M.S. Menon, J.
1. The petitioners challenge the validity of Ext. C, an order of the Government of Travancore-Cochin dated 2-5-1955. The 1st petitioner is the Travancore Tile Manufacturers' Association, Quilon, and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th petitioners are proprietors of tile manufacturing concerns in that area. The 1st respondent is the State of Travancore-Cochin and the 2nd, the Travancore Tile Workers' Union, Quilon.
2. Ext. C is a decision given under Sub-section(2) of Section 25-A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. It reads as, follows :
'With reference to your letter dated 5-5-1954, I am directed to inform you that Government have been pleased to declare that the 16 tile factories in the Quilon area do not come under industrial establishments of a seasonal character or in which work is performed only intermittently. A press release to this effect has been issued.'
3. Sub-section (1) of Section 25-A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, provides that Sections 25-C to 25-E Inclusive of the said Act shall not apply
'(a) to industrial establishments in which less than fifty workmen on an average per working day have been employed 'in the preceding calendar month; or
(b) to industrial establishments which are of a seasonal character or in which work is performed only intermittently.'
and sub-section (2) :
'If a question arises whether an industrial establishment is of a seasonal character' or whether work is performed therein only intermittently, the decision of the appropriate Government thereon shall be final.'
4. The Government can give a decision under Sub-section (2) of Section 25-A only if. a question arises as to whether an industrial establishment is of a seasonal character or whether work therein is performed only intermittently. In other words, there should be a dispute and two contending parties, one claiming a right under the Act and the other resisting the claim and disowning liability.
As pointed out by the Madras High Court in Kohinoor Saw Mills Co. Ltd. v. State of Madras, Writ Petn. No. 655 of 1955 (A), the expression ''question' used in Section 25-A(2) connotes 'something in the nature of a lis, the determination of, which will at least be quasi judicial in scope.'
5. It is not contended before us, as in .the Madras case mentioned above, that no question arose and as a result the Government had no jurisdiction to give the decision they have given. The only contention is that the decision contemplated by Sub-section (2) of Section 25-A is quasi judicial in character, that a judicial or quasi judicial decision postulates an opportunity to the contending parties to adduce their evidence and represent their case, that the said opportunity has not been given by the Government, to the parties and that Ext, C should be quashed on that account.
6. We entertain no doubt that the decision, contemplated by Sub-section (2) of Section 25-A is a quasi judicial decision and there is no contention to the: contrary on behalf of the State. On going through! the files we arc also satisfied that the petitioners have not had the necessary opportunity to adduce their evidence and make their representations in rebuttal of the information that the Government seem to have collected through their Labour Department and on which Ext. C is apparently based.
7. The rules of natural justice are the rules which experience has shown as essential to prevent unfairness in judicial proceedings. Those rules, largely worked out by the Court of King's Bench in its historic role of controlling inferior judicial bodies and admirably restated by the Donooughmore Committee on Ministers' Powers are summarised as follows in a recent Study entitled the Rule of Law by the Conservative and Unionist Society of the Inns of Court:
'First and foremost, it is obviously unfair that a decision should be made by someone who is biassed or likely to be biassed. It is sometimes put that no one should be judge in his own cause; and we readily extend the principle, to wherever there is a real likelihood that the Judge would have any reason to favour one of the parties.
Secondly, no person ought to suffer derogation 'from his existing or potential rights without his case in defence of them being considered. And, if his right to have it considered is to be a reality he must know what case he has to meet, and know it in good time.
Thirdly, no decision impairing a person's rights . should be based on inaccurate or inadequate facts if it is reasonably possible to ascertain (within the limits of human fallibility) the full truth.
Fourthly, a citizen is entitled to know the reason for any judicial decision which may result in injury to him.'
The second of the four rules has not been complied with' in this case and we must hold that Ext. C cannot be sustained and has to be quashed. Order accordingly. No costs.
8. The decision of the Madras High Court in Writ Petition No. 655 of 1955 (A) contains valuable guidance for deciding questions under Sub-section (2) ofSection 25-A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, andas the decision is still unreported the AdvocateGeneral will do well to obtain a copy and forward'it to the Government.