MCLEOD AND CO Vs. SUNIL KUMAR ROY CHOWDHURY
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
MCLEOD AND CO
SUNIL KUMAR ROY CHOWDHURY
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(1.) IN the year 1953, when certain industrial disputes were pending between the petitioner company and its workmen, before the First Industrial Tribunal, the petitioner company applied, under sec. 33 (1) of the Industrial Disputes Act, for permission to retrench 66 employees of clerical and subordinate grades of its office, on the ground that they had become surplus to the requirements of the petitioner company. At the hearing of the application for permission, the petitioner modified its prayer and wanted to retrench only 46 of the employees. The Tribunal permitted the petitioner to do so. Respondent No. 2, workman of the petitioner company, represented by the Mcleod's Indian Employees Association (hereinafter called the Union), appealed to the Labour Appellate Tribunal against the order and the Appellate Tribunal remanded the matter to the Industrial Tribunal only in respect of 30 members of the clerical staff, in respect of whom the petitioner had obtained permission to retrench, with the direction that the principle of 'last come, first to go' should be observed in disposing of the matter. It is not necessary for me to refer to the proceedings before the Tribunal after the remand, in this Rule excepting that while the disputes as to the retrenchment became limited to only 16 workmen there was a settlement between the petitioner company and the Union, whereby it was agreed that the petitioner company would not press for retrenchment of 7 of them, provide for temporary work in respect of 3 after retrenchment and the remaining 6, including respondent No. 1, would be retrenched but provided with employment as and when vacancies occur.
(2.) OVER the settlement there was difference between the respondent No. 1 and the Union and ultimately, on January 28, 1954, the respondent No. 1 wrote to the Secretary of the Union of the following letter:
"understanding that you are going to make a compromise with Mcleod and Co. Ltd. , regarding my case against my intention and interest, I hereby withdraw my authorisation given by me to you to conduct the case and also say that any compromise against my will and interest made by you will be void. "
(3.) HE also filed a petition before the Tribunal, on January 29, 1954, stating that he did not want to be represented by the Union and praying that he be permitted to represent his own case himself. Nevertheless, a joint petition of compromise was filed before the Tribunal, on January 30, 1954, signed on behalf of the Union by its General Secretary and the compromise was recorded, ignoring altogether the dissent of the respondent No. 1. The material portion of the order, dated January 30, 1954, passed by the Tribunal, is set out below:-
"on a perusal of the terms of the compromise petition in Appendix A, it appears that they are reasonable and should be accepted. I, therefore, accept the compromise petition in Appendix A, and allow the application under sec. 33 in accordance with the terms thereof, the compromise petition in Appendix A shall form a part of this order. The employees who will be retrenched shall be paid compensation in accordance with the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1953. ";
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