local area concerned. When such an application is made, the employer and the employee are required to arrive at an agreement within fifteen days of the receipt of the application by the employer or within such further period as may be mutually agreed upon between the employer and the employee. It is only when an application as contemplated by the proviso to Section 31(3) read with Rule 34 is made and no agreement is arrived at between the employer and the employee in respect of the change that the employee can make an application to the Labour Court under the substantive provision of Sub-section (3) of Section 31. The Labour Court has no jurisdiction to entertain an employee's application under Sub-section (3) if there has been no compliance with the proviso. This is clear from the words 'provided that no such application shall lie unless.....................' The condition precedent to the jurisdiction of the Labour Court to entertain an employee's application under subsection (3) is, therefore, the making of an application to the employer as enjoined by the proviso read with Rule 34 and the failure of the employer and the employee to reach an agreement within the prescribed period. Here there was no compliance whatsoever with the proviso to Sub-section (3). Radhey Lal never made any application to the employer as laid down by the proviso and Rule 34. The Labour Court had, therefore, no jurisdiction to entertain Radhey Lal's application under Section 31(3) and to set aside the order of the petitioner terminating Radhey Lal's services.

5. The decision of the Industrial Court is patently erroneous in that it omitted to notice the fact that' the Labour Court had no jurisdiction to entertain Radhey Lal's application, when he had not followed the procedure laid down in the proviso to Sub-section (3) and Rule 34 and that in setting aside the order of the petitioner terminating Radhey Lal's services the Labour Court had exercised jurisdiction not vested in it by law. The revisional powers of the Industrial Court had been defined by Section 66 of the Act which inter alia lays down that an Industrial Court shall not vary or reverse any order of the Labour Court unless it is satisfied that the Labour Court has:

'(a) exercised jurisdiction not vested in it by law; or

(b) failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested: or

(c) acted in exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity;'

Thus if the Labour Court had no jurisdiction to entertain Radhey Lal's application under Section 31(3), then the Industrial Court had the power to reverse the order of the Labour Court on the ground that it had exercised jurisdiction not vested in it by law.

6. For the foregoing reasons, the decisions of the Labour Court, Ujjain, reversing the order of the petitioner terminating Radhey Lal's services, and of the Industrial Court upholding the order of the Labour Court are quashed. In the circumstances of the case, we make no order as to costs. The outstanding amount of security deposit shall be refunded to the petitioner.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //