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Delite Cinema and ors. Vs. Rameshwar Dyal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Case No. 233-D of 1957
Judge
Reported inAIR1959P& H189
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 32 and 226; Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 10(1), 11, 11(3), 12, 12(4), 12(5) and 36; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 7, Rules 14 and 18 - Order 11, Rules 12 to 14
AppellantDelite Cinema and ors.
RespondentRameshwar Dyal and anr.
Appellant Advocate R.L. Anand and; T.N. Sethi, Advs.
Respondent Advocate G.S. Vohra,; D.K. Agarwal and; S. Jindra Lal, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredDuduwala and Co. v. Industrial Tribunal
Excerpt:
.....if, on a consideration o the report referred to in sub-section (4), the appropriate government is satisfied that there is a case for reference to a board or (labour court, tribunal or national tribunal), it may make such reference. these proceedings, however, failed and there was no conciliation. therefore, when conciliation proceedings failed in 1956 and the conciliation officer reported to that effect to the government under section 12(4) of the industrial disputes act, 1947, the delhi state in my opinion acted within law by issuing a single notification for adjudication of the alleged industrial disputes between these 34 cinemas and their workmen as represented by the cine employees association. industrial tribunal, air 1958 raj 20, has observed ;it is now well settled that a..........workmen and also challenging the validity of certain interlocutory orders made by the additional industrial tribunal in the course of proceedings taken to adjudicate upon these alleged disputes. the petitioners have impleaded all the workmen of the 34 cinemas through cine employees association and also the additional industrial tribunal as respondents.2. the facts leading to this petition, are these :by notification dated 8/11-10-1956 the delhi state government referred certain specified disputes for adjudication to the additional industrial tribunal under section 10(1)(c) read with section 12(5) of the industrial disputes act, 1947. the validity of this reference is challenged. shri rameshwar dayal, the additional industrial tribunal started proceedings and on 17-1-1957, the cine.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Bishan Narain, J.

1. 34 Cinemas of Delhi through K. S. Ahluwalia, Labour Officer, Motion Pictures Association, Delhi, have filed this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, challenging the validity of reference of alleged disputes between the Cinemas and their workmen and also challenging the validity of certain interlocutory orders made by the Additional Industrial Tribunal in the course of proceedings taken to adjudicate upon these alleged disputes. The petitioners have impleaded all the workmen of the 34 Cinemas through Cine Employees Association and also the Additional Industrial Tribunal as respondents.

2. The facts leading to this petition, are these :

By Notification dated 8/11-10-1956 the Delhi State Government referred certain specified disputes for adjudication to the Additional Industrial Tribunal under Section 10(1)(c) read with Section 12(5) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The validity of this reference is challenged. Shri Rameshwar Dayal, the Additional Industrial Tribunal started proceedings and on 17-1-1957, the Cine Employees Association filed a preliminary statement of claim.

Ahluwalia, Labour Officer, styling himself as Labour Officer, Motion Pictures Association filed a reply as representing 29 Cinemas on 15-2-1957 and therein raised various preliminary objections to the workers demands and then he filed a reply on merits on 1-3-1957, as representing 30 Cinemas. The Tribunal had fixed 1-3-1957 as next date of hearing.

The workmen filed a rejoinder to the preliminary objections filed by the Cinemas and also filed an application praying that the Cinemas should be directed to produce certain documents which were in their possession to enable the Tribunal to adjudicate upon the disputes that have been referred to it. Ahluwalia objected to the production of these documents and also objected to appearance of Shri Harish Chander, Advocate, before the Tribunal.

By order dated 1-3-1957, the Tribunal overruled the objections relating to the appearance of Shri Harish Chander and adjourned the case for arguments regarding the production of documents. After nearing the arguments, the Tribunal ordered the Cinema on 7-3-1957 to furnish the information asked for in items 1 to 3. Thereupon, the present petition was filed.

3. The petitioner enumerates various grounds on which the validity of the reference and or the interlocutory orders is challenged but the learned counsel did not refer to all of them in the course of arguments. The learned counsel argued only some of these grounds and I shall deal only with these grounds which were relied upon by the learned counsel in arguments.

4. The validity of reference is challenged on the ground,

(i) that the alleged disputes relating to all the 34 Cinemas could not be referred by one Notification;

(ii) and that Delite Cinema has no dispute with its workmen in view of the compromise between the management and its workmen and therefore, the entire reference is invalid.

5. The second ground need not detain us as the learned counsel specifically save it up stating that it is always open to the Tribunal to accept the terms of the alleged compromise and incorporate them in the award and that the reference cannot be said to be invalid on this ground, alone.

