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Madura Mills Company Ltd. Vs. Guruvammal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1967)IILLJ397Mad
AppellantMadura Mills Company Ltd.
RespondentGuruvammal and anr.
Cases ReferredRivers Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. v. Inland Steam Navigation Workers
Excerpt:
- - ..3. the learned counsel for the petitioner relies upon the well-known principle that where 'a remedy not ordinarily founded in common law is newly created and a new machinery is provided for enforcement of these rights, it is the new machinery created that should be reported to and not the ordinary civil court......but; this is made dependent on the existence of certain stated facts but the statute enacts no special machinery for the ascertainment of the statutory conditions on which the right arises, such a matter could certainly be brought up before an ordinary civil court for its determination. the statutory right created in the workman would certainly be a 'civil right within the meaning of section 9 of the civil procedure code attracting the jurisdiction of an ordinary civil court, and as such a court would, under this section, be deprived of its jurisdiction only if these were barred expressly or by implication....3. the learned counsel for the petitioner relies upon the well-known principle that where 'a remedy not ordinarily founded in common law is newly created and a new machinery is.....
Judgment:

Alagiriswami, J.

1. Civil Revision Petition No. 1681 of 1963 is filed under 3. 25 of the Provincial Small Causes Courts Act to revise the decree and Judgment of the learned Subordinate Judge, Madura in Small Cause Suit No. 314 of 1961. Civil Revision Petition No. 1682 of 1963 la a similar petition In respect of the decree and Judgment in Small Cause Suit No. 315 of 1961. The defendant Is the petitioner In both the petitions. The plaintiffs In the two suits were two workers whose services were dispensed with by the defendant, the Madura Mills Company, Ltd. The plaintiffs filed the suits, claiming that they were entitled to retrenchment benefits under Section 25F of the Industrial Disputes Act. The defence In effect was that the plaintiffs in both the suits were not retrenched, but that their services were dispensed with on the ground of ill-health and, therefore. Section 2(F) would not apply. It was also contended by the defendant that the proper remedy for the plaintiffs in both the suits was to have approached the labour court under Section 30 of the Industrial Disputes Act. The learned Subordinate Judge came to the conclusion that the disease from which both the plaintiffs were said to be suffering was curable disease, that the mills should have sent them for treatment and that in the circumstances their discharge amounted to retrenchment and, therefore, decreed the suit. On the question of jurisdiction the learned Subordinate Judge took the view that he had Jurisdiction to try the suits.

2. Now it is contended for the petitioners in these two, petitions that the learned Subordinate Judge had no Jurisdiction to try the suits, and that, in any case, his view that this was retrenchment la not the proper view In the circumstances of this case. Under Section 30(2) as It stood before the amendment in 1964, where any workman la entitled to receive from the employer any benefit which is capable of being computed in terms of money, the amount at which such benefit should be computed may, subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, be determined by such labour court as may be specified In this behalf by the appropriate Government, and the amount so determined may be recovered as provided for In Sub-section (1). Under Sub-section (1) of Section 30 where any money la due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chap. V-A (under which the present case would come), the workman may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, make an application to the appropriate Government for the recovery of the money due to him, etc. We thus find that there is specific machinery provided for a case such at this. Instead of resorting to the machinery, the plaintiffs in these two suits have resorted to the ordinary civil Court. The question is whether the Jurisdiction of the ordinary civil Court is barred. In C.B.R. Ratnam & Co. v. D. Ekambaram : (1957)IILLJ266Mad , Rajagopala Ayyangar, J., held as follows at p. 270;..If a statutory right is created In favour of a person, but; this is made dependent on the existence of certain stated facts but the statute enacts no special machinery for the ascertainment of the statutory conditions on which the right arises, such a matter could certainly be brought up before an ordinary civil Court for Its determination. The statutory right created in the workman would certainly be a 'civil right within the meaning of Section 9 of the Civil Procedure Code attracting the Jurisdiction of an ordinary civil Court, and as such a Court would, under this section, be deprived of its Jurisdiction only If these were barred expressly or by implication....

3. The learned Counsel for the petitioner relies upon the well-known principle that where 'a remedy not ordinarily founded in common law is newly created and a new machinery Is provided for enforcement of these rights, It Is the new machinery created that should be reported to and not the ordinary civil Court. He also relies upon the second sentence in the Judgment of Rajagopala Ayyangar, J., and says that because Section 30(2) provides for a special machinery, by implication It bars the Jurisdiction of the civil Court. On the other hand, the respondents rely upon the first sentence in the judgment of Rajagopala Ayyangar, J., to contend that this la a matter which could be brought up before an ordinary civil Court for its determination. But, even In that sentence it is stated that this would be available only If the statute enacts no special machinery for the ascertainment of the statutory conditions on which the right arises. Therefore, it Is clear that In the present case as the statute creates, a special machinery to enforce specially created rights, the parties cannot approach the ordinary civil Court. The respondents rely upon Rivers Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. v. Inland Steam Navigation Workers' Union 1961 I L.L.J. 98, where it has been held that provisions of Section 30 of the Industrial Disputes Act could not be pleaded as a bar to a civil Court entertaining a suit for declaration of certain rights Involving interpretation of the provisions of an award made by an industrial tribunal or labour court, that Section 30(1) expressly provides that the remedy provided therein is without prejudice to any other mode of recovery and In Its context Sub-section (2) also should be similarly read. Bat on a discussion the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court held that this was not a matter which could be decided under Sub-section (2) of Section 30 and that is why that section was not a bar to being filed before the civil Court. The learned Judges further held that because of Section 36A which again was a special procedure provided in a case where an interpretation of an award is required, no suit could be filed In a civil Court. This again is an illustration of the principle that where a special machinery is provided for specific purpose, the civil Court cannot be approached. It follows, therefore, that In' this case the learned Subordinate Judge has no Jurisdiction to entertain the two suits. In this view it is unnecessary to go into the other question whether the discharge of the plaintiffs in this case was retrenchment or not. The decrees and Judgments of the lower Court are set aside and the revision petitions are allowed, but without costs.

4. The decision in these petitions certainly does not mean that the respondents' remedy under the law is barred.


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