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Shree Kishan Gautam Vs. the Agent, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Revision No. 307 of 1972
Judge
Reported in1979WLN(UC)14
AppellantShree Kishan Gautam
RespondentThe Agent, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and ors.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredKalabandi v. Mst. Rabin Rai
Excerpt:
.....which is rot included in the schedule appended to the notification & is such the payment of wages authority cannot hear the cases of such employee this being the legal position the authority was not competent to hear the claim cases of the present petitioner. the authority thus had a complete lack of jurisdiction to hear the claim cases of 'he present petitioner and it could treat its previous order dated 22-7-1969 as nullity and revise the same.;(b) civil procedure code - section 115 and constitution of india--article 226--revision cannot be treated as a petition under article 226;though a revision petition can be treated to be a petition under article 227 of the constitution, but the scope of article 226 and 227 is different. in the light of the submissions made by the learned..........which is not included in the schedule appended to the notification and as such the payment of wages authority cannot hear the cases of such employee. this being the legal position the authority was not competent to hear the claim cases of the present petitioner. the authority thus had a complete lack of jurisdiction to hear the claim cases of the present petitioner and it could treat its previous order dated 22-7-1969 as nullity and revise the same. in this regard the position of law is well settled. the principle of res judicata or the principle of estoppel would not come into way, to revise an order which has been made by an authority having no jurisdiction a reference in this connection may be made to madduri venkataratnam v. mangu ramadas and ors. : air1971ap281 wherein it was.....
Judgment:

M.C. Jain, J.

1. This revision petition is directed against the order dated 11-1-1972 of the District Judge, Bikaner, upholding the order of the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act, Bikaner Division, Bikaner, dated 14- 5-1971 whereby it held that it has no jurisdiction to try claim applications presented by the present petitioner on the ground that the Payment of Wages Act has not been made applicable to Durgargath under the Notification dated 31st August, 1965.

2. The present petitioner was appointed by the former State Bank of Bikaner and was serving at Dungargarh at the relevant time. He was placed under suspension on 18th April, 1968, on the grounds of misbehaviour with the Branch Agent and after enquiry he was removed from service. The present petitioner submitted claim application for his wages, which were registered as claim cases Nos. 227, 228, 229, 283, 284 of 1968; 54 and 71 of 1970; and 23, 24, 25 and 26 of 1971. The details of these claims have been mentioned by the District Judge in his impugned order.

3. The claim applications Were opposed by the Bank and written replies were submitted. Question of jurisdiction was also raised, The learned Authority by its order dated 22-7-1969 held that it has no jurisdiction to hear the claims. The Bank went in appeal before the District Judge, but the same was dismissed on 6-3-1971 & & it was held that the appeal was not maintainable under Section 17 of the Payment of Wages Act. It appears that when the matters went back before the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act it came to the notice of the Authority that Dungargarh is not included in the Notification No. F. 3 (66) Lab/63 dated 31st August, 1965, published in the Rajasthan Gazette Part IV-G dated 14-10-65, pages 321, 322 as such the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act are not applicable to the Bank employees serving at Dungargarh. The learned Authority heard the parties as to whether the claim applications are competent before him and the same can be heard. After hearing both the sides the learned Authority found that the Payment of Wages Act has not been made applicable to Dungargarh under the Notification, so it has no jurisdiction to hear the claim cases presented by the petitioner. Consequently it dismissed all his claims. The present petitioner then went in appeal before the District Judge against the order of the learned Authority. The learned District Judge upheld the order. Hence this revision petition by the present petitioner.

4. On behalf of the present petitioner it is urged that the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act has no powers to review its order dated 22-7-1969 whereby the Authority had already found that it has jurisdiction to here the claim cases of the petitioner. That order became tidal and the appeal of the Bank was unsuccessful.