6. The learned counsel for the respondents has urged that the validity of reference cannot be determined in these proceedings in the absence of the Delhi State which has not been impleaded in the Writ Petition. There is substance in this objection. Ferris in his well known book on 'the law of extra-ordinary legal remedies' states the legal position in these words :

'Those parries whose action is to he reviewed and who are interested therein and affected thereby and in whose possession the record of such action remains, are not only proper but necessary parties. It is to such parties that the notice to show cause against the issuance of the Writ must be given and they are the only parties who may make return or who may demur. The omission to make parties those officers whose proceedings it is sought to direct and control, goes to the very right (sic) of the relief sought.

7. In the present case, the validity of the Notification issued by the Delhi State Government is being challenged and in its absence, it is not possible to issue any orders under Article 226 of the Constitution to that Authority.

8. On the merits also there is no force in this petition. The learned counsel for the Cinemas has argued that under Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, reference of such an industrial dispute can be made only between an individual management and its workmen and that it is not open to the Government to refer industrial disputes relating to 34 independent Cinemas by one Notification, particularly when the workmen's demands are intimately related to the financial conditions of each individual Cinema. The learned counsel further argued that other industrial concerns can be joined together only when conditions laid down in Section 10(5) of the Act are satisfied and that they are not satisfied in this case.

9. As the impugned Notification has not been under Section 10(5) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, it is not necessary to discuss in this case as to the circumstances in which Section 10(5) can be invoked.

10. The present reference has been made under Section 10(1)(c) read with Section 12(5) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. These provisions read :

'10. Reference of disputes to Boards, Courts or Tribunals.

(1) Where the appropriate Government is of opinion that any industrial dispute exists or is apprehended it may at any time, by order in writing,

(a).....

(b).....

(c) refer the dispute or any matter appearing to be connected with, or relevant to, the dispute, if it relates to any matter specified in the Second Schedule, to a Labour Court for adjudication; or

(d)......'

'12. Duties of conciliation Officers.

1............

2...........

3...........

4............

5. If, on a consideration o the report referred to in Sub-section (4), the appropriate Government is satisfied that there is a case for reference to a Board or (Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal), it may make such reference. Where the appropriate Government does not make such a reference, it shall record and communicate to the parties concerned its reasons therefor.'

6........'

11. From these provisions, it is clear that the reference has been made after consideration of the report made by the Conciliation Officer under Section 12(4) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. From the history of the dispute given in the preliminary statement of claims filed by the Cine Employees Association on behalf of all the workmen before the Tribunal, it appears that in Tune, 1956, conciliation proceedings were started under Section 12 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

These proceedings were between the Motion Pictures Association, representing the Delhi Cinema houses and the Cine Employees Association. These proceedings, however, failed and there was no conciliation. All the Cinemas mentioned in the impugned Notification are represented before the Tribunal by Ahluwalia who styles himself as 'Labour Officer, Motion Pictures Association.'

In the reply filed by him, it is stated that in October, 1951, conciliation proceedings were started at the instance of Cine Employees Association, which terminated on 20-11-1951, when the Conciliation Officer informed the Honorary Joint Secretary of the Motion Pictures Association to that effect. This reply further proceeds to say that in December, 1955, the Conciliation Officer informed the Secretary of the Motion Pictures Association that the Cine Employees Association has asked for revision of the pay scales fixed in December, 1951.

From the facts given by both parties in the 'history sheet', it is clear that in 1951 and again in 1955, proceedings under Section 12 took place between the Cine Employees Association as representing all the workmen and the Motion Pictures Association as representing all the Cinemas. Therefore, when conciliation proceedings failed in 1956 and the Conciliation Officer reported to that effect to the Government under Section 12(4) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Delhi State in my opinion acted within law by issuing a single Notification for adjudication of the alleged industrial disputes between these 34 Cinemas and their workmen as represented by the Cine Employees Association.

The correctness of this position is fortified by subsequent proceedings. The alignment of parties before the Tribunal is the same as existed before the Conciliation Officer. The present writ petition has also been filed by Ahluwalia, representing all the 34 Cinemas and all the workmen of these Cinemas have been impleaded through Cine Employees Association. It follows that the Motion Pictures Association is one body representing all the 34 Cinemas in dispute when there is a dispute with the workmen who are represented by the Cine Employees Association.

There is no allegation in the present writ petition to the effect that the Labour Officer, Motion Pictures Association did not represent all the 34 Cinemas before the Conciliation Officer or did not represent them before the Tribunal. It must, therefore be held that the single Notification issued by the Government under Section 10(1)(c) read with Section 12(5), is in accordance with law. This contention of the petitioners, accordingly, fails and is rejected.

12. This brings me to the petitioners' challenge to interlocutory orders made by the Tribunal. These objections are two,

(i) that Harish Chander, an Advocate of this Court could not represent the employees before the Tribunal; and

(ii) that the Tribunal acted beyond his jurisdiction in ordering the Cinemas to furnish certain information asked for by the employees.

