1. The petitioner in this case is Parry and Company Limited (hereinafter referred to as the company) whom respondent No. 1 joined as an assistant in the year 1965 at Madras. He was transferred from Madras in March. 1966 and thereafter served the company at various places, the last of them being Tiruchirapalli where he was stationed when his services were terminated on the 13th December, 1970 by an order issued by the company from Madras. He went op in appeal to the Additional Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, Madras (hereinafter called the commissioner), under Sub-section (2) of Section 41 of the Madras Shops and Establishments Act, 1947 (hereinafter called the Act). The appeal was resisted by the company on the ground inter alia that the Commissioner had no jurisdiction to deal with the dispute between the company and respondent No. 1 inasmuch as the Tiruchirapalli establishment to which he was attached did not fall within the territory administered by the Commissioner. Reliance in support of the ground was placed on Notification C.C. Ms. No. 4719 issued under Sub-section (2) above mentioned. The notification describes the authorities appointed to hear appeals to be filed under Sub-section (2) at follows:
Authority Local limits1. Deputy Commissioner of Labour and Madras City and Chingleput District.Additional Commissioner for Workmen'sCompensation, Madras.2. Deputy Commissioner of Labour and Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Salem and NorthAdditional Commissioner for Workmen's Arcot Districts.Compensation, Coimbatore.3. Deputy Commissioner of Labour and Mathurai, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari,Additional Commissioner for Workmen's Tiruchirapalli, Tanjore, RamanathapuramCompensation, Mathurai. and South Arcot Districts.
According to the company, the words 'local limits' meant the limits within which the establishment concerned lay. The case of respondent No. 1, on the other hand, was that the Additional Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation within whose territory the dispute arose was competent to hear the appeal. This view prevailed with the Commissioner who overruled the objection raised by the company through an order dated 5th of February, 1972, which is challenged in this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India with a prayer that it be quashed by a writ of certiorari.
2. The preamble of the Act states:
Whereas it is expedient to provide for the regulation of conditions of work in shops, commercial establishments, restaurants, theatres and other establishments and for certain other purposes; it is hereby enacted as follows.
The Act was thus no doubt enforced to regulate conditions of work in shops and commercial establishments and makes provision, therefore, at length. That would not mean, however, that all questions arising in relation to an establishment would have to be decided by an authority having territorial jurisdiction over the place of location thereof. There is nothing to the contrary in Sub-section (2) of Section 41 of the Act which runs as under;
(2) The person employed shall have a right to appeal to such authority and within such time as may be prescribed either on the ground that there was no reasonable cause for dispensing with his services or on the ground that he had not been guilty of misconduct as held by the employer.
Nor does the notification prescribing the appellate authorities state anything from which support may be found for the objection raised on behalf of the company. The local limits of each appellate authority are no doubt defined, but then it is nowhere stated that each authority shall be competent to decide only such questions as may arise in relation to an establishment lying within those local limits. The question of jurisdiction is normally related to the cause of action and wherever such cause or part of it arises, the authority having territorial jurisdiction thereover is clothed with the power to take up and decide the dispute. Nothing has been brought to my notice which may induce me to refuse to apply that principle to the case in hand. The petitioner started his service with the company at Madras where the contract of appointment admittedly came into exist`ence. It is at that place that his employers reside and the order of termination of his services was passed, Part of the cause of action and in fact the most important part of it, therefore, arose within the territorial limits of Madras town over which the Commissioner has been given jurisdiction under the notification. By reason of part of the cause of action arising at Madras the Commissioner was clothed with jurisdiction to decide the dispute arising between the petitioner and the company.
3. In the remit, the petition fails and is dismissed. The parties are, however, left to bear their own costs.