D.P. Gupta, J.
1. This writ petition has been filed against a no dispute award passed by the Judge, Labour Court, Rajasthan, Jaipur dated June 10,1974,
2. The petitioner alleged in the writ petition that he was working as a helper in the Automobile Cooperative Workshop Ltd., Jodhpur but his service was terminated by the respondent No. 1 with effect from October 21, 1971. The State Government made a reference regarding the validity of the termination of the petitioner's service to the Judge, Labour Court, Rajasthan, Jaipur by its notification dated February 7, 1972. On March 2, 1974 the learned Judge of the Labour Court fixed the next date of hearing on the matter as April 17,1974 for recorning the evidence of the petitioner and he also decided to hold the camp of Labour Court at Jodhpur on the aforesaid date. But the Judge did not hold the camp of his court at Jodhpur on April 17,1974 and on that date, while sitting at Jaipur, he passed an order to the effect that both the parties were absent and that the evidence also was not present and fixed June 1, 1974 as the next date of hearing. On the last mentioned date also the petitioner and his witnesses were not present and June 10,1974 was fixed as the next date on which a no dispute award was passed by the learned Judge of the Labour Court, on account of the absence of the petitioner.
3. In this writ petition, the grievance of the petitioner is that the learned Judge of the Labour Court instead of holding a camp of his court at Jodhpur on April 17,1974 as directed by him or. March 2, 1974 at Jaipur without any intimation to the petitioner. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner waited for the holding of the camp court at Jodhpur on April 17,1974 and when the camp court was not held and the learned Judge of the Labour Court did not turn up, the petitioner sent a telegram to the Judge, Labour Court, Jaipur on Juue 29, 1974 requesting him to intimate the next date of bearing in his case. No reply was received nor any further date of hearing was intimated by the Judge, Labour Court, to the petitioner As such the petitioner was unable to appear before the JuJge, Labour Court on June 1,1974 or on June 10,1974. The contention of the learned counsel is that Under Rule 13 of the Rajasthan Industrial Disputes Rules, 1958 the Judge, Labour Court should have intimated the petitioner about the date, place and time of hearing of the case, after he failed to hold the camp of his court at Jodhpur on April 17, 1974. Rule 13 of the aforesaid rules provides that the sitting of the Labour Court shall be held at such times and places as the Presiding Officer may fix and the Presiding Officer shall inform the parties of the same, in such a manner as he thinks fit. In the present case, the Presiding Officer of the Labour Court informed the parties on March 2, 1974 that the further proceedings in the matter would be taken up at Jodhpur on April 17,1974, where the petitioner was asked to produce his evidence Now without any further intimation that the learned Judge of the Labour Court would not hold his camp Court at Jodhpur on April 17,1974, how could the petitioner take his witnesses to Jaipur and appear before him there on April 17,1974? The learned Judge should have intimated the petitioner as well as the opposite party, if he intended to change the place of holding of his court on April 17,1974. Even if no earlier intimation was sent to the petitioner and the camp of the court of the labour Judge was not held on April 17,1974 at Jodhpur, then intimation should have been sent to the parties about the next date of hearing as well as about the place where such hearing was to take place.
4. In Madjit Tannery v. Labour Court UP 1973 Factories and Labour Report 236 it was observed that if a party, who has been informed about the time and place of sitting as required by Rule 13, absents itself, the Court may make an Order Under Rule 16 directing the case to proceed ex-parte and in that event it may not be necessary for the court to give any further notice about its subsequent sating to the party concerned. But if a party has no information about the date fixed for the sitting of the court, then such a procedure cannot be followed. In that case May 7, 1969 was fixed for the sitting of the Labour Court and the parties concerned were informed about that date, but the Presiding Officer was on leave and no further date was fixed for the next sitting of the court; then the Labour Courttook up the mater on June, 25 1969 without any intimation of that date to the petitioner. It was held that as the petitioner was not made aware of the adjourned date fixed for the hearing of the case, the Labour Court illegally proceeded Under Rule 16 without informing the party concerned.
5. A similar view was taken by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Durga Iron and Steel Industries, Amloh v. State of Punjab and Ors. (2). In that case the Labour Court in formed the parties that it would take up the dispute on October 28, 1968 in the office of the Labour Officer, Patiala; but instead of holding the court at the office of the Labour Officer, Patiala, as communicated to the petitioner, the learned Judge of the Labour Court hold his camp at the circuit house, Patiala, without intimation to the petitioner. The petitioner failed to appear and the Presiding Officer of the Labour Court gave an exparte award. It was held that as the Labour Court failed to hold the sitting at the place notified by it and the petitioner had no intimation about the change of place, it was not the duty of the petitioner to make an enquiry if the sitting did not take place at the place notified. It was also held that if the Labour Court held its sitting at a different place from one Notified to the parties, then it was bound to give an intimation regarding the change of venue to the parties and since that was not done there was no proper notice to the petitioner about the proceedings. I am in respectful agreement with the principles of law laid down in the aforesaid eases.
6. it was incumbent in the present case upon the Labour Court to intimate to the petitioner about the change of place of its sitting, in case the adjudication of the dispute was to be taken up on April 17, 1974 at Jaipur, In any case the Judge of the Labour Court was bound to intimate to the petitioner the subsequent date of hearing fixed in the matter and in the absence thereof, the Judge of the Labour Court could not complain about the non-production of the evidence by the petitioner and could not pass a no dispute award on the alleged ground that the petitioner no longer appeared to be interested in the matter.
7. In the result, the writ petition is allowed, the no dispute award passed by the Labour Court, Rajasthan, Jaipur dated June 10,1971 is set aside. The matter is remanded to the Judge, Labour Court, Jodhpur for adjudication and the Labour Court is directed to proceed to decide afresh the industrial dispute referred to it by the State Government by its notification dated February 7, 1972 expeditiously. Since the matter has been pending for more than 10 years, it is desirable that the Labour Court should decide the dispute as early as possible. The parties are directed to bear their own costs of this writ petition.