13. There is no force in the 1st objection. The Tribunal has found Shri Harish Chander to be a member of the Working Committee of the Union, which means that he is a member of the Executive to which the management of the affairs of a Trade Union is entrusted within Section 2(a) of the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1928. That being so, he is an 'officer' of the Trade Union as defined in Section 2(b) of the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926. This is not disputed. That being so, Shri Harish Chander can represent the workmen under Section 36 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

The learned counsel for the petitioner has, however, argued that if an officer of the Trade Union is a legal practitioner of this Court, then he is debarred under Section 36(4) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. It has, however, been held repeatedly that a practising lawyer who holds any of the capacities mentioned in Section 36, Sub-section (1) or Sub-section (2) is entitled to represent the workmen or the employers as the case may be. Wanchoo G. J. in Duduwala and Co. v. Industrial Tribunal, AIR 1958 Raj 20, has observed ;

'It is now well settled that a lawyer can appear before an Industrial Tribunal if he holds one of the capacities mentioned in Sub-section (1) or Sub-section (2) of Section 36 and his being a practising lawyer will not be a disqualification for his so appearing'.

14. I am in respectful agreement with this observation. I, therefore, reject this contention of the learned counsel.

15. Finally I come to the point most strenuously urged by the learned counsel for the petitioners The workmen by application dated 1-3-1957, asked for the production of the following documents :

1. The audited Balance Sheets and profit and loss accounts accompanied by the Certificate of Income Tax for the years 1951-52, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1954-55 and 1955-56 (in case of old concerns only others for the year in existence).

2. Complete list of staff in tabulated forms giving pay scale and deamess allowance before December, 1951 and annual increments granted and the total pay and deamess allowance those workmen are receiving on 31-1-1957.

S. The name of the persons and period since when uniforms are supplied to their staff and the details of articles allowed.

4. Daily and weekly Pass-issue statements-tax payable under Section 4(2) A or B, for the year 1951 to 31-12-1957.

16. The Tribunal has refused to call for the statements mentioned in item No. (4) and, therefore, its relevancy need not be considered in the present case.

17. As regards, Items 1 to 3, the learned counsel for the petitioners frankly conceded before me that these documents are relevant for the purposes of adjudicating upon the alleged disputes between the parties. His contention, however, is that these documents were not mentioned in the statement of claims filed by the employees on 15-2-1957 and, therefore, under the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, which apply to the proceedings of the Tribunal under Section 11 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Tribunal acted without jurisdiction in calling upon the petitioners to supply the required information. In support of this contention, the learned counsel invited my attention to the provisions of Order 7, Rules 14 and 15 and then to Order 11, Rule 12, Civil Procedure Code.

18. Now Section 11 of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, lays down that subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, a Tribunal shall follow such procedure as he may think fit. Sub-section 3(b) of this Section lays down that the Tribunal shall have the same powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure in respect of compelling the production of documents and material objects.

It is urged that the Tribunal can compel the production of documents only in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Civil Procedure Code. It appears to me that under Section 11 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, a Tribunal has to follow the procedure which it thinks fit in the circumstances of the case provided it is in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules framed thereunder and is in accordance with the principles if natural justice. The proceedings taken by the Tribunal are obviously of quasi-Judicial nature.

Sub-clause 3(b) merely vests the Tribunal under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, with powers inter alia for compelling the production of documents as given to Civil Courts under the Civil Procedure Code. It is, however, not necessary to dilate on this question in the present case as, in my opinion, the Tribunal has not contravened any pro-vision of the Civil Procedure Code by calling upon the petitioners to give the information contained in items 1 to 3 of the employees' application dated 1-3-1957.

19. Under Order 7, Rule 14, Civil Procedure Code, a party relying upon documents should enter it in the list to be attached to the plaint. If it does not do so and relies on it later on, then it can do so only with the leave of the Court (Order 7, Rule 18). It is, therefore, open to a Court under Order 7 to allow the production of a document, even if it is not relied upon by the plaintiff in his plaint. Order 11, Rule 18 enables the party to apply for an order directing any other party to produce documents in its possession and the Court is given the discretion to give this order if in its opinion, the production is necessary for disposing of the suit fairly or for saving costs.

Under Order 11, Rule 14, it is open to the Court at any time during the pendency of the suit to order the production of any documents by any party in possession thereof. Objections to production of such documents can be raised under Order 11, Rule 13, C.P.C., which have to be decided by the Court calling upon the party to discover and produce those documents.

From these provisions, it is clear that ultimately it is for the Court to decide whether in the circumstances of the case, it should direct the party to produce certain documents required by another party. In the present case, this is all that has been done by the Tribunal. Under these provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, it was open to the Tribunal to call upon the petitioners to discover and produce documents mentioned in its order.

It is not for this Court while acting under Article 226 of the Constitution to go into the question as to whether these discretions have been properly exercised, particularly when the learned counsel has conceded that the documents are relevant for the purposes of adjudicating upon this dispute. I, therefore, overrule this contention of the learned counsel.

20. No other point was argued before me,

21. For these reasons, this petition fails and I dismiss it with costs. Counsel fee Rs. 100/-.


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