Decided on July 30,1954



Chagla, C.J. - (1.)A very important question as to the proper construction to be placed upon Section 43(2), Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, arises on this petition, and the few facts which are necessary for the decision of that question may be stated.
(2.)The petitioner is the employee of opponent No. 3, which is a weaving factory, and in June 1952 opponent No. 3 gave notice of a change under Section 42(1). Pursuant to that notice, conciliation proceedings were started and the Conciliator reported the failure of conciliation proceedings on 4-12-1952. An application was made by the petitioner and others to Government for a reference under Section 73 and the Government declined to make the reference. A notice of change was then given by the petitioner and others on 2-9-1953, under Section 42(2). On 29-91953, the petitioner sent a statement of the case as required by the Act to the Conciliator and on 2-10-1953, the Conciliator replied that he could not proceed with the conciliation as the notice was not in the prescribed form. Thereupon the petitioner sent a second notice of change on 2-11-1953. This notice was addressed to the manager of the employer's factory and at the foot of the notice it was stated that a copy had been sent to the Chief Conciliator, Bombay, the Conciliator, industrial Relations Act, Ahmedabad, the Government Labour Officer, Earoda, the Registrar, Industrial Relations Act, Bombay, and the Textile Labour Union, Bombay, and it was further stated "Submitted to the Secretary, Textile Union, Cambay", which is opponent No. 4 and which is the Representative Union of the petitioner and other employees recognised under the Act with a request to forward the above notice to the manager of opponent No. 3 at Cambay, under Section 42(2), Industrial Relations Act, "without any delay on his account". On 16-11-1953, the petitioner submitted a report with regard to the notice of change. On 23-2-1954, the Conciliator informed the petitioner that he refused to initiate the conciliation proceedings. Thereupon the petitioner filed this petition claiming two reliefs: (1) a mandamus against the Conciliator to initiate the conciliation, proceedings, and (2) a mandamus against the State of Bombay for a reference under Section 73 of the Act.
(3.)The Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, has often come up for consideration before this Court, and before we turn to consider the various provisions it is necessary to state that the under-lying principle of the Act is collective bargaining. The conception upon which this law is based is that redress of grievances should not be individual, but should be collective. Recognition is given to the fact that in most industries labour is organised, and if labour is organised through its own union, then that union acts and appears for labour in its representative capacity. Now, if one were to look at the different sections which fall for consideration, bearing in mind this basic principle, it is easier to come to a conclusion on the question raised in this petition.

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