D.P. Mohapatra, J.
1. The short question involved in this case is whether the petitioner is entitled to protection under the Proviso to Section 12 (1) (b) of the Orissa Industrial Housing Act. 1966 (Orissa Act 1 of 1967). The relevant portion of Section 12 of the Act reads thus:
'12. (1) If the Housinc Commissioner is satisfied that-
XX XX XX XX (b) any person is in unauthorised occupation of any house, he may notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, by notice served-
(i) by post, or
(ii) by affixing a copy of it on the outer door or some other conspicuous part of such house, or
(iii) in such other manner as may be prescribed, require such person, as well as any other person who may be in occupation of the whole or any Dart of the house, to vacate it within one month of the date of the service of the notice: Provided that an industrial worker where question of service is under dispute between the employer and employee as a subject-matter of an adjudication before an Industrial Tribunal as defined in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 is not liable to be evicted.'
The petitioner while serving as a timekeeper in the Industrial Establishment of the Daily Newspaper 'Samai' was allotted a quarter bearing No. 8/1 in Raiabagicha Labour Colony on 8-1-1974, On 14-11-1974 he having been dismissed from service, raised an industrial dispute before the Conciliation Officer. Cut-tack. Consequent upon failure of conciliation the dispute was referred to the Industrial Tribunal on 4-11-1975 and it is pending in I. O. No. 32/75 before the Labour Court. Orissa for disposal. The question referred was whether the dismissal of the petitioner was legal and justified by order dated 16-10-79 the Assistant Housing Commissioner. Cuttack cancelled the allotment of the quarter in favour of the petitioner and allotted the same to opposite party No. 3, an employee under the same Industrial Establishment prior to this by letter dated 30-1-1975, the General Manager of the Industrial Establishment was intimated by the Revenue Officer that the petitioner had been appointed as a Revenue Inspector under the Levy Scheme as per Memo No. 3692 dated 20-11-1974 and had been posted at Srinagar in the office of the R. I. under Daroan Tahsil. The petitioner challenged the order of cancellation in appeal before the District Judge. Cuttack, but was unsuccessful. Hence this writ petition.
2. The learned District Judge had dismissed the appeal holding that the protection under the proviso to Section 12 (1) (b) is not available to the petitioner since he ceased to be an Industrial Worker on accepting service as Revenue Inspector under the State Government. The, factual position regarding the subsequent appointment of the petitioner as Revenue Inspector was not disputed.
3. It is contended on behalf of the petitioner that the appellate authority should have held that the petitioner is entitled to the protection under the proviso to Section 12 (1) (b). The interpretation given by the learned District Judge seems to be correct. The proviso to Section 12 (1) (b) is in the nature of an exception to the provision in the main section which vests the power in the Housing Commissioner to evict any person who is in unauthorised occupation of any house, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, by service of notice in the manner prescribed. As such, the proviso is to be strictly construed. It is apparent from a perusal of the provision that the protection is intended to be given to an industrial worker, the question of whose service is in dispute between himself and the employer and is the subject-matter of an adjudication before an Industrial Tribunal. The protection is not available to an industrial worker who on his own choice and volition accepts employment under another employer and thereby ceases to be an industrial worker. If the contention of the petitioner is accented then he will continue to get the protection as an industrial worker even after he becomes a Government servant. Such an interpretation will lead to an anomalous position which is the duty of the Court to avoid.
4. In the premises aforesaid, we come to the conclusion that the order of the learned District Judge is not vitiated by any error and it is not liable to be interfered with. The writ petition fails and it is dismissed, but in the circumstances without costs.
P.K. Mohanti, J.
5. I agree.