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Union of India (Uoi) Vs. Labour Court and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1970)ILLJ184P& H
AppellantUnion of India (Uoi)
RespondentLabour Court and anr.
Excerpt:
.....no letters patent appeal shall lie against a judgment/order passed by a single judge in an appeal arising out of a proceeding under a special act. sections 100-a [as inserted by act 22 of 2002] & 104:[dr. b.s. chauhan, cj, l. mohapatra & a.s. naidu, jj] writ appeal held, a writ appeal shall lie against judgment/orders passed by single judge in a writ petition filed under article 226 of the constitution of india. in a writ application filed under articles 226 and 227 of constitution, if any order/judgment/decree is passed in exercise of jurisdiction under article 226, a writ appeal will lie. but, no writ appeal will lie against a judgment/order/decree passed by a single judge in exercising powers of superintendence under article 227 of the constitution. .....now to see whether the beas dam project is an industry being carried on by or on behalf of the state government. that this is an industry is not disputed. section 78 of the punjab reorganization act provides that:subject to the provisions 3 of section 80, all rights and liabilities of the existing state of punjab in relation to beas project shall, on the appointed day, be the rights and liabilities of the successor states in such proportion as may be fixed, and subject to such adjustments as may be made, by agreement entered into by the said states after consultation with the central government or, if no such agreement is entered into within two years of the appointed day, an the central government may by order determine having regard to the purposes of the project:provided that the.....
Judgment:

Bal Raj Tuli, J.

1. This petition has been filed by the Union of India for the quashing of the award dated 24 Jane 1967, made by the presiding officer, labour court, Jullundar, in the industrial dispute raised by Gopal chand Rana, respondent 2, against the management of Boas Dam Project, Talwara Township. The reference to the labour court was made by the Punjab Government in exercise of its powers under 01. ( of Sub-section (1) of Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, by Labour Department Notification No. 102 SF-III L 67/10421, dated 3 April 1967. The matter referred to the labour court was:

Whether the termination of services of Gopal Chand Rana is Justified and in order If not, to what relief he is entitled

2. The labour court held the enquiry and made its award on 24 June 1967, wherein it was held that the order of the management dismissing Gopal Chand Rana from service by order dated 23 June 1966, was Illegal and unjustified and that he should be reinstated with full back-wages.

3. In the petition the first point taken is that after the enforcement of the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966, the appropriate Government under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act is the Government of India in the case of the management of the Beas Dam Project and a reference not having been made by the Government of India but by the Punjab Government, the reference was without Jurisdiction and the labour court acquired no Jurisdiction to adjudicate upon that dispute.

4. Gopi Chand Rana has filed his return in which three preliminary objections have been taken as under:

(1) That the Union of India has no locus standi to file writ petition against the award of respondent 1.

(2) The proper party has not been added in the writ petition and the writ petition deserves to be dismissed for non-Joinder of necessary parties.

(3) There is no proper authorization for filing the writ petition.

5. On the first point it has been argued that the head of the department should have filed the writ petition and not the Union of India. I do not find any force in this argument. The petition has been filed by the Union of India through the management of Beas Dam Project, Talwara Township. According to Sections 78 and 80 of the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966, the management of the Beas Dam Project vests in the Central Government which was carrying on this project on behalf of the successor States and the State of Rajasthan till the Board was appointed with effect from 1 October 1967. The petition having been filed by the Union of India is, therefore, In order.

6. The next objection taken is that the Punjab State which made the reference to the labour court has not been made party to the petition. I do not consider that the Punjab State is a necessary party to this petition. It is for respondent 2 to justify thereference that had been made by the Punjab State to the labour court, Punjab State might have been a proper party but it cannot be said that in its absence the validity of the reference cannot be doled. The validity of reference has to be decided on the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act. In Section 2(a) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the appropriate Government in relation to any industrial dispute concerning any industry carried on by or under the authority of the Central Government, is the Central Government. We have now to see whether the Beas Dam Project is an industry being carried on by or on behalf of the State Government. That this is an industry is not disputed. Section 78 of the Punjab Reorganization Act provides that:

Subject to the provisions 3 of Section 80, all rights and liabilities of the existing State of Punjab in relation to Beas Project shall, on the appointed day, be the rights and liabilities of the successor States in such proportion as may be fixed, and subject to such adjustments as may be made, by agreement entered into by the said States after consultation with the Central Government or, if no such agreement is entered into within two years of the appointed day, an the Central Government may by order determine having regard to the purposes of the project:

Provided that the order so made by the Central Government may be varied by any subsequent agreement entered into by the successor States after consultation with the Central Government.

7. The rights and liabilities referred to in Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 78 have been defined in Sub-section (3) as under:

(3) The rights and liabilities referred to in Sub-sees. (1) and (2) shall include-

(c) the right to receive and to utilize the water available for distribution as a result of the projects, and

(b) the rights to receive and to utilize the power generated as a result of the projects, but shall not include the rights and liabilities under any contract entered into before the appointed day by the Government of the existing State of Punjab with any person or authority other than Government.

