Decided on May 12,1953



- (1.) This is an application under Art. 236 of the Constitution of India for issuing to the Industrial Tribunal, Madras, a 'writ of certiorari' calling for the records in I. A. No. 32 of 1953 and for quashing the same.
(2.) The Madras Electric Tramways (1904) Ltd., hereinafter called the "Company" was. constituted to serve the City of Madras with a tramway system. By an indenture dated 13-10-1924 and two subsequent supplemental deeds dated 26th March 1923 and 6th July 1950 respectively, all the properties and assets immoveable and moveable and the undertaking of the company were mortgaged and charged to the Beaver Trust Ltd., being the trustees for the debenture holders of the Company to secure the repayment of all principal moneys and interest due on debentures. The said tramway undertaking was notified by the Government as a public utility service. By G. O. No. 5555 dated 30th December 1952 the following disputes between the company and its workmen were referred to the industrial Tribunal, Madras: 1. the fixation of the age of retirement and the quantum of gratuity payable to the persons retired from service; 2. fixation of the quantum of bonus for 1949, 1950 and 1951. 3. justification of the discharge of two workers and the relief they are entitled thereto and 4. the validity of the promotion of some conductors to the post of Inspectors. At the time of the reference, the petitioners, P. G. Brookes was the Managing Director of the company. In that capacity he took part in the proceedings before the tribunal. On 30th March 1953 i.e., 3 months after the reference and during the pendency of the proceedings before the arbitrator, he tendered his resignation of his office as Managing Director of the company from 1st April 1953. His resignation was accepted by the Board of Directors of the company on 9th April 1953. The trustees in pursuance of the powers conferred on them by the aforesaid indenture deed and the supplemental deeds appointed him as a receiver of the properties of the company from 1st April 1953. On 17th April 1953, the second respondent, The Madras Electric Tramways Employee's Union by its Secretary, filed an application, being I. A. No. 32 of 1953 before the first respondent to implead the receiver as a party respondent to the adjudication proceedings. In the petition filed for impleading the receiver, it was stated that the receiver had stepped in and taken possession of the whole of the company's assets including land, buildings, stores, tram cars, cash etc., that some of the issues pending before the tribunal involved financial commitments and that therefore the receiver who had taken over the assets of the company should be rendered liable under the award that might be passed in the case. The receiver filed a counter affidavit denying that he was neither a necessary nor a proper party to the proceedings and staling that the tribunal had no power or jurisdiction to add him as a party to the adjudication. The tribunal negatived his contentions and made him a party to the proceedings in the dispute before it. The tribunal gave the following two reasons for impleading him as a party: (1) the question whether by reason of the receiver's appointment the rights obtained by the workers under the award would be defeated, and if so, how far, had to be determined and it could only be done fully and effectively in the presence of the receiver, and (2) if the receiver is not on record the workers would not be able to enforce the award against him without further proceedings. It expressed the view that Section 18(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act gave it power to make him a party to the proceedings.
(3.) The aforesaid petition was filed to quash the said order.;

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