Decided on August 26,1970

P N S Mani Appellant
S Govindan Respondents


- (1.) The short question which arises for determination In this revision Is as to whether proceedings before the Labour Court are proceedings in a court so as to attract Section 195(1)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code. The question arises this way. The Petitioner herein was employed under the Respondent as a sales-representative, for selling certain publications. Some disputes arose between them as regards the payment of commission and other amounts. Petitioner initiated proceedings in the Labour Court, Madras, in respect of those amounts Later he filed a complaint in the court of the VIIth Presidency Magistrate, Madras, against the Respondent, for an offence under Section 193 of the Indian Penal Code, stating that the earlier fabricated false evidence and made use of the same in the aforesaid proceedings. The respondent raised a preliminary objection to the effect, that the complaint was set sustainable, since it was hit by Section 195(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Petitioner contended that the Labour Court is not a court and that at such there was no bar for his setting the law in motion. The learned Magistrate discharged the accused holding that the complaint is not maintainable, since it was hit by Section 195(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code. The correctness of this order is now canvassed on this revision. Section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure runs thus: No court shall take cognisance of any offence punishable under any of the following Sections of the Indian Penal Code, namely, Sections. 193, 194, 195, 196, 199, 200, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211 and 228 when such offence is alleged to have been committed in, or in relation to, any proceeding in any court, except on the complaint in writing of such court or of some ether court to which such court is subordinate. Sub-section (2) reads that the term "court" in Clause (b) and (c) of sab-Section (1) includes a Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court, but does not include a Registrar or Sub-Registrar, under the Indian Registration Act, 1877 III of 1877), Section 193 of the Indian Penal Code relates to cases where one intentionally gives false evidence in any stage of a judicial proceeding. Clause (3) of Section 11 of the Industrial Disputes Act, states that every Board, Court, Labour Court, Tribunal and National Tribunal shall have the game rowers as are vested In a civil court wider the Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908, when trying a salt in respect of the following matters, namely, (a) enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath; (b) compelling the production of documents and material objects (c) issuing commission for the examination of witnesses ; (d) in respect of such other matters as may be prescribed and every Inquiry or investigation by a Board, Court, Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Section 93 and 218 of the Indian Penal Code.
(2.) The awards passed by Industrial Tribunals or the Labour Courts are not judgments Under Section 17-A of the Act, if the Government feels that it is inexpedient on public grounds affecting national economy or social justice to give effect to the whole or any part of the award, the Government may by notification la the Official Gezette, declare that the award shall not become enforceable an the expiry of the said period of thirty days. Government may also make an order rejecting or modifying an award. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court In Brajnandan Sinha v. Jyoti Narain, 1956 AIR(SC) 66at page 70, have said as follows: The pronouncement of a definitive judgment is thus considered the essential 'sine qua non' of a court and unless and until a binding and authoritative judgment can be pronounced by a person or body of persons it cannot be predicated that he or they constitute a court... It Is clear therefore that in order to constitute a Court in the strict sense of the term, an essential condition is that the court should have apart from having some of the trappings of a judicial tribunal, power to give a decision or a definitive judgment which has finality and authoritativeness which are the essential tests of a judicial pronouncement. The awards passed by Labour Courts or Industrial Tribunal are not definitive judgments with finality and authoritativeness. In Ramrao and Anr. v. Narayan and another., 1969 AIR(SC) 724it was held that a mere duty to act judicially either expressly imposed or arising by necessary implication of the nature of the duties required to be performed, does not of itself make a tribunal judicial or quasi-judicial a 'court' within the meaning of Section 195 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The Supreme Court has also observed in the decision reported in Town Municipal Council Athani v. Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Hubli, 1969 AIR(SC) 1335, that an Industrial Tribunal or a Labour Court dealing with applications or references under the Act are not courts and they are in no way governed either by the Code of Civil Procedure or the Criminal Procedure Code.
(3.) Thus, Labour Courts are not courts for purposes of Section 195(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code, and as such no complaint by that court is necessary In this case. The order passed by the learned Magistrate is set aside and the case C.C. No. 32732 of 1969 shall be disposed of in accordance with law by a Magistrate other than the 'Magistrate who has dealt with it. The Criminal Revision is allowed.;

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