Decided on February 17,1986

Amar Nath Bindra Ban Appellant
Industrial Tribunal, JAndK Respondents


SHAH,J. - (1.) BY this Letters Patent Anneal under Clause 12 of the Letters patent of this Court, the appellant has challenged the judgment in writ petition No. 250 of 1976 by learned Single Judge of this Court dated April 20 1978. The writ petition was filed by the present appellant employer against the award given by Labour Court, J&K, Jammu on a reference made by the Government under Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act against the termination of the services of Respondent No 3 in Labour Court File No. 67 of 1974. The award was announced on February 4, 1975, it is alleged that the award was given exparte and the sole point raised by the learned Single Judge during the course of arguments by the learned counsel for the petitioner/appellant herein was with regard to the non -service of notice by the Labour Court Respondent No. 1 The learned Single Judge dismissed the petition on twin grounds, firstly holding that the petition suffered from laches and secondly on account of the disobedience of the Courtâ„¢s order, wherein the petitioner was directed to deposit the amount of Rs. 4,000 passed by the Division Bench on March 30, 1976 and Single Bench on August 25, 1976. The appellant being aggrieved against the dismissal of the writ petition challenged the order before us in this Letters patent Appeal.
(2.) LEARNED counsel for the appellant before us reiterate his ground of non -service of notice also submitted that the firm having been dissolved and closed its business in the month of November, 1973 the reference initiated in 1974 has no force as against the appellant and hence on both the points the judgment impugned in this appeal is liable to be set aside. It is vehemently argued that the service of notice was not a valid service in the eye of law, as the same was against the procedure prescribed under Rule 20(2) of the Industrial Disputes (Jammu and Kashmir State) Rules, 1972 (for short called the Rules), as the affixture was made of the notice on the resident of the appellant in violation of the rules, which provide the affixation of notice at or near the main entrance of the establishment concerned, which too applies where there are numerous persons as parties to many proceedings Regarding this point it is also pointed out that the learned Single Judge on the point of notice held that the notice could not have been passed under law holding that is appears that the Labour Court while directing the pasting of the summons had not carefully gone through the rules. Despite this finding dismissing the petition on account of laches is not in accordance with law. It is also argued that the imposition of a condition while admitting the writ petition for the payment of Rs. 4,000 cannot be the basis for dismissal of the writ petition, as the non -compliance at the most exposes the petitioner/appellant to the execution of the award. In reply learned counsel for respondent No. 3 supported the award as well as the impugned order passed by the learned Single Judge on the grounds stated in the order.
(3.) ON hearing the learned counsel for the respective parties and examining the record, we find that the fallacy lies in the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the appellant regarding non -compliance of Rule 20 of the Rules. On the very face of the proceedings, it is clearly made out that the cause of respondent No. 3 the employee was taken up by the Employees Association, which is a registered Association of the Employees and has contended before the learned Single Judge by the learned counsel for the appellant that there are two or three parties to the dispute, in our opinion, the provisions of Rule 20 of the Rules are clearly attracted. From the reading of the award as well as the proceedings of the Labour court dated December 14, 1974 as well as the evidence taken by the Labour Court regarding service of notice on the appellant -Management, it is clearly made out that the copy of the summons of the court was pasted on the shop of the Management, the summons also contained due endorsement by two witnesses and the report of the process -server, which is proved as EXP -1 by the Statement of process -server Ali Mohd. and the witness for affixation of the summons on the shop -Romes Chander, The learned Labour Court after examining the two witnesses satisfied himself about the service, holding that the management avoids to remain present in the Court, hence proceeded exparte against the appellant & after examining the effected employee respondent No; 3 passed the exparte award. No proceedings were taken before the Labour Court for setting aside the exparte award and it is alleged in the petition that the appellant came to know of the award only when the realisation process started by the Collector of which he came to know on December 12, 1975, hence the petition was filed immediately thereafter on January 1, 1976 cannot be said to be hit by laches. The fallacy in the arguments on the point first of all lies on a mis -conception that the summons were affixed on the residence and not on the establishment, which stands falsified from the record. Secondly the attitude of the employer -management in avoiding the conciliation proceedings and then avoiding the proceedings before the Labour Court, which stands sufficiently established and discuss ed in the award, which was announced and duly notified in February 1975. It is now well settled that a writ petition although not governed by the provisions of Limitation Act or by any rules governing the Limitation for filing the petition when any order of the Tribunal or award is challenged in a writ petition, ordinarily the limitation generally prescribed for revisions of ninety days should be followed, unless the delay is sufficiently explained In the instant case, we find that the delay is not sufficiently explained and thus the learned Single Judge in our opinion was right in holding that the petition is hit by laches and the appellant is, therefore, not entitled to invoke the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India or section 103 of the State Constitution. Equally in the facts and circumstances of the case in view of the various social reforms and labour legislation protecting the interest of the poor employee, if a condition is imposed by the Court for deposit of some amount out of the awarded amount to the employee, in our opinion the court acts within its jurisdiction in a writ petition to dis -entitle the petitioner and refuse the relief for the non -compliance of the Courts order, making default in paying the amount of Rs. 4,000/ - as done in the present case, which was not completed despite consistent orders passed by the Court in the Division Bench as well as by the Single Bench. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the learned Single Judge on this point also rightly refused to grant the relief to the appellate in the writ petition. When the award is given by the Labour Court on evidence, the High Court should not ordinarily interfere with such award as is the position of the case in hand. For this proposition, reliance can safely be placed on an authority of their Lordships of Supreme Court reported in A.I.R. 1984 S.C. 1164 (Babulal Nagar and others. Appellants Vs. Shree Synthetics Ltd. and others. Respondents). We do not find any substance in the last argument of the learned counsel for the appellant also that the appellant firm having stopped its business in November, 1973 is not liable under the award, for the simple reason that the full facts about the closure of the business and what happened to the assets and liabilities of the firm, the argument in our opinion is not tenable in the instant petition, the appellant has styled himself as the sole proprietor of the Firm M/S Amar Nath Bindra Ban, the Management against which the award is given It is, therefore, held that there is no scope to interfere in the order passed by the learned Judge or in the award given by the Labour Court. For the reasons stated hereinabove, the Letters patent Appeal stands dismissed with costs, the record of the Labour Court be sent back forthwith.;

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