UNION OF WORKMEN OF R.S.N. AND I.G.N. AND RLY. CO. LTD. Vs. THE RIVER STEAM NAVIGATION CO. LTD. AND ORS.
LAWS(GAU)-1951-1-4
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Decided on January 12,1951

Union Of Workmen Of R.S.N. And I.G.N. And Rly. Co. Ltd. Appellant
VERSUS
The River Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. And Ors. Respondents

JUDGEMENT

T.V. Thadani, J. - (1.) THESE are tow petns. by the same Union Galled the Union of the Workmen of the R.S.N. & I.G.N. & Rly. Co. Ltd. under Articles 226 & 227, Const. Ind. in which he has -prayed for writs of certiorari & prohibition in respect of an order passed by the Industrial Tribunal constituted in the person of Mr. I.P. Baruah.
(2.) IT appears that a dispute arose between the petnr. & reap. 1, the River Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. & Indian General Navigation & Rly. Co. Ltd., a dispute which was referred by the Govt. of Assam under Section 10, Industrial Disputes -Act, 1947, by notification in the Assam Gazette, being No. GIM. 36/47, dated 22 -2 -1949, to the Dist. J. Lower Assam Districts who had been previously constituted a tribunal under Section 7 of the Act. While the dispute so referred was -pending before the Dist. J.L.A. Districts, the Govt. of Assam on 5 -10 -49 appointed Anr. tribunal under Section 7(1), Industrial Disputes Act; in the person of Sri I.P. Baruah Resp. 2. On 2 -2 -50, the Govt. of Assam, Resp. 3, published a notification under No. GIM. 86/47 which reads as follows: Whereas the services of the Dist. & Ses, J. Lower Assam Districts, have ceased to be available for functioning as an Industrial Tribunal consequent to the -establishment of a separate whole -time Tribunal, now therefore, in exercise of the powers under Section 8(2) Industrial Disputes Act & in partial modification of this Department Notfn. No. GIM, 36/47, dated 22 -Sh 1949, the Government of Assam are pleased to appoint Sjt. I.P. Baruah, B.L. retired Addl. Dist. & Ses. J to constitute the Tribunal to adjudicate upon the dispute between the River Steam Navigation & India General Navigation & Railway Company Ltd. Gauhati, & their workmen in place of the Dist. & Sen. J. Lower Assam Districts. Sjt. I.P. Baruah heard the dispute in the absence of the petnr. who elected to remain absent, & in due course made an award, which was published in the Assam Gazette on 23 -5 -1950. The award was to be given effect to from 1 -8 -1950.
(3.) THE grounds stated in the two petns. are as follows: (1) For that the second reference of the dispute to Mr. I.P. Baruah is ultra vires of the powers of the Govt. of Assam & as such, Mr. I.P. Baruah had no jurisdiction to adjudicate & give award in the case. (2) For that the circumstances contemplated in Section 8(2), Industrial Disputes Act, never arose & the services of the existing Tribunal in seisin of the dispute did not cease to be available consequent on the appointment of Anr. whole time Tribunal under Section 7(1), Industrial Disputes Act. (3) For that the services of the Dist. T.L.A.D., never cased to be available & in fact, Mr. I. Rasul, the then Dist. & Ses, J., L.A.D is still working as such. He as the Tribunal, fixed the date for the peremptory hearing on 20 -2 -1950 &, kept a week exclusively for hearing this case. In a letter addressed by him to the Govt. of Assam, he expressed that he was available & willing to adjudicate the matter. With this determination, Mr. I, Rasul fixed the date on 20 -2 -1950 & Mr. I.P. Baruah also fixed the same date. It is, therefore, clear that Mr. I.P. Baruah could not have finished the case earlier then Mr. I. Rasul could. (4) For that the statement in the Gazette Notin. of 2 -2 -1950 that the services of Mr. Rasul ceased to be available, is misconceived & not borne out by facts. (5) For that Mr. I.P. Baruah has not the qualification to be appointed a member of a Tribunal under Section 7, Industrial Disputes Act. (6) For that Mr. I.P. Baruah is neither H.Ct. Judge nor a Dist. J. nor even he had been a H. Ct. Judge or a Dist. J. as such, he is not qualified to be appointed a Tribunal under Section 7(3)(a), Industrial Disputes Act. (7) For that he is also not qualified to be appointed a Tribunal under Section 7(3)(b), of the said Act as his age was many years more then sixty at the time of his appointment. (8) For that the appointment of Mr. I.P. Baruah was therefore, illegal & ultra vires of the powers of the Govt. of Assam; as such, Mr. I.P. Baruah, had no jurisdiction to adjudicate the case & the award he gave is, therefore, Inoperative & not binding on the parties. Sections 15 & 19 Industrial Disputes Act, therefore, cannot come into operation & the Govt. of Assam was wrong in ordering to give effect to the award from 1 -8 -1950. (9) For that the petnr. Union have the fundamental right to form an association & enjoy all the privileges & benefits of a, recognised Union. The Opposite Party 1 had all along refused to reply to any correspondence made by this Union to the Opposite Party 1 & had never responded to any demand made by the petnr. Union. It was one of the main issues of the dispute. The learned Tribunal held that neither in law nor in facts this Union was entitled to be recognised. That this has very heavily prejudiced the petnr. Union & its members by encroachment to their fundamental rights of association & the ancillary & analogous right & privileges. (10) For that in spite of the fact that the Industrial Tribunal in a dispute between the Opposite Party 1 & its workmen in Bengal gave the award that the Puja advance was bonus & directed the Opposite Party I to give a bonus equivalent to one month's basic salary to all workmen in all profit years, including the year 1948 & this award was given on 21 -4 -1949, Mr. I.P. Baruah, however, dismissed the claim of the bonus altogether to the great detriment of the interests of the petnr. Union to far so that while the workmen of the same Company in West Bengal will enjoy the Bonus, the workmen in Assam will have none. (11) For that the pay scale approved by Mr. I.P. Baruah falls far below the one that was approved by the Tribunal of the West Bengal; so also dearness, allowances thus again leading to the discriminate privilege enjoyed by workers in Assam & West Bengal. (12) For that on all other issues, Mr. I.P. Baruah has given award against the petnr. Union, while on the question of security of service, he refused to give any relief. (13) For that Mr. I.P. Baruah was very much prejudiced against the petnr. Union & unfortunately took it to be a personal attack when his jurisdiction was questioned & his order would disclose how much irritated he was when he declared that the appointment of the Dist. & See. J.L.A.D., was illegal &. Mr. I. Rasul had no jurisdiction. This prejudica in the mind of the Tribunal, Mr. I.P. Baruab, has led to a very one sided award to the great detriment of the interests of the petnr.;


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