Decided on April 24,2007

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


HIMA KOHLI, J. - (1.) By way of the present petition, the petitioner workman prays inter alia for a writ of certiorari for quashing the order of Union of India, respondent no.1. herein, dated 4th January, 2005 declining to make a reference of the industrial dispute and seeks directions to the respondent No.1 to make a reference under Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"), of the dispute espoused on behalf of the petitioner workman.
(2.) Before proceeding further, it would be appropriate to briefly narrate the facts of the present case. The father of the petitioner workman was employed in the Post and Telecommunication Department, respondent No.2 herein, as a Record-Keeper, Audit Department, with effect from 20th June, 1996. On 9th August, 2000, the father of the petitioner workman died, leaving behind the mother of the petitioner and four children including the petitioner. On 7th December, 2000, the mother of the petitioner workman made an application to the respondent No.2 for grant of compassionate appointment to the petitioner workman. The said request, however, was rejected by the respondent no. 2 vide its letter dated 28th November, 2000 on the ground that there was no vacancy in the quota of posts reserved for "Compassionate Appointment". On the respondent No.2"s failure to reconsider its decision, the petitioner workman served a demand notice dated 23rd January, 2002 on the respondent No.2, his cause having been espoused by the Delhi Labour Union. On no action being taken by the respondent no.2. pursuant to the service of demand notice, the Delhi Labour Union raised an industrial dispute by preferring a statement of claim before the Assistant Labour Commissioner. As against this, the respondent No.2 filed a written statement stating therein that 5% quota for compassionate appointment was already full and that while the respondent had sympathy for the petitioner workman, it was bound to abide by the rules of the Government of India issued in this regard. Rejoinder was filed by the petitioner workman and on 9th August, 2004 a Failure of Conciliation Report was filed by the Assistant Labour Commissioner with the respondent No.1 in which it was stated that the conciliation had failed on account of "diverse views" of the parties. The respondent No.1, however, vide the impugned order, declined to make a reference on the ground that the dispute was not considered fit for adjudication for the following reasons: "It is reported that the claim of Sh. Ganesh for appointment on compassionate ground was considered by the management. The management could not grant any relief in the light of the Government rules."
(3.) In the course of arguments, learned counsel for the petitioner workman submitted that the respondent No.1, while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 10 (1) of the Act, had no power to go into the merits of the matter as the same is beyond the scope and powers available with an Appropriate Government under Section 10. It was further submitted that the respondent No.1, was not justified in declining to refer the matter for adjudication as the same would amount to final adjudication of the dispute in total disregard of the procedure prescribed under the Act and the settled principles of law. In support of his contentions, learned counsel for the petitioner workman, placed reliance on the following judgments: (i) Telco Convoy Drivers Mazdoor Sangh Versus State of Bihar, (1989)3SCC 271 (ii) Sh. Subhash Chand Versus Government of NCT and Another, 2005(3)AD 206 (iii)G.M. Haryana Roadways Versus Pawan Kumar (2005) 12 SCC 459 (iv)Municipal Employees Union v. The Secretary (Labour) and Another 1999 LLR 1020;

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