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The Ganga Nagar Sugar Mill Ltd. Vs. Jetha Ram and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 2031/81
Judge
Reported in1982WLN(UC)406
AppellantThe Ganga Nagar Sugar Mill Ltd.
RespondentJetha Ram and ors.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
constitution of india - article 226 and payment of wages act 1976--section 15--jurisdiction--industrial dispute regarding legality of strike under adjudication before arbitrator--workman claiming payment of wrongly denied wage--held jurisdiction of authority in not ousted--no error of law to require interference in writ jurisdiction.;the aforesaid jurisdiction which has been conferred upon the authority under the act cannot be said to be ousted merely because an industrial dispute with regard to the legality or illegality of strike is under adjudication before an industrial tribunal or an arbitrator under the provisions of the act.;the case of the applicants before the authority is that they had obtained the token from time office and they have worked and that they have been wrongly..........absent themselves without due notice. the state government has framed the rajasthan payment of wages rules, 1961 and provisions with regard to deductions for absence from duty are contained in rules 8 to 15 of the said rules. from perusal of sections 7 and 9 of the act and rules 8 to 15 of the rajasthan payment of wages rules, 1951, it is clear that the authority while dealing with a claim of the employed persons under section 15 of the act for wages wrongly deducted for absence from duty is required to adjudicate upon the question as to whether the employer was justified in making the deduction in wages on account of absence from duty. incases where the employer seeks to justify the deduction on the ground that the employees had resorted to illegal strike the authority is required.....
Judgment:

S.C. Agrawal, J.

1. This writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution is directed against the order dated December 2, 1981 passed by the Authority under the payment of wages Act, 1936 (here-inaftei referred to as the 'Authority') in case No. PW A/74 of 1980. The case aforesaid arises out of an application filed by 408 employees of Sri Ganganagar Sugar Mills Ltd, Sri Ganganagar under section 15 of the Payment of wages Act, 1976 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') wherein it has been submitted that the petitioner viz, the Executive Officer, the Ganganagar Sugar Mills 1 td, had failed to make the payment of the wages of the applicants for the period from 15th October 1979 to 4th November, 1979. In the said proceed the petitioner filed an application raising preliminary objections One objection was with regared to the jurisdiction of the Authority to entertain the application and it was submitted that an industrial dispute with regared to the same matter was pending before the Arbitrator and that in view of the pendency of the said industrial dispute the the said issue could not be raised before the Authority. Another objection was that Shri Mahadev Prasad Garg, General Secretary of the Ganganagar Sugar Employees Union could not present the application and that the application had no been presented by the authorised persons. The Authority framed preliminary issues on the basis of the said objections. The said preliminary issues have been decided against the petitioner by the Authority by its order dated December 2, 1981. By the order afore said, the Authority has held that in the present case, the case of the applicants was that they had token from the time office of the petitioner whereas the petitioner has denied the presence of the workmen and has alleged their absence without leave and has also denied that their agitation was for justified demands. The Authority has held that the question whether in such circumstances the appellants are entitled to their wages for the ensuring period is definite a question incidental for the determination of their wages and the Authority had jurisdiction to decide the application. The Authority has also held that the application filed by Shri Mabadev Prasad Garg was properly filed. Being aggrieved by the aforesaid decision of the Authority on the preliminary issues, the petitioner has filed this wri petition.

2. A notice was issued to the respondent to show cause as to why writ petition be not admitted In response to the said notice Shri D.K. Pariha and appeared on behalf of respondent No. 1.

3. I have heard Shri A.K. Mathur, the learned Counsel for the petitioner and Shri D.K. Parihar, learned Counsel for the respondent No. 1.

4. Shri Mathur has challenged the correctness of the finding recor-n ded by the Authority on the issue of jurisdiction of the Authority to entrtait the application under section 15 of the Act and has contended that since an industrial dispute is pending before the Arbit(sic)ator and in the said dispute, the question as to the payment of wages of the workmen of the Sugar Mills for the period from 15th October 1979 to 4th November, 1979 is to be decided, the same question cannot be raised before the Authority and, therefore, the Authority has no jurisdiction to entertain the application submitted by the workmen under Section 15 of the Act. Shri Mathur has submitted that if the Authority is allowed to proceed with the workman under Section 15 of the Act, there was likelihood of inconsistent orders being passed one by the Authority and the other by the Arbitrator.

5. I am unable to accept the aforesaid contention urged by Shri Mathur. Under Section 15 of the Act the Authority has been conferred the jurisdiction to adjudicate upon dispute arising out of deductions in wages made by the employer. Section 7 of the Act enumerates the various deductions which can be made by the employer and deductions for absence from duty is permissible under clause (b) of Sub section (2) of section 7 of the Act. Further provisions with regard to deductions for absence from duty are contained in section 9 of the Act which lays down that deductions may be made under clause(b) of Sub-section (2) of Section 7 only on account of the absence of an employed person from the place or places, whereby the terms of his employment, he his required to work, such absence being for the whole or any part of the period during which he is so required to work. The proviso to subjection (2) of Section 9 contemplates framing of rules by the State Government in respect of cases where 10 or more employed persons acting in concern absent themselves without due notice. The State Government has framed the Rajasthan Payment of Wages Rules, 1961 and provisions with regard to deductions for absence from duty are contained in Rules 8 to 15 of the said Rules. From perusal of Sections 7 and 9 of the Act and Rules 8 to 15 of the Rajasthan Payment of Wages Rules, 1951, it is clear that the Authority while dealing with a claim of the employed persons under Section 15 of the Act for wages wrongly deducted for absence from duty is required to adjudicate upon the question as to whether the employer was justified in making the deduction in wages on account of absence from duty. Incases where the employer seeks to justify the deduction on the ground that the employees had resorted to illegal strike the Authority is required to consider as to whether the employed person who has made the cliim was actually absent from duty or not during the period of the strike or and whether the aforesaid deduction has been made in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules. The aforesaid jurisdiction which has been conferred upon the Authority under the Act cannot be said to be ousted merely because an industrial dispute with regard to the legality or illegality of strike is under adjudcation before an Industrial Tribunal or an Arbitrator under the provisions of the Act. Award of the industrial tribunal or the arbitrator on the question as to whether the strike was legal or illegal would not conclude the matter. Even if the industrial tribunal or the arbitrator holds that the strike was illegal, the question as to whether the particular employee who is claiming that his wages have been wrongly deducted can show before the Authority that he did not participate in the strike, or that the said deduction had not been made in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules. In the present case the case of the applicants before the Authority is that they had obtained the token from time office and they have worked and that they have been wrongly denied payment of the wages for the period from 15th October 1979 to 4th November, 1979. The aforesaid enquiry cannot be shut out or postponed for the reason that the dispute about the legality of the strike is pending before the arbitrator. In my opinion the order dated December 2, 1981 passed by the Authority does not suffer from any error of law which may justify interference by this court by issuing a writ of certiorari under Article 226 of the Constitution.

6. Thus, there is no merit in this writ petition and it is accordingly dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.


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