Skip to content


Lily Biscuit Company (Private), Ltd. Vs. Board of Revenue and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1966)ILLJ644Cal
AppellantLily Biscuit Company (Private), Ltd.
RespondentBoard of Revenue and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....were urged before me. until amendment of section 330 by the amending act 36 of 1964, there was no period prescribed even for the making of an application under section 33c by the workmen. under the amended section a period of limitation has been prescribed only for the making of an application under section 33c by the workmen. there has been no period of limitation prescribed for the recovery of money due by certificate proceedings. if any period of limitation is to be imported, which is, however, not necessary, then the only period of limitation which may be thought of is the period within which a government may recover arrear of land revenue, that is to say, within sixty years. the period within which the requisition for certificate was made was less than the period. in the view.....
Judgment:

B.N. Banerjee, J.

1. Under an award made by an industrial tribunal, as ultimately affirmed by the Appellate Tribunal, certain workmen of the petitioner-company became entitled to certain monetary reliefs. To cut the narrative short, on 30 October 1959, the State Government took steps, under Section 33C of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, for recovery of money due to the workmen and issued certificate to the Collector asking for recovery of the money, under Public Demands Recovery Act in the same manner as if the money due was arrear of land revenue. In the certificate the name of the certificate-holder was written as the State of West Bengal and a sum of Rs. 17,444 was shown as the amount of the demand payable by the certificate-debtor. The petitioner-company objected to the certificate on various grounds, with which I am not concerned in this rule. The certificate officer rejected the objection by his order dated 17 February 1961. The petitioner filed an appeal against the order of the certificate officer and won in the appeal, it being held that the demand was barred by limitation. Against the appellate order the respondent State Government moved under Section 53 of the Public Demands Recovery Act, and had the appellate order set aside. The petitioner moved against that order before the Board of Revenue but failed to get any relief.

2. In these circumstances, the petitioner moved this Court, under Article 226 of the Constitution, praying for a writ of certiorari for the quashing of the order and obtained this rule.

3. Sri Jyotish Chandra Pal, learned advocate for the petitioner, argued two points in support of this rule. He contended, in the first place, that the demand was barred by limitation. He further contended that the name of the certificate-holder was wrongly described in the certificate, because the State of West Bengal was not the certificate-holder of the money due to the workmen. I propose to take up for consideration the two points argued by Sri Pal in the order they were made.

4. Section 33C(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act, as it stood at the material time, is set out below:

Where any money is due to a workman from an employer under a settlement or an award or under the provisions of Chap. V-A, 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, and if the appropriate Government is satisfied that any money is so due, it shall issue a certificate for that amount to the Collector who shall proceed to recover the same in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.

Within the four corners of the section there is no period of limitation prescribed either for the making of the application by the workmen or for the issue of the certificate. Sri Pal contended that the remedy under Section 33C was an alternative remedy which may be resorted to by the workmen without prejudice to any other mode of recovery of money due under the award. This, according to Sri Pal, indicated that the period of limitation for recovery of the money could not be longer than the period for recovery of such money under the other procedure prescribed by law, namely, by suit. He contended that if the claim of the workmen be treated as a claim for money only or for wages due under an award, the period of limitation would not be more than three years in either event. Since the award was made on 30 January 1954, published on 24 February 1954 and affirmed in appeal on 31 August 1955 and since the requisition for certificate was made on 30 October 1959, long after three years, the claim ought to be treated as barred by limitation. I am unable to uphold this contention. The Industrial Disputes Act is a special Act Which makes special provision for recovery of money due to workmen. Consideration of the law of limitation should not be imported to the Industrial Disputes Act, where there is none in the statute, on grounds such as were urged before me. Until amendment of Section 330 by the amending Act 36 of 1964, there was no period prescribed even for the making of an application under Section 33C by the workmen. Under the amended section a period of limitation has been prescribed only for the making of an application under Section 33C by the workmen. There has been no period of limitation prescribed for the recovery of money due by certificate proceedings. If any period of limitation is to be imported, which is, however, not necessary, then the only period of limitation which may be thought of is the period within which a Government may recover arrear of land revenue, that is to say, within sixty years. The period within which the requisition for certificate was made was less than the period. In the view taken, I find that the certificate was not barred by limitation.

5. Turning now to the other point argued by Sri Pal, I find that the argument has two infirmities. Section 330 authorizes the appropriate Government to issue a certificate for the recovery of the money due to the workmen. Thus the statute sets up the appropriate Government notionally as the certificate-holder, for the purposes of recovery, although the money is really due to the workmen. I, therefore, find that the certificate was not bad, because the State of West Bengal was described as the certificate-holder. Even if that be so, which of course I do not hold, this defect stands cured by the Bengal Public Demands Recovery (Validation of Certificates and Notices) Act, 1961. It is, however, not necessary for me to go so far as that for reasons already stated.

6. In the view I take, I find no substance in this rule. The rule is discharged with costs, hearing fee being assessed at three gold mohurs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //