PATHUMMA BEEVI P K Vs. CHIEF SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT OF KERALA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
PATHUMMA BEEVI (P.K.)
CHIEF SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT OF KERALA
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(1.) The plaintiffs are the appellants and the facts giving rise to the second appeal.are stated below. The plaintiffs and defendants 4 to 10 are the heirs of Kather Pillai who was carrying on a coir mats and matting business in the name and style of Ponnamveli Coir Works, Shertallai. After his death on 15 8 1955 the business was stopped in view of the disputes which arose among his heirs regarding the partition of his assets. The third defendant who is the Secretary of the Coir Labour Union, Shertallai Taluk Committee advanced certain claims on behalf of the workmen in the coir factory. This led to an industrial dispute between the workmen and the heirs of Kather Pillai. There was therefore a reference under S.10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to the Industrial Tribunal, Quilon and the dispute was registered as Industrial Dispute No. 1 of 1957 on its file. Ext. P1 is the award passed by the Tribunal on 25 7 1957. The third defendant obtained a certificate from the Government on the basis of Ext. P1 for the realisation of the amounts due to the workmen. In execution of the certificate the second defendant who is the Tahsildar of Shertalai has taken steps against the properties obtained by the plaintiffs from out of the assets of Kather Pillai under the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act. At the time of the reference and on the date of the passing of Ext. P1 according to the plaintiffs they were minors, they were not represented in the proceedings before the Tribunal by a guardian, they were shown as majors therein and therefore prayed for declaration that Ext. P1 is void against them and in execution of the same their properties could not be proceeded against.
(2.) Defendants 1 to 3 contest the suit. Issues 1 and 2 deal with the question of the maintainability of the suit and the jurisdiction of the court to try the suit. The courts below decided only these issues and did not enter any findings on the remaining issues.
(3.) The contention regarding the maintainability of the suit and the jurisdiction of the court to try the same is based on S.17(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 which runs thus:
"Subject to the provisions of S.17A the award published under sub-section (1) shall be final and shall not be called in question by any court in any manner whatsoever."
This provision was introduced by the Amendment Act 36 of 1956. According to the defendants S.17(2) operates as an absolute bar against the institution of any suit attacking the validity of an award passed under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.;
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