Sub-section (1) of Section 80 is as under:

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law, the construction (including the completion of any work already commenced) of the Beas Project shall, on and from the appointed day, be undertaken by the Central Government on behalf of the successor States and the State of Rajasthan:

Provided that the Governments of the successor States and the State of Rajasthan shall at all times provide the necessary funds to the Central Government for the expenditure on the project [including the expenses ofthe Board referred to in Sub-section (2)] and each amounts shall be apportioned among the successor States and the State of Rajasthan In such proportion as may be fixed by the Central Government after consultation with the Government of the said States.

It is thus dear from Section 80 that after the appointed day, i.e. 1 November 1966, the Beas Dam Project was to be carried on by the Central Government although the Central Government was to act on behalf of the successaer States and the State of Rajasthan. For this reason the appropriate Government with reference to the dispute between the management of the Beas Dam Project andGopi Chand Rana was the Central Government and not the Punjab Government and the reference made by the Punjab Government was wholly without jurisdiction and could not confer jurisdiction on the labour court, Jullundur, to adjudicate upon the dispute referred to it. Since the reference was without jurisdiction, the award made by the labour court also is without jurisdiction.

8. The last objection raised by the learned Counsel for respondent 2 is that the petition has not been filed by a properly authorized person. The writ petition was filed by Sri Bhopinder Singh Dhillon, Government Pleader for the Government of India, on 24 Auguat 1967. Along with the petition he filed a copy of the letter written by the Under Secretary to the Government of India to the Chief Engineer (Construction), Baas Dam, Talwara Township, of which copy was forwarded to the Advocate-General, Punjab, with the request

that the writ petition may kindly be filed In the High Court of Panjab and Haryana within the prescribed period. This award was published in the Government Gazette dated 21 July 1967 and it would become enforceable after thirty days from the date of publication-vide Section 17A of the Industrial Disputes Act.

9. On the basis of this letter, the Chief Engineer (Construction), Beas Dam, Talwara Township, write letter No. 7071-72/125E/S.E., dated 22 August 1967, to the Advocate Ganeral, Punjab, Chandigarh, which is as under:

As advised by the Under Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Irrigation and Power, in consultation with the Union Law Ministry-vide his letter No. 17/54/67-B. & B, dated 18 August 1967, with & copy to you, a writ petition cited as subject may please be filed in the High Court, I hereby authorizes Sri B.R. Mital, Personnel Officer, Baas Dam, Talwara, to produce necessary documents relating to this case on behalf of the Baas Dam administration.

The affidavit in support of the petition has been filed by Sri B.R. Mital and the petition has been signed by Sri Bhopindar Singh Dhillon, Government Pleader. Sri Bhoplndar singh Dhillon was, on the date petition was felled, AdditionalAdvocate General, Punjab, and was a Government Pleader. Ha has also filed hispower-of-attorney which has been signed by Sri B.R. Mital, Personnel Officer, Beas Dam Project. But SriBhupinder Singh Dhillon, in my opinion, was competent to file the writ petition on behalf of Union of India by virtue of his being the Government Pleader, Punjab, The Government of India, Ministry of Law, by notification No. S.R.O. 1036, dated 2 June 1953, appointed all Government Pleaders in the State of Punjab as Government Pleaders for the purposes of Rule 8B of Order XXVII of Seh. I to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in relation to any suit by or against the Central Government, and by notification No. S.R.O. 1036, dated 2 june 1953 appointed the said Government Pleaders as the Government Pleader for the Central Government In respect of any judicial proceeding by or against Central Government. It is thus clear from notification No. S.R.O. 1036, date 2 Jane 1963, that the Government Pleader of Punjab was authorized to act as Government Pleader on behalf of the Central Government is the present writ petition which is a judicial proceeding by the Central Government. There, therefore, no merit in this objection of the learned Counsel for respondent 2.

10. On merits it has been submitted by the learned courses) for respondent 2 that the objection to the jurisdiction of the Punjab Government to make reference to the labour court, Jullundur, was not taken before that Court and it should not be allowed to be taken for the first time in the writ petition. since the objection relates to the inherent lack of jurisdiction in the Punjab Government to make a reference which gave jubilation to the labour court to Adjudicate upon dispute referred to it, it is open to the petitioner to take the objection for the first time in this writ petition. I have already held that the Punjab Government had no judiction to make the reference and the proceeding before, and the award made by, the labour court were ceram non justice and have to be quashed. In this view of the master I have cot felt It necessary to hear arguments on other points raised in the petition.

11. For the reasons given above, this petition is allowed and the award of the labour court, Jullundur, dated 24 June 1967, annexure C to the writ petition, is hereby quashed. In the circumstances of the case, I, however, make no order as to costs.


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