Bishan Narain, J.
1. By an order, dated 3 March 1956, the State Government of Delhi referred an Industrial dispute between the management of the Delhi Cloth Mill Chemical Works and their workmen (clerks) for adjudication by the Additional Industrial Tribunal, Delhi. During the pendency of this dispute workmen applied to the tribunal that four clerks should be allowed to attend the proceedings of the tribunal as representing all the workmen and that they should be treated as on duty during their presence before the tribunal. This petition was contested by the management and by order, dated 4 July 1956, the tribunal permitted two persons to attend the hearing of the tribunal. The tribunal further directed that they should be treated as on duty on those days. The management challenges, by this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, the validity of the direction that these two workmen should be treated as on duty on the days they attend the proceedings before the tribunal. There is force in this contention.
2. The learned Counsel for the management did not challenge before me the right of the tribunal to direct that these two workmen should attend the proceedings of the tribunal. The only objection is to these personal being considered on duty when appearing before the tribunal. It is common ground that the impugned order has the consequence of entitling these two workmen to get their wages from the management for the days when they do not attend to the work of the concern while they appear before the tribunal. It appears to me that such an order amounts to directing the management to pay coats of the proceedings to the workmen before the dispute has been adjudicated upon. There is no doubt that, under Section 11(7) of the Industrial Disputes Act, the tribunal has a discretion to determine by and to whom and to what extent and subject to what conditions, if any, the costs are to be paid. It has been held by the Supreme Court, in Punjab National Bank, Ltd. v. Industrial Tribunal, Delhi, and Ors. 1957 I L.L.J. 455, that it is a negation of justice and reason to direct one party to pay in advance the costs of the other party irrespective of the final result of the proceedings. Their lordships held that an industrial tribunal has no power under Section 11(7) of the Act to direct the employers to pay the travelling and halting allowances of the representatives of the unions of the employees in a pending proceeding and irrespective of the final result. These conclusions fully apply to the present case where in effect the tribunal has directed the management to pay the costs of the proceedings so far as they relate to the appearance of workmen before the tribunal.
3. It was urged on behalf of the respondents that if such an order is not passed then there is likely to be a break in the duty of the workmen who appeared before the tribunal.
There is no force in this contention as it is always open to such workmen to take casual leave in accordance with the agreement between the workmen and their management. It must not be forgotten that the present dispute is supported by a trade union and under Section 15(c) of the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926, general funds of a registered trade union can be legitimately spent in the prosecution of defence of any legal proceedings for the purpose of securing or protecting any rights of the trade union or of its members.
For these reasons, I accept this petition and quash the following words in the order of the tribunal, dated 4 July 1956 :
They shall be treated on duty on those days.