T. Ramaprasada Rao, J.
1. The only question stated by Mr. Narayanaswami, learned Counsel for the appellant in this writ appeal is whether the Writ Court functioning under Article 226 of the Constitution of India can usurp the jurisdiction said to be solely vested in the Industrial Tribunal, particularly in the matter of finding whether a demand had been made by the workers as against the management which is admittedly the foundation for a reference under Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act. The Tribunal was of the view that the participation of the management and the workers in the proceedings before the Conciliation Officer in respect of a dispute which had arisen in the premises of the industrial establishment was by itself an indicia of the knowledge of the existence of the dispute. It observed that, even assuming that a regular demand had not been made and notice of it served on the management, it was only an irregularity and that the management should be deemed to have been put on notice regarding the dispute when it participated in the conciliation proceedings. As according to the learned Counsel for the appellant, this observation runs contra to the established principles, the appellant prayed for the issuance of a writ of certiorari to quash the said order of the Tribunal, which thought that it had jurisdiction to enter on the reference and adjudicate upon the industrial dispute referred to it under Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, in the above circumstances. Mohan, J., dealt with this question and be positively expressed that it was not correct on the part of the Tribunal to state that the mere participation of the management in conciliation proceedings would be sufficient indicia of knowledge of the existence of the industrial dispute. But, apparently in the interests of justice and to avoid protraction of the adjudication of the dispute, he went Into the question whether there was on record any material (sic) infer that the management did have notice of the existence of such dispute. He considered Exhibit W-17, which he has extracted in his order, and came to the conclusion that the demand under Exhibit W-17 had been served on the management. Factually therefore the finding is that the management had knowledge of the industrial dispute before it participated in the conciliation proceedings and subsequent thereto. The learned Judge therefore dismissed the writ petition and would not countenance the preliminary objection raised by the management that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction to adjudicate the alleged industrial dispute. As against this order the present writ appeal has been filed.
2. Mr. Narayanaswami, learned Counsel for the appellant, repeats the same preliminary objection and contends that the manner in which the writ petition has been disposed of indicates that the writ Court has usurped the jurisdictior of the Industrial Tribunal and that, when there is no exact finding by the Tribunal to the effect that there was such a service of notice of demand by the workmen, the reference by the Government under Section 10 of the Act was incompetent.
3. We are unable to share the view that the writ Court, exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, is completely bereft of authority to enquire and find out the realities in a particular case. It may be that in the course of such enquiry some factual investigation may be called for. In our view, however, there is no total ban or bar on the Court to undertake such an investigation in the interests of justice. A fortiori it may be necessary to do so in a case where it is reasonably felt that the adjudication of the dispute between the workmen and the management would unnecessarily be protracted and the length of delay, which is avoidable, could be sliced to a great extent, if a prima facie enquiry into the merits and facts is under taken, even while exercising the visitorial jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. It is apparently with this object in view that Mohan, J., went into the question and found on merits that Exhibit W-17 gave an indication that the management was put on notice of the claim of the workmen that they were victimised. It was in this perspective t at the learned Judge came to the conclusion that the demand, Exhibit W-17 was served on, the management. Strong reliance is, however, placed upon some discrepancies in the oral evidence let in as to the manner of service of Exhibit W-17. It is not form, but the substance, that should prevail in such matters. In any event, the factual finding of the Writ Court is that there was such a service of notice of demand on the management, and there being no other error which has to be scrutinized again by the appellate Court we are unable to disagree with Mohan, J., or to admit this writ appeal.
4. In these circumstances this Writ Appeal is dismissed.