M.A. Ansari, J.
1. This petition under Article 226 of the Constitution is against the industrial award of 18 December 1957.
2. The Government had, in exercise of powers under Section 10(1)(c) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, referred to the industrial tribunal, Alleppey, the following questions :
(i) Is the non-engagement of worker M. Janaradhana Pai justifiable?
(ii) To what relief is he entitled-
(a) If the non-engagement is not justifiable; and
(b) if the non-engagement is found justifiable?
(iii) Is there any arrears of wages due to be paid to him; if so, what is the amount?
(iv) Should there be any bonus to be paid to him for the period from 1129 onwards? If so, what is the amount?
The aforesaid employee is said to have been engaged by the Sasi Industrials, Shertallai, who is respondent 2 to this petition; was getting a monthly salary of Rs. 150; and to have been without any justification dismissed on 9 June 1956. We need not give further details of the several claims put in by the employer and by the Travancore-Cochin Mercantile and Hotel Employees' Union, Shertallai, which appear to have brought before the tribunal the case of the employee, because the tribunal has found that the dispute arising from Janardhana Pai's dismissal was not covered by Section 2(k) of the Industrial Disputes Act and therefore the tribunal had no Jurisdiction to adjudicate.
3. The ground for holding the dispute to be such is that though the employee had sworn to his having become a member of the union towards the end of 1955, and having complained to the union on 19 June 1956, yet the union had not let in any evidence about demands having been made from the management to meet the claims of the aggrieved workman, and having raised the present dispute on the refusal by management. The tribunal has taken into consideration the admission by the employee in his cross-examination of having received a notice from the conciliation officer; but has found the admission insufficient for establishing a dispute mainly because of the absence of any statement by union concerning the answer to the notice, or the refusal by the management to the demand by the union. The tribunal has therefore treated the dispute to be merely between a workman and his employer, and on this preliminary objection has held the reference to be improper.
4. These conclusions are challenged before us on the ground that the employee is proved to be a member of the union, which la registered, and that the dispute has arisen between the employer and the workers' union. Therefore, the short question raised in this petition is how far the several grounds taken by the tribunal for treating the dispute not to be covered by the Act can be hold either inadequate or incorrect.
5. So far as the legal position is concerned, it is well settled by several pronouncements. In Central Provinces Transport Service, Ltd. v. Raghunath Gopal Patwardhan 1957 I L.L.J. 27, the Supreme Court has held that the scheme of the Industrial Disputes Act does appear to contemplate that the machinery provided therein should be set in motion, to settle only disputes which involve the rights of workmen as a class, and that a dispute touching the individual rights of a workman is not intended to be the object of an adjudication under the Act, when the same has not been taken up by the union or a number of workmen. Again, Newspapers, Ltd. v. Industrial Tribunal, Uttar Pradesh 1957 II L.L.J. 1 has reaffirmed that the provisions of the Act lead to the conclusion that its applicability to an individual dispute, as opposed to dispute involving a group of workmen, is excluded, unless it acquires the general characteristics of a dispute between the employer and the workmen as a body. Also a Divisional Bench of this Court in Chittadi Estate (by Superintendent) v. Industrial Tribunal 1959 II L.L.J. 184 has decided that the dispute relating to the cause of a single workman cannot be referred to under the Act where no evidence be forthcoming to show the cause having been ever espoused by his fellow-workmen, and the tribunal has jurisdiction to determine the propriety of the reference on objection of the party aggrieved. It follows that the conclusion by the tribunal on the employee's dispute not having been taken up by the union must be found incorrect before any relief can be given. But it is clear that this Court, in exercise of powers under Article 226, does not sit as an appellate authority over the factual decisions of the industrial tribunal and it cannot be said that the tribunal's decisions in this petition are vitiated by no evidence in the case. That apart, the legal error should be apparent on the face of the record to sustain certiorari and this has been again decided in Satyanarayanan Laxminarayan Hegde v. Mallikarjuna Bhavanappa Tirumale 1960 A.I.R. S.C.137. The counsel for the petitioner has not convinced us that error, assuming the award to be vitiated by an error, is of such nature. Therefore, the petition fails. But having regard to the impoverished circumstances of the worker, who is also the brother-in-law of the employer, we think the dismissal should be without costs.