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The Management of Sri Rani Lakshmi Ginning and Weaving Mills (Private) Limited Vs. State of Madras Represented by the Secretary to Government, Labour Department and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1975)1MLJ80
AppellantThe Management of Sri Rani Lakshmi Ginning and Weaving Mills (Private) Limited
RespondentState of Madras Represented by the Secretary to Government, Labour Department and ors.
Cases ReferredCalcutta v. Its Workmen
Excerpt:
- - 101 of 1971 was pending on the file of the labour court, coimbatore, to which the petitioner as well as the second respondent were parties. the second contention is that the order must give reasons relevant for the transfer directed by it, and in this case the impugned order does not record any reasons, and, therefore, it is not in compliance with the requirements of section 33-b of the industrial disputes act, 1947. in my opinion, both these contentions are well-founded.orderm.m. ismail, j.1. this writ petition lies within a very narrow compass. industrial dispute no. 101 of 1971 was pending on the file of the labour court, coimbatore, to which the petitioner as well as the second respondent were parties. the government in g.o.r. no. 71, labour, dated 11 th january, 1972, published in the tamil nadu government gazette dated 23rd february, 1972 passed the following order:whereas there has been a representation from the textile employees' association, coimbatore, for transfer of industrial dispute no. 101 of 1971 on the file of the labour court, coimbatore, to another labour court or tribunal.and whereas, in the opinion of the governor of tamil nadu it is necessary to transfer the said proceeding on the file of the said court to another labour court.now,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.M. Ismail, J.

1. This writ petition lies within a very narrow compass. Industrial Dispute No. 101 of 1971 was pending on the file of the Labour Court, Coimbatore, to which the petitioner as well as the second respondent were parties. The Government in G.O.R. No. 71, Labour, dated 11 th January, 1972, published in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette dated 23rd February, 1972 passed the following Order:

Whereas there has been a representation from the Textile Employees' Association, Coimbatore, for transfer of Industrial Dispute No. 101 of 1971 on the file of the Labour Court, Coimbatore, to another Labour Court or Tribunal.

And whereas, in the opinion of the Governor of Tamil Nadu it is necessary to transfer the said proceeding on the file of the said Court to another Labour Court.

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-section (1) of Section 33-B of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (Central Act XIV of 1947), the Governor of Tamil Nadu hereby withdraws the Industrial Dispute No. 101 of 1971 on the file of the Labour Court, Coimbatore and transfers the same to the Additional Labour Court, Madras, for disposal of the said proceeding.

It is the validity of this order that is challenged before me in this writ petition praying for the issue of a writ of certiorari

2. Mr. O. V. Baluswami, the learned Counsel for the petitioner, put forward two contentions in support of this writ petition. One is that the impugned order' of the Government has been passed at the-instance and on the application of the second respondent herein without notice to the petitioner, and, therefore, that order is in violation of the principles of natural justice. The second contention is that the order must give reasons relevant for the transfer directed by it, and in this case the impugned order does not record any reasons, and, therefore, it is not in compliance with the requirements of Section 33-B of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. In my opinion, both these contentions are well-founded.

3. As far as the first contention is concerned, once an industrial dispute is validly pending on the file of a Court or Tribunal, it can be transferred by the Government in exercise of its powers under Section 33-B of the Act only on hearing both the parties to the dispute. Simply because one of the parties to the dispute moves the Government for such a transfer, the Government cannot exercise such a power without giving an opportunity to the other party to the dispute to have his say on the application for transfer made by the first party. It may be that the reasons adduced by the party who moved for transfer may not be valid or relevant or may not even be true at all. Whether such reasons in fact exist and whether those reasons have any relevancy for a transfer can be tested only if the other party had notice of the same. Therefore from the very nature of the case, an order for transfer can be made by the Government of the case, at the instance of one of the parties to the dispute only after giving an opportunity to the other party to state its case with reference to the application for transfer. Admittedly, in this case the Government have passed the impugned order without notice to the petitioner herein, and, therefore, the impugned order of the Government cannot be sustained.

4. As far as the second contention is concerned, the Supreme Court in its judgment in Associated Electrical Industries (India) Private Limited, Calcutta v. Its Workmen : (1961)IILLJ122SC , has pointed out that though the appropriate Government is competent to transfer proceedings pending before a tribunal to another tribunal, the power can be exercised only after complying with the requirements of Section 33-B, and one of the requirement; of the said section is that before making the order, reasons for the same must be recorded, and the said requirements must be complied with, both in substance and in letter. The Supreme Court has further pointed out that mere stating that the withdrawal of the case is expedient is not give reasons as required by the section, and such an order, therefore, cannot be held to be justified under Section 33-B. I have already extracted the impugned order in full. That order does not give any reason at all for transferring the industrial dispute from the file of the Labour Court, Coimbatore, to the file of the Additional Labour Court, Madras. In the first preamble portion, it is stated that a representation from the Textile Employees' Association, Coimbatore, has been received for such a transfer. In the second preamble portion, it is stated that in the opinion of the Governor of Tamil Nadu, it is necessary to transfer the said proceeding. Nowhere it is stated what were the reasons on the basis of which the Textile Employees' Association, Coimbatore, applied for transfer and what were the reasons that influenced the Government for ordering the transfer. The mere mechanical reproduction of a statement ' in the opinion of the Governor of Tamil Nadu it is necessary to transfer the said proceeding ' is, in the language of the Supreme Court, no reason. Consequently, on both these grounds, the impugned order cannot be sustained.

5. The learned Counsel for the second respondent sought to contend that the impugned order being in the nature of an administrative order, a writ of certiorari will not lie. However, the learned Counsel did not persist with this argument as soon as he realised that the Additional Labour Court has been impleaded as the third respondent in these proceedings and this Court has power to issue an appropriate writ notwithstanding the fact that the petitioner prayed for the issue of a writ of certiorari. When all the parties are before the Court and once I have come to the conclusion that the impugned order of the Government cannot stand, a writ of prohibition can be issued restraining the third respondent from dealing with the industrial dispute which has been transferred to its file. I may also point out that the learned Counsel for the second respondent stated that if the industrial dispute is to be decided by the Labour Court, Coimbatore, itself, the second respondent has no objection. Having regard to all these features, I allow the writ petition and quash the impugned order of the Government. Normally speaking once this Court quashes the order on the two grounds referred to above, it would be open to the Government to dispose of the matter afresh in accordance with law as laid down by this Court. Since the second respondent now does not want a transfer at all, the result of allowing the writ petition will be that the Industrial dispute pending on the file of the Labour Court, Coimbatore, prior to the order of transfer will continue to be pending on the file of that Labour Court, and will be disposed of by that Labour Court. There will be no order as to costs.


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