Skip to content


Bells Asbestos and Engineering (India) Pvt. Limited (Now Renamed Bestobell (India) Pvt. Limited) Vs. A. Heartgrove and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1976)ILLJ534Cal
AppellantBells Asbestos and Engineering (India) Pvt. Limited (Now Renamed Bestobell (India) Pvt. Limited)
RespondentA. Heartgrove and ors.
Cases ReferredDhenkanal v. The Presiding Officer
Excerpt:
- .....the order dated the 22nd july, 1971. by the impugned order the workman concerned was given time to file written statement in an application under section 33(2)(b) of the industrial disputes act, 1947. it appears that there was some proceedings against the workman and a domestic enquiry was held. the workman concerned was dismissed and as an industrial dispute was pending permission of the tribunal was sought by making the application under section 33(2)(b) of the industrial disputes act. from the facts stated in the order of the tribunal it appears that the workman appeared on the 28th of december, 1970 and prayed for time to file the written-statement. time was granted to him till the 16th of january, 1971. the workman, however, did not appear on the 16th of january, 1971. to give him.....
Judgment:

Sabyasachi Mukherji, J.

1. The petitioner-company in this application under Article 226 of the Constitution challenges the order dated the 22nd July, 1971. By the impugned order the workman concerned was given time to file written statement in an application under Section 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. It appears that there was some proceedings against the workman and a domestic enquiry was held. The workman concerned was dismissed and as an industrial dispute was pending permission of the Tribunal was sought by making the application under Section 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act. From the facts stated in the order of the Tribunal it appears that the workman appeared on the 28th of December, 1970 and prayed for time to file the written-statement. Time was granted to him till the 16th of January, 1971. The workman, however, did not appear on the 16th of January, 1971. To give him opportunity to file written-statement time was again extended to the 3rd of February, 1971, The workman again prayed for time on the said date and he was granted time till the 19th of February, 1971 for filing written-statement. The workmen did not appear on the 19th of February, 1971 and did not file the written-statement. Accordingly, the case were fixed for ex parte hearing, on the 4th of March, 1971. The workman did not appear on the 4th of March, 1971 and the case was taken up for hearing. The company had examined one witness to prove some documents. Immediately thereafter, the workman appeared through his advocate and filed a petition praying for an opportunity to file written-statement. The company objected to this. The learned advocate for the workman submitted before the tribunal that the workman could not take steps earlier to the written-settlement as he could not contact his lawyer due to financial difficulties. It was also submitted by the learned advocate for the workman that the workman was suffering from illness. In those circumstances, the Tribunal was of the view that the workman should be given an opportunity to file the written-statement. The Tribunal, however, ordered that the workman should pay costs to the company as the company had to incur certain expenses. The Tribunal, therefore, permitted the workman to file the written-statement on payment of Rs. 16 as costs to the company. Being aggrieved by the said order the petitioner-company has moved this application under Article 226 of the Constitution. The company contends that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction or power to pass the impugned order. In support of this contention reliance was placed on the decision of this Court in the case of Gungaram Tea Company Ltd. v. Second Labour Court and Anr. 1967-II L.L.J. 325. There B.C. Mitra, J., held that the Tribunal was a statutory authority. It had, there-lore, no inherent power to direct a matter to be heard afresh after in the order-sheet it was recorded that evidence was closed. In that case it was clear that the Tribunal gave sufficient opportunity to both the respondent-workman as also the union to appear before it and present their case with regard to the application under Section 33(2)(b) of the Act. That opportunity was not availed of and there was no reason, according to the Court, why the Tribunal which was a statutory body should be allowed to hear the matter afresh when the statute by which it was created did not expressly or by implication confer any power upon it. it appears in that case that on the 23rd of April, 1965 the Tribunal recorded an order that the evidence was closed and directed the matter to be put up on the 3rd of May, 1965 for orders. In the instant case though there is an averment in the petition that there was some endorsement in the order-sheet of the Tribunal that evidence in the case was closed from the facts stated by the Tribunal it does not appear that any formal order had been passed that evidence was closed and to put up the matter for orders as were the facts of the case of Gungaram Tea Company Ltd. (supra), mentioned hereinbefore. It appears from the order of the Tribunal that one witness had been examined. There is nothing on record to show that there was any order closing the petitioner's case as such formally recorded in the minutes of the Tribunal. In whose circumstances I am of opinion that the facts of the instant case are different from the facts before B.C. Mitra, J. The ratio of the aforesaid decision is, therefore, not applicable. I am of the opinion that the Tribunal had the power to pass the impugned order if it thought fit in the interest of justice. It is true that there is no express power giving the Tribunal jurisdiction to do so. But it is well-known rule of statutory construction that a Tribunal or a body should be considered to be endowed with such ancillary and necessary powers as are necessary to discharge its functions effectively for the purpose of doing justice between the parties. In a case of this nature I am inclined to think that the Tribunal or the body should be considered as endowed with such incidental or ancillary powers unless there is any indication in the statute that the body or the Tribunal has no such power. do not rind any such statutory indication. On the other hand, there are indication that the Tribunal is endowed with such ancillary and incidental powers. Reference may be made to Section 11(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act and also the rules framed under the West Bengal Industrial Dispute Rules, Though it may be mentioned that the provisions of the said section or the rules so far as framed do not really touch the present case as such. This is an Act to provide machinery and method for settlement of industrial disputes. Its provisions, express or implied, must be construed in that light. The provisions of the Act should be construed if the provisions reasonably and pragmatically viewed can lead to such construction, as helps industrial hormony by settling industrial disputes. Judging from that point of view I have no doubt that the Tribunal had jurisdiction to pass the impugned order. Reliance may also be placed on the observations of the Division Bench of Orissa High Court in the case of the Management of the Dhenkanal Municipality, Dhenkanal v. The Presiding Officer, Industrial Tribunal, Orissa, Bhubaneswar and Ors. 1974-I L.L.J. 44. In the aforesaid view of the matter I am unable to accept the position that the Tribunal acted in excess of jurisdiction. In the premises, this application must fail and it is accordingly dismissed. The Rule nisi is discharged. Interim order, if any, is vacated.

2. There will be no order as to costs.


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