1. In this appeal, by special leave, Mr G.B. Pai, learned Counsel for the appellant, challenges the award dated November 10, 1966, of the Industrial Tribunal, Maharashtra, Bombay, in Reference (IT) No. 334 of 1958. There were as many as eight demands referred for adjudication to the Tribunal. Demands Nos. 4 and 5 related to the increment in the wage scale as well as Dearness Allowance.
2. The Industrial Tribunal, on June 25, 1962, passed an award, dealing with all these disputes and it fixed also the wage scale and Dearness Allowance. The appellant came to this Court, by special leave, in Civil Appeal No. 159 of 1965. The points that were urged before this Court, in the said appeal, on behalf of the management, were that the Tribunal, while fixing the wage and Dearness Allowance, did not have due regard to the various principles laid down by this Court regarding the factors to be taken into account in fixing wage scale and Dearness Allowance. In particular, it was also' pressed before this Court that the Tribunal committed an error in comparing the appellant with Raj kamal Kala Mandir. According to the appellant, the said Raj Kamal Kala Mandir was a very prosperous concern, and the comparison made by the Tribunal of the appellant with that concern, was not proper. It was also pointed out by the management, in that appeal, that there were two other concerns, Filmalaya Private Ltd., and Famous Cine Laboratories and Studios, which should have been taken into account by the Tribunal for purposes of comparison.
3. This Court, in its judgment dated November 4, 1965, pointed out as many as six or seven infirmities in the award of the Tribunal. The view of this Court was that the Tribunal, when it fixed the wage scale, did not properly consider the financial capacity of the appellant. Nor did it consider the various balance-sheets filed by it, as well as the additional financial burden that the company will have to bear if the Award was to be given effect to. This Court had also referred to the contention raised on behalf of the management regarding the two other comparable concerns. In view of the infirmities, pointed out in the judgment, this Court was of the view that there had been no proper consideration by the Tribunal regarding the financial capacity of the appellant and other relevant factors, when it fixed the wage scale. Ultimately, by judgment dated November 4, 1965, this Court remanded the proceedings to the Tribunal for being considered afresh.
4 The Tribunal, after remand, passed an order on August 28, 1966, calling upon the management, at the instance of the workmen, to produce the balance-sheets for certain further years. It also expressed the view that it had to consider, in fixing the wages, the financial capacity of the appellant-concern. At this stage, it is to be mentioned that this Court, on the former occasion, proceeded on the basis that the Tribunal had rejected the claim of the workmen regarding Dearness Allowance, covered by demand No. 5. Unfortunately, that assumption appears to be a mistake: because, the Tribunal, in its original award dated June 25, 1962, had dealt with the claim and given certain directions. In fact, in the special leave petition filed by the management on the former occasion, they have specifically attacked the fixation of Dearness Allowance at the rates mentioned in the Award.
5. When the Tribunal considered the matter afresh, it is the grievance of the appellant that it has not given effect to the directions given by this Court on November 4, 1965 According to the learned Counsel, the Tribunal has proceeded on the basis that the fixation of wages alone has to be done on a comparison of the Filmalaya and Famons Cine Laboratories and Studios. The union represented that it would be content with the fixation of wages at the scales prevailing in Filmalaya. This suggestion was accepted by the Tribunal and it has passed the Award on that basis. The Tribunal has also proceeded on the basis that it has no further jurisdiction to consider the directions already given by it in its previous award regarding the Dearness Allowance.
6. In this appeal, Mr. Pai, no doubt, very strenuously, attacked the award of the Tribunal, on the ground that the same infirmities pointed out by this Court on the former occasion, exist in the present award also. But, ultimately, he has expressed on behalf of his client, the appellant's willingness to pay wages and Dearness Allowance at the rate prevailing in the Filmalaya. This offer has also been accepted by Mr. Nadkarni, learned Counsel appearing for the union. Therefore, it has become unnecessary for us to consider the correctness or otherwise of the Award on merits. In view of the agreement between the parties, which is recorded, the directions given in the award regarding the wages and Dearness Allowance will stand suitable modified. It is hereby declared that the workmen will be entitled to wages and Dearness Allowance at the same rates as that obtaining in the comparable concern Filmalaya.
7. Then the further question is from what date this direction should be given effect to. The Tribunal, in its original award dated June 25, 1962, had given effect to the directions contained therein with effect from the date of the award. In the present award dated November 10, 1966, though there was a demand by the workmen that retrospective effect must be given to the award from the date of Reference or at any rate from the date of the original award dated June 25, 1962, the Tribunal did not accept this plea. On the other hand, the Tribunal, in the present award has stated that it will have effect from November 4, 1965, being the date on which the appeal was remanded by the Court to the Tribunal for fresh hearing.
8. So far as the date from which the direction regarding wages and Dearness Allowance should take effect, there is no agreement between the parties before us. We have ourselves considered the matter. It will be casting a heavy burden on the management if retrospective effect is given from November 4, 1965. This Court accepted the appeal of the management; which means that the award as originally passed was not correct. The Tribunal, on the former occasion, as we have mentioned earlier, gave effect to its award only from the date of the award, namely, June 25, 1962. Here again, normally, we should not have been inclined to interfere with a direction given by the Tribunal regarding the date from which its award has to come into effect, unless a question of principle was involved. But in the special circumstances of this case, we are of the view that the directions given herein regarding wages and Dearness Allowance will be given effect to from the date when the present award dated November 10, 1966, under appeal, became enforceable.
9. Regarding the arrears to be paid from the date when the award became enforceable upto now, it is necessary to give certain directions regarding the instalments in which they are to be paid. The arrears due to the workmen from the date when the award became enforceable upto today will be paid in two equal instalments. The first instalment is to be paid within six months from today and the second instalment is to be paid within one year from today.
10. The directions given herein regarding both Dearness Allowance and Wages will enure to the benefit of all the workmen covered by the original Reference. It is further made clear that in respect of workmen coming under a particular category in the appellant's concern, if such category does not exist in the Filmalaya, then such workmen will be entitled to wages alone at the rates obtaining in the Famous Cine Laboratories and Studios. It is also made clear that such workmen, will, however, be entitled to get Dearness Allowance at the rates fixed in this judgment. They will also be entitled to get both Wages and Dearness Allowance from the same date and in the same manner as mentioned earlier. The award will stand suitable modified in the manner indicated above and the appeal disposed of accordingly. There will be no order as to costs.