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Nityananda, Vs. Life Insurance Corporation of India and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal Nos. 301-309 and 1105 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1970SC209; [1970(20)FLR153]; 1970LabIC269; (1969)IILLJ711SC; 1970MhLJ439(SC); (1969)2SCC199; [1970]1SCR396
ActsIndustrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 33C(1) and 33C(2); Limitation Act, 1963 - Sections 4 and 5 - Schedule - Article 137
AppellantNityananda, ;m. Joshi and ors.
RespondentLife Insurance Corporation of India and ors.
Appellant Advocate Madan Mohan, Adv
Respondent Advocate C.K. Daphtary, ; O.P. Malhotra and ; K.L. Hathi, Advs. for res
Cases ReferredAthani v. The Presiding Officer Labour Court
Prior historyAppeal by special leave from the judgment and order dated April 16, 1968 of the Central Government Labour Court Bombay in Application No. LCB-28 of 1965 etc.--
Excerpt:
.....in a proceeding under s. 438, court is not justified in awarding maintenance to the wife and child - subjecting an accused to any condition other than conditions enumerated under the section would be beyond jurisdiction of the court - maintenance to be decided in appropriate proceedings where the parties adduce evidence as to their respective cases but not in proceedings under s. 438 (paras 13 and 14) - further section 4 of the limitation act, 1963, provides for the contingency when the prescribed period for any application expires on a holiday and the only contingency contemplated is 'when the court is closed'.again under section 5 it is only a court which is enabled to admit an application after the prescribed period has expired if the court is satisfied that the applicant had..........case applications were filed by the employees against the respondent for computing in terms of money the benefit of holidays and for recovering the amount this case falls squarely within sub-section (2) of section 33c. there is no award or settlement under which the benefit of holidays had already been computed.7. it is true that sub-section (2) of section 33c does not indicate the mode in which the question as to the amount of money due or as to the amount at which the benefit should be computed, may be decided. but the sub-section had left it to the rule-making authority to make a suitable provision. this does not indicated by the expression 'subject to any rules that may be made under this act' in sub-section (2) of section 33c. rules have been made and rule 62(2) of the.....
Judgment:

S.M. Sikri, J.

1. These appeals by special leave are directed against the order of the Central Government Labour Court, Bombay, holding that the applications filed by the appellants against the Life Insurance Corporation of India under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, were barred under Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963, insofar as the claim was for period beyond three years. In holding this the Labour Court followed the decision of the Full Bench of the Bombay High Court in The Manager P.K. Porwal v. The Labour Court 70 Bom. L.R.104 The Bombay High Court held that applications filed under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act prior to its amendment by Central Act XXXVI of 1964 were governed by the period of limitation laid down in Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963, and this article applied to applications under laws other than those contained in the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

2. This Court in Town Municipal Council, Athani v. The Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Hubli : (1969)IILLJ651SC . has dissented from the decision of the Bombay High Court and has held that Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963, does not apply to applications under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act. This Court gave two reasons for coming to this conclusion. The first ground was that in spite of the changes made in the Indian Limitation Act, 1963, no drastic change was intended in the scope of Article 137 so as to include within it all applications irrespective of the fact whether they had any reference to the CPC or not. This Court held that in spite of the changes the interpretation of Article 181 of the Limitation Act, 1908, by this Court in Bombay Gas Company Ltd. v. Gopal Bhiva and Ors. : (1963)IILLJ608SC would apply to Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963. The second ground given by this Court was that it is only applications to Courts that are intended to be covered under Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963.

3. In our view Article 137 only contemplates applications to Courts. In the Third Division of the Schedule to the Limitation Act, 1963, all the other applications mentioned in the various articles are applications filed in a court. Further Section 4 of the Limitation Act, 1963, provides for the contingency when the prescribed period for any application expires on a holiday and the only contingency contemplated is 'when the court is closed'. Again under Section 5 it is only a court which is enabled to admit an application after the prescribed period has expired if the court is satisfied that the applicant had sufficient cause for not preferring the application. It seems to us that the scheme of the Indian Limitation Act is that it only deals with applications to courts, and that the Labour Court is not a court within the Indian Limitation Act, 1963.

4. It is not necessary to express our views on the first ground given by this Court in Town Municipal Council, Athani v. The Presiding Officer Labour Court, Hubli : (1969)IILLJ651SC . It seems to us that it may require serious consideration whether applications to courts under other provisions, apart from Civil Procedure Code, are included within Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963, or not.

5. The learned Counsel for the respondent contends that the appeals should fail on another ground. He says that these applications were filed under Section 33C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, while they should have been filed under Section 33C(1). He further says that, at any rate, no application can be filed under Section 33C(2) because the sub-section does not mention how the question is to be decided. There is no force in these submissions.

6. It is plain from the wording of Sub-section (1) and Sub-section (2) of Section 33C that the former sub-section deals with cases where money is due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chapter VA, while the latter sub-section deals with cases where a workman is entitled to receive from the employer any money or any benefit which is capable of being computed in terms of money. In the present case applications were filed by the employees against the respondent for computing in terms of money the benefit of holidays and for recovering the amount This case falls squarely within Sub-section (2) of Section 33C. There is no award or settlement under which the benefit of holidays had already been computed.

7. It is true that Sub-section (2) of Section 33C does not indicate the mode in which the question as to the amount of money due or as to the amount at which the benefit should be computed, may be decided. But the sub-section had left it to the rule-making authority to make a suitable provision. This does not indicated by the expression 'subject to any rules that may be made under this Act' in Sub-section (2) of Section 33C. Rules have been made and Rule 62(2) of the Industrial Disputes (Central) Rules, 1957, provides :

Where any workman or a group of workmen is entitled to receive from the employer any money or any benefit which is capable of being computed-in terms of money, the workmen or the group of workmen, as the case may be, may apply to the specified Labour Court in Form K-3 for the determination of the amount due or, as the case may be, the amount at which such benefit should be computed.

According to this rule an application in Form K-3 can clearly be made.

8. In the result the appeals are allowed and the order of the Labour Court set aside insofar as the Labour Court held that the applications were barred by Article 137 of the Limitation Act. The Labour Court will now pass the final order in accordance with law. The appellants will be entitled to their costs, one hearing fee.


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