RAM LAL GURAMAL TEXTILE MILLS Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
RAM LAL GURAMAL TEXTILE MILLS
STATE OF PUNJAB
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(1.) THE Punjab Government has referred the following dispute between Ramlal Guramal Textile Mills, Amritsar, hereinafter called the management, and its workmen to the labour court under Section 10 (1) (c) of the Industrial Disputes Act: Whether the services of Sri Ram Singh, son of Bishan Singh, were wrongfully terminated on 15 February 1954 ? If so, whether he is entitled to wages for the period 12 February 1954 to 5 January 1956, i. e. , till the date of closure ? The management has filed this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the validity of the reference.
(2.) THE facts relevant for the decision of this petition are not in dispute. On 6 June 1952, the Government referred six disputes between various textile mills, etc. , and their workmen for adjudication to the First Industrial Tribunal under Section 10 (1) (c) of the Act. While the reference was pending Ram Singh, an employee of the petitioning management, made an application under Section 33a of the Act complaining of his wrongful dismissal on 12 February 1954. This reference, however, was rescinded by notification dated 7 December 1954, and on the same day by another notification the dispute was referred to the second tribunal. One of the consequences of these notifications was that the application under Section 33a filed by Ram Singh became infructuous. Before the second industrial tribunal could adjudicate upon the disputes, the Government again intervened and one of the six disputes was separated from the others, presumably, so that it may be decided without undue delay (Reference No. 4 of 1955 ). This separated dispute reads: Whether the retrenched workers should be reinstated with due compensation or not. It is the respondents' case that thereafter a list of retrenched workmen including that; of Ram Singh was filed before the tribunal. The management closed its business on 5 January 1956 before this dispute in Reference No. 4 of 1955 was decided. The Government then issued a fresh notification withdrawing Reference No. 4 of 1955 so far as it related to the petitioning management. This notification was issued on 5 May 1956. A year later in May 1957 the impugned notification was issued.
(3.) NOW, from these facts it is clear that the dispute relates to the wages of Ram Singh for the period 12 February 1954 to 5 January 1956, i. e. , till the date of the closure of the industry. It accordingly relates to a period when the industry was in existence. Therefore, the mere fact that the reference was made after the closure of the business does not render it invalid-Pipraich Sugar Mills Ltd. v. Pipraich Sugar Mills Mazdoor Union 1957- I L. L. J. 235. Moreover, the services of Ram Singh were terminated on 12 February 1954, and it is clear from the application of this respondent under Section 33a in 1954 challenging the validity of his dismissal that a dispute existed between the management and its workmen prior to the closure of the business.;
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