5. In this connection it may be stated that the basic question is as to whether the Authority had any jurisdiction to try the claim cases If the Authority absolutely lacking jurisdiction over these matters, then in that case this question can he examined at any stage by any Authority in any proceeding-s. Whether any Authority suffers from inherent lack of jurisdiction, then any order passed by such Authority would be a nullity in the eye of law and such an order can be reviewed treating that order to be non existing The learned District Judge in his impugned order has considered that the Payment of Wages Act is not applicable to the case of the present petitioner, as the present petitioner does not fall in the category of persons employed in any factory or any other establishments mentioned in Section 1 Sub-clause (4) of the Payment of Wages Act. No Notification has further been brought to light whereby the Payment of Wages Act may be said to have been made applicable to the employees serving in the Bank It is only by Notification issued by the State Government under Section 20 of the Rajasthan Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1958, the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act can be made applicable. The State Government has issued Notification in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 20 of the Rajasthan Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1958, whereby the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act have been made applicable to all classes of employees in the establishments to which the said Act applies and in places specified in the Schedule appended to the Notification, where the population is 25,000 and more. Admittedly Dungargarh is not included in the Schedule. The provisions of the Rajasthan Shops & Commercial Establishment Act, 1958, extends to all commercial establishments as defined in Sub-clause (3) of Section 2. According to this definition Bank establishments are included in the expression 'commercial establishment.' Thus, from the Notification it would follow that the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act do not apply to an employee of a Bank, who is serving at a place which is not included in the Schedule appended to the Notification and as such the Payment of Wages Authority cannot hear the cases of such employee. This being the legal position the Authority was not competent to hear the claim cases of the present petitioner. The Authority thus had a complete lack of jurisdiction to hear the claim cases of the present petitioner and it could treat its previous order dated 22-7-1969 as nullity and revise the same. In this regard the position of law is well settled. The principle of res judicata or the principle of estoppel would not come into way, to revise an order which has been made by an authority having no jurisdiction a Reference in this connection may be made to Madduri Venkataratnam v. Mangu Ramadas and Ors. : AIR1971AP281 wherein it was observed as under:

It is well settled that in applying the principle of res judicata the competency of the original court or the Tribunal out of which the proceedings arose, should be considered. The fact that the matter was carried in appeal or that it was confirmed in a Writ Petition, does not render the decision valid or binding if the decision was not within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

6. Reference may further be made to the Full Bench decision of the Orissa High Court in Land Acquisition Officer, Kalabandi v. Mst. Rabin Rai AIR 1971 Orissa 71. In this case it was observed that if the reference was made initially to a Court not having inherent jurisdiction and is disposed of by a court equally having no inherent jurisdiction, then the decision on such a reference is without jurisdiction and void At any stage of the proceeding, lack of inherent jurisdiction, if discovered, can be questioned.

7. I need not multiply the cases and the position appears to be well sealed. It has not been pointed out to me as to how the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act had jurisdiction to hear the claim cases of the present petitioner and the Notification referred to above does not apply to the case of the present petitioner and so the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act, cannot be made applicable to him Consequently, the applications under Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act were not competent and the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act had no jurisdiction to hear the same. In my opinion, the view which has been taken by both the authorities appears to be correct and does not call for any interference.

8. On behalf of the present petitioner it is further urged that the said Notification is ultra vires of Article 14 of the Constitution and this revision petition may be converted into a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. An application in this regard was made by the present petitioner on 28-2 1974. This application is opposed by the counsel for the non-petitioner. He urged that the scope of the revision petition is limited as provided under Section 115, CPC. The vires of the Notification cannot be challenged in the present revision petition. The writ petition under Article 226 has to be dealt with differently and he also urged that it would be open to the present petitioner to challenge the vires of the Notification in appropriate proceedings. More over, there is a presumption for the constitutionality of the Notification. It was also pointed out by the learned Counsel that the application for treating the revision petition as writ petition under Article 226 is a belated one. (sic)st was also urged that the petitioner was first placed under suspension arid after enquiry he was removed from service and the Authority can not go into these questions Further, in the circumstances it is not a fit case In which the extra-ordinary jurisdiction may be invoked by this Court.

9. I have carefully considered these contentions. I have not been referred to any law whereby a revision petition under Section 115, CPC, may be treated as a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, though a revision petition can be treated to be a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution, but the scope of Article 220 and 227 is different. In the light of the submissions made by the learned Counsel for the nonpetitioner, I am not inclined to treat this revision petition as a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution Further the notification can be presumed to be constitutionally valid.

10. No other point has been pressed before me.

11. In the result, I do not find any force in this revision petition, so it is hereby dismissed. In the circumstances of the case I leave the parties to bear their own costs.


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