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M.T. Chandrasenan and ors. Vs. N. Sukumaran - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal No. 242 of 1973
Judge
Reported inAIR1974SC1789; [1974(28)FLR436]; (1974)ILLJ91SC; (1974)4SCC852
AppellantM.T. Chandrasenan and ors.
RespondentN. Sukumaran
Excerpt:
labour and industrial - subscription - labour and industrial law - dispute regarding right over office of union - court appointed commissioner to prepare electoral roll and conduct election - respondent's supporters failed to make payment of subscription as they did not recognise appellant as officer bearer - respondent and appellant permitted to collect subscription fee of their respective supporters within time limit provided and commissioner directed to prepare electoral list thereafter. - [j.c. shah,; k. subba rao,; k.n. wanchoo,; p.b. gajendragadkar and; raghubar dayal, jj.] the appellant joined the indian civil service in 1939 and was posted in the province of madras. after the transfer of power under the indian independence act on august 15,1947, he was transferred to the..........secretary of the union. on or about the 20th of april, 1969, there were some disputes between the office bearers of the executive committee of the appellant of which the 1st appellant was the general secretary and another set office bearers who alleged that they were duly elected as the executive committee of the union of which the respondent was the general secretary. it is unnecessary to go into the his troy of the subsequent litigation except to say that two suits were filed by the appellant, one for an injunction against the respondent from interfering with the possession of the properties of the union in the hands of the 1st appellant and the other for an injunction restraining the respondent from interfering with their functioning as office bearers of the union. injunctions as.....
Judgment:

P. Jaganmohan Reddy, J.

1. In this appeal the short question is whether the order of the High Court directing the Commissioner to prepare the electoral roll on the basis of the membership as on 20th April, 1969 is in accordance with the previous orders and directions of the High Court.

2. It appears that the second appellant is the trade union while the 1st appellant is the General Secretary of the union. On or about the 20th of April, 1969, there were some disputes between the office bearers of the executive committee of the appellant of which the 1st appellant was the General Secretary and another set office bearers who alleged that they were duly elected as the executive committee of the union of which the respondent was the General Secretary. It is unnecessary to go into the his troy of the subsequent litigation except to say that two suits were filed by the appellant, one for an injunction against the respondent from interfering with the possession of the properties of the union in the hands of the 1st appellant and the other for an injunction restraining the respondent from interfering with their functioning as office bearers of the union. Injunctions as prayed for in both the suits were granted. The respondent went up in appeal to the District Judge against those orders. The District Judge directed the holding of an election of office bearers of the union on the basis of the electoral roll to be prepared by an election commission consisting of three persons in accordance with the bye-laws of the trade union. Against that order, the appellants went up in revision to the High Court. The High Court varied the order passed by the District Judge only to the extent that instead of an election commission of three persons being appointed, only one person was to be appointed as a Commissioner to prepare the electoral roll in accordance with the bye-laws and hold the election. Till then the status quo was to be maintained. The Commissioner appointed by the Court entered upon his duties and in his report he stated that the respondent would not allow members to pay the arrears of subscription to the appellant because they did not recognise the appellant as the duly elected office bearer. As this dispute could not be resolved he settled the list of members of persons who had paid by then the subscription. There were 214, but the respondent wanted 288 more persons to be added as members. Being dissatisfied with the Commissioner's order which was approved by the Munsiff, four persons of whom the respondent was one went up in revision to the High Court against the final order of the Munsiff. The High Court allowed those revisions and as already stated varied the lower court's order, to the extent that the Commissioner will prepare the electoral roll on the basis of the membership as on 20th April, 1969. Against this order, the appellants have appealed to this Court after obtaining special leave.

3. The dispute before us is whether subscriptions not having been paid as required by the bye-laws can the members who have defaulted payment of their subscription be members of the union? There is no doubt that if subscriptions are not paid in accordance with the bye-laws, persons who have failed to pay, cannot be considered as members of the union. The respondent says that when 1st appellant is not recognised as a Secretary, it would compromise the stand taken in the case if all their members were directed to pay amounts to the appellant. It may be noted that the respondent has produced no documents to show that the subscription has been paid to him; on the other hand in accordance with the directions of the Court, the subscriptions have to be paid to the appellants. While so the appellants must also inspire confidence that on one excuse or the other he will not refuse the acceptance of the subscription and deny the respondent's supporters the membership of the union. He is bound to accept the arrears as well as the current subscription and enrol them as members. The respondent fears that any payment to the appellants might prejudice his case that the office bearers of the second appellant including the 1st appellant were not duly elected. In order to safeguard against any such apprehension, the direction for payment of the arrears of subscription and the current subscription is without prejudice to any of the contentions that may be open to the respondent to challenge the legality of the appellant continuing as Secretary or of the legality of the legality of the alleged election of the office bearers including the 1st appellant of the 2nd appellant's union. Again in order to avoid any other complications, the respondent can get the membership fee of his supporters and send the same by money-order to the appellants along with a list of persons, the arrears due from each one of them and the period for which the subscription is paid. If there is any deficiency in the amounts, the 1st appellant may intimate to the respondent who will thereafter make up the deficiency. The respondent and the 1st appellant will intimate to the Commissioner simultaneously of the action taken by each of them. On the first appellant intimating to the respondent that they have received the amounts, the Commissioner will prepare a list including all such persons in the list already prepared and will comply with the directions of the courts which are in force with respect to which there is no dispute. Subscriptions shall be paid within six weeks from today. Thereafter the appellants shall check up and intimate the deficiency, if any, to the respondents and the Commissioner within four weeks. If there is any deficiency in the payment, the respondent shall make it up within two weeks of the receipt of intimation and if there is no deficiency, the appellants will intimate the Commissioner as also the respondent within four weeks from the receipt of the monies that there are no arrears in respect of those persons on whose behalf amounts have been sent to him.

4. In the result, the appeal is disposed of in accordance with the terms set out above. There will be no order as to costs.


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