1. This is an application by a workman in whose favour and against the present respondent an award had come to be made by presiding officer of the Labour Court at Ahmedabad in Reference (LCA) No. 1270 of 1980, Annexure A to this application. By that order, the respondent was directed to reinstate the petitioner on his original post with full back wages and costs of Rs. 50/-. The order having been not complied with the notice was issued by the petitioner to the respondent, vide Annexure B. Despite that, nothing having been done, it was alleged that this amounted to wilful default on the part of the respondent.
2. The Rule was issued by this Court. The respondent had appeared and filed an affidavit dated 9th August, 1984, which is on the record. We have considered that affidavit. There is only general denial of the liability on the ground that he did not know of the proceedings of the Labour Court. If it be so, his remedy lies in approaching the Labour Court for setting aside the award. Nothing of the sort appears to have been done. Under that broad plea, a mandatory direction is being disobeyed. This would amount to wilful default in terms of Clause (b) of S. 2 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
3. It was urged by Mr. Baxi that as this alleged breach of the award was punishable under S. 29 of the Industrial Disputes Act, the respondent should not be punished under the Contempt of Courts Act. S. 22 of the Contempt of Courts Act specifically provides that the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the provisions of any other law relating to Contempt of Courts. Therefore, S. 22 of the Act is a clear reply to this contention. Under provision to S. 10 of the Contempt of Courts Act, the High Court cannot take cognizance of a contempt alleged to have been committed in respect of a court subordinate to it where such contempt is an offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code. It is nobody's case that this alleged contempt is punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
4. We, therefore, hold the respondent guilty of the Contempt of Court and we punish him with Simple Imprisonment for a term extending upto one month. This order is passed under S. 12(1) of the Contempt of Courts Act. Non-bailable warrant of arrest to issue against the respondent after 30 days from today, during which it will be open to the respondent to purge himself of the contempt and appear before this Court with a request to remit the sentence. Rule is accordingly made absolute with no order as to costs. However, if the respondent in the meantime obtains stay of the operation of the award from the Labour Court or from this High Court, this order will be deemed not operative and this application will be deemed to have been rejected and as such disposed of. We cannot go behind the award, and, therefore, all arguments of Mr. Baxi on the merits of the matter cannot be entertained by us.