Skip to content


Krishna Saw Mills Vs. Kozhikode Taluk Earcha Mill Thozhilall Union and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1960)IILLJ205Ker
AppellantKrishna Saw Mills
RespondentKozhikode Taluk Earcha Mill Thozhilall Union and ors.
Cases ReferredNatesan v. Deputy Commissioner
Excerpt:
- - a, and its purport is that as the attempts made to restart the business of the petitioner had failed, it has been decided to close it indefinitely, and the members of the staff do resign from service on that day, the petitioner agreeing to pay them their dues......it may be that every error, even of law, which can be corrected in appeal, is not necessarily an error apparent on the face of the record which would attract the jurisdiction under article 226; but where an order, which is a ' speaking order,' exhibits a clear ignorance or disregard of the provisions of law, it is such an error, as indicated by the supreme court in prem singh v. deputy custodian-general, evacuee property : air1957sc804 . in t.c. dasappa v. t. nagappa : [1955]1scr250 the supreme court speaking through b.k. mukherjee, j., as he then was, observed:an error in the decision or determination itself may also be amenable to a writ of certiorari, but it must be a manifest error apparent on the face of the proceedings, e.g., when it is based on clear ignorance or disregard of.....
Judgment:

S. Velu Pillai, J.

1. This is to quash an award Ex. A, passed by the respondent 2, the industrial tribunal, Kozhikode, or shortly the tribunal, directing the petitioner, Krishna Saw Mills, Kallai, Kozhikode, to reinstate two members of the petitioner's staff, P.V. Kumaran and N.K. Velayudhan, in service. There was a strike by the petitioner's workmen from 16 February 1957, which continued for more than two months. On 25 March 1957, P.V. Kumaran and N.K. Velayudhan and two others of the staff submitted their resignation by Ex. M. 13, but on the strike being withdrawn on 17 April 1957, as the result of a settlement, the latter were readmitted to service on their application. P.V. Kumaran and N.K. Velayudhan made an application in, writing, Ex. W. 13, for reemployment only ; on 8 July 1957, but they were not admitted. Their cause was however taken up by the respondent 1, a labour union, upon which, the State of Kerala, the respondent 3, referred the dispute to the tribunal under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which passed Ex. A, holding that the resignation by Ex. M. 13 was not absolute in its terms, but was conditional upon the mill remaining closed indefinitely, and upon the petitioner's paying compensation to them. This finding in Ex. A was contended on behalf of the petitioner to be vitiated by an error of law apparent on the face of the record. The material part of Ex. M. 13, which is in the Malayalam language, has been extracted in Ex. A, and its purport is that as the attempts made to restart the business of the petitioner had failed, it has been decided to close it indefinitely, and the members of the staff do resign from service on that day, the petitioner agreeing to pay them their dues. On a plain reading of Ex. M. 13, it does not seem open to doubt that whatever be the reason, the employees gave up their employment or in other words, resigned from service The learned Government Pleader, who appeared for respondents 2 and 3, agreed, that this is the reasonable meaning which Ex. M. 13 can bear, but contended that the error of law in the finding is not so apparent on the face of the record as to demand interference by certiorari.

2. The reasoning in Ex. A has to be scrutinized. After extracting the terms of Ex. M. 13 as aforesaid, the tribunal observed:

From Ex. M. 13 it is clear that in the opinion of the signatories to Ex. M. 13 it would be probable that the mill would remain closed for an indefinite period. Therefore, the workmen chose to resign from 26 March 1957 from the mill.

and proceeded to state, that contrary to their expectation the strike was withdrawn and that Ex. M. 13 was

written under a wrong calculation as to the continuance of the strike and secondly, on consideration of payment of retrenchment compensation, etc.

The tribunal also found that the petitioner had not paid the entire dues to the two workmen as agreed and concluded that the, petitioner is therefore disentitled to ' enforce their resignation;' it also rejected, in the following terms, the case of the respondent 1, that the two workmen had sought reemployment soon after the cessation of the strike :

The contention of the union and the oral evidence adduced by them to the effect that the two workmen presented for work immediately after the withdrawal of the strike and they were refused employment is false.

In my opinion, every one of the reasons adduced by the tribunal in support of its finding constitutes an error of law apparent on the face of the record. The fact, that those who resigned had miscalculated as to the duration of the strike, is irrelevant, and if, as supposed, the entire dues had not been paid to them, the remedy is by way of appropriate proceedings to enforce payment.

3. It may be that every error, even of law, which can be corrected in appeal, is not necessarily an error apparent on the face of the record which would attract the jurisdiction under Article 226; but where an order, which is a ' speaking order,' exhibits a clear ignorance or disregard of the provisions of law, it is such an error, as indicated by the Supreme Court in Prem Singh v. Deputy Custodian-General, Evacuee Property : AIR1957SC804 . In T.C. Dasappa v. T. Nagappa : [1955]1SCR250 the Supreme Court speaking through B.K. Mukherjee, J., as he then was, observed:

An error in the decision or determination itself may also be amenable to a writ of certiorari, but it must be a manifest error apparent on the face of the proceedings, e.g., when it is based on clear ignorance or disregard of the provisions of law.

Another test also propounded by the Supreme Court in Satyanarayan Laxminarayan Hegde v. Mallikarjun Bhaveanappa Tirumale : [1960]1SCR890 and Hari Vishnu Kamath v. Ahmad Ishaque : [1955]1SCR1104 , is to see whether the error is self-evident or requires an elaborate and a long-winded argument to establish it. Chagla, C.J., in Batuk K. Vyas v. Surat Borough Municipality 1952 II L.L.J. 178 may be taken to have suggested a third test, that where two views are possible on a given question, neither can be said to be erroneous on the face of the record. Notwithstanding these tests, as observed in Prem Singh case and in Hart Vishnu Kamath case their practical application to concrete cases is a matter of some difficulty, and it must be left to the Court to determine judicially on the facts of each case, whether the error is apparent on the face of the record or not. A manifest error in the interpretation of a document was held by a division Bench of this Court in Catholic Bank of India, Ltd. v. Venkata Subramania Ayyar 1958 K.L.T. 710 : 1958 K.L.J. 994, and by the Madras High Court in Natesan v. Deputy Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Mad. 1958 2 M.L.J. 555 to constitute an error apparent on the face of the record.

4. Applying these several tests, I have little hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the errors committed by the tribunal in passing Ex. A are errors of law apparent on the face of the record. Exhibit A is accordingly quashed; this petition is allowed, but without costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //