Decided on November 26,1973



- (1.) THE employer in an industrial dispute referred to by the State of Orissa for adjudication of the Industrial Tribunal of Orissa has come before us challenging the finding of the Tribunal on a preliminary question of maintainability of the reference. Two references were made under Section 12 (5) read with Clause (d) of Sub-section (1) of Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) of the following disputes: (1) Whether the workmen of Gammon (India) Ltd. , Mundali, District Cuttack, engaged in construction of Mundali Weir are entitled to profit sharing bonus for the years beginning from 1960 to 1964? It so, what should be the quantum of the profit sharing bonus for each year ? (2) Whether the strike resorted to by the workers of Gammon (India) Ltd. , Mundali, District Cuttack from 5-3-1965 is legal and justified and whether they are entitled to full wages for the periods ? These two questions were separately referred to by two independent orders- the first order being dated 17-3-65 (annexure-4/a and the second one dated 24-3-65 (annexure-4 ). On the basis of these two references Industrial Dispute Cases Nos. 6 and 9 of 1965 were registered. The parties to the dispute have been indicated in the orders of reference as the Management of Gammon (India) Ltd. on one side and its workmen represented through the Naraj Dam Mazdoor Association on the other. Before the Tribunal the maintainability of the references was disputed mainly on the ground that the Naraj Dam Mazdoor Association which was a registered trade union at the time the orders of references were passed had ceased to be registered trade union on 22-2-66. The Tribunal refused to go into the question of maintainability preliminarily and when this Court was approached in O. J. C. No. 72 of 1971 a direction was given to decide the maintainability question first. Accordingly the Tribunal by its order dated 11-8-73 determined the point and decided against the management. The present writ application is directed against the said order of the Industrial Tribunal and we are asked to quash the order as being contrary to law.
(2.) IT is contended by the petitioner that the trade union was registered on 2-3-65 and ceased to be a registered trade union with effect from 22-2-66. At the time the references were made, the workers were represented by the said trade union. After the said trade union had ceased to be a registered one and, therefore, no more a body corporate, the references have to be suitably amended by the referring authority; otherwise they are not maintainable. Mr. Mohanty for the petitioner contends that while the Tribunal had posed the question properly in paragraph 5 of its order, it lost sight of that point which really arose for determination, examined a very different question and ultimately decided against the petitioner.
(3.) THE real question in dispute is as to whether there has been any alteration of the parties to the dispute. Annexures 4 and 4/a which are the orders of reference make it sumptuously clear that the second party to the disputes were the workmen of M/s. Gammon (India) Ltd. , It is not disputed that there has been no change in regard to the workmen. The representing agency has undergone a change in its legal status, it being at one point of time a registered union has ceased to be so during the pendency of the references.;

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