1. The writ petition is directed against the preliminary findings of the Industrial Tribunal made in Industrial Dispute No. 20 of 1975. Two issues were raised by way of preliminary points; (1) Whether the Tribunal cannot proceed with the enquiry during she pendency of the rival claims of Thiruvalargal K. Kuchelar and Kattur Gopal for the office of the president-ship and (2). Whether there is no real industrial dispute between the parties warranting a reference to the Tribunal under Section 10(1) of the Industrial Deputes Act. Both these points were answered in favour of the workmen and the main industrial dispute was to be taken up for decision on merits. At that a stage, the present writ petition has come to be preferred.
2. Concerning issue No. 1, very rightly Mr. M.R Narayanaswamy, the learned Counsel tot the writ petitioner, does not argue. Bat the main attack is about the finding rendered by the Tribunal on issue No. 2. Since it has proceeded on the footing that even though there is no demand by the labourers on the management for reinstatement, their participation in the conciliation proceedings wou1d be sufficient. This finding, according to the learned Counsel for the petitioner, is totally incorrect in law because it is well-known that unless there is a demand, no question of dispute arises. Further, when Ext. W17 was tiled on behalf of the labourers, the Tribunal should have given a finding whether Ext. W17 was served upon the management. Instead, it proceeded to say that notwithstanding the non-service of that document on the management, it is a mere irregularity. Therefore, unless there is a positive finding relating to the service of demand, the order of the Tribunal cannot be supported especially when M.W. 1, the personnel officer, clearly denied the receipt of Ext. Wl7.
3. Mr. T. Fen Walter, learned Counsel appearing for the workmen, produces a copy of Ext. W17 before me and contends that it is impossible to think that the worker would not have served this demand on the petitioner. No doubt, the Tribunal has not given an explicit finding. But there is no reason why the evidence of W.W. 1 should not be accepted. If it is so accepted, then all the arguments of the learned Counsel for the Writ petitioner pale into insignificance, since Ext. W17 clearly makes a demand and consequently there would be a dispute in so far there is a failure on the part of the management to comply with the demand.
4. I have myself perused Ext. W17. That states 'We are hereby informing you that you have attacked the workers that were on strike using police and rowdy elements. Further you have dismissed about 350 workers simply with a view to victimise and harass workers though the workmen were willing to work and the administration created a situation wherein they cannot report for duty. On receipt of the letters of dismissal the dismissed workmen assembled before the factory and demanded that they should be taken back to duty. But you have stated that they cannot be taken back and further let loose rowdy elements and police to attack the workers daily'.
If this has been served upon the petitioner-management, there is no gain saying that it would constitute a demand leading to a dispute, inasmuch as the management has refused to comply with the demand of the workmen. The evidence of W.W. 1 is categoric that the same was sent to the management. I have no reason to disbelieve, that evidence. No doubt, this Court is not sitting in appreciation of evidence. But there must be more circumstances to warrant a conclusion otherwise. It is rather inconceivable that the labour fighting for their bread and butter, would not have demanded their reinstatement and failed to serve Ext. W17 on the management The management is taking advantage of the fact, perhaps it was not sent by registered post with acknowledgment due.
5. The Tribunal is incorrect in stating that the participation of the management in the conciliation proceedings would be sufficient. It is well-settled in law that unless there is a demand and that demand is not complied with, there cannot be any industrial dispute within the meaning of Section 2(k) of the Act. Nevertheless, inasmuch as found earlier that there has been a valid service of Ext. W17 on the petitioner-management, it would constitute a demand leading to a dispute Further, the Tribunal could have worded its judgment in a better way. Notwithstanding the same I have little hesitation to conclude that the demand Ext. W17 has been served. Therefore, the arguments raised on behalf of the writ petitioner carry no substance. Above oil those as pointed out by the Supreme Court in the recent decisions, there is no reason why the petitioner should approach this Court even in the preliminary stage under writ jurisdiction thereby elongating an industrial dispute. For all the above reasons, this writ petition will stand dismissed with costs, Counsel fee Rs. 150 (rupees one hundred and fifty).