Decided on April 11,1967

LABOUR COURT Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



- (1.)WE have before us two writ petitions directed against an order of the labour court dated 16 February 1965 passed under Section 33c (2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter to be referred to as the Act), by which the labour court determined the benefits accruing: to one Kanraj Mehta out of an award of the Industrial tribunal, Bajasthan, Jaipur, dated 7 October 1963, on a dispute between the Northern Railway Co-operative Credit Society, Jodhpur (hereinafter to be referred to as the employer) and Kanraj Mehta and other workers employed by the employer. Writ Petition No. 61 of 1965 is by the employer and by it is seeks an appropriate writ, direction or order for quashing the order of the labour court awarding a sum of Rs. 25,650. 50 to Kanraj Mehta. Writ Petition No. 384 of 1965 la by Kanraj Mehta and he seeks an appropriate writ, order or direction for modifying the order of the labour court by awarding him emoluments In accordance with Paras. 16 (a) to 16 (f) of the writ petition. Both the writ petitions can conveniently be dealt with together.
(2.)THE relevant facts are shortly these: It appears from the judgment of the Industrial tribunal, dated 7 October 1963, that Kanraj Mehta was the head clerk of the employer-society which was the co-operative credit society of rail way men. He applied for leave on 8 April 1956 and filed a certificate of a vaid la support thereof. Some other employees of the employer also filed similar applications. The general meetings of the employer-society was to be held on 28 April 1956, and consequently the society felt that the employees conspired to interfere with the administration of the saucy by absenting themselves In a body. Kanraj Mehta and Ors. were asked by the employer to appear before the railway doctor for medical examination, but this was not complied with by' the employees. The employer, therefore, served a chargesheet on Kanraj Mehta and other employees. The charges related to a conspiracy to paralyse the working of the society by disobedience of the orders, distribution of certain leaflets against the employer and carrying on a propaganda in connexion with the elections of the employer-society, Afcer the chargesheet was served a board of enquiry was constituted for making au enquiry. The board of enquiry submitted its report and eventually a show-cause not be was issued to Kanraj Mahta why he should not be dismissed from service. Kanraj Mehta asked for a copy of the report of the enquiry and also of the findings arrived at by the board of enquiry. These copies were however not furnished bat even so Kinraj Mehta filed his objections against the show-cause notice and pleaded that the charges were vague and they had not been established. The vice-chairman of the employer-society then considered the case and passed an order removing Kanraj from Bervlce of the employer-society. Then Kanraj Mahtatook steps for getting a dispute referred to the Industrial tribunal through the Intervention (sic) of the question about removal of the employees to the Industrial tribunal under Section 10 (1) (6) of the Act. The tribunal went Into the matter and reached the conclusion that the order of the employer removing Kanraj Mehta from service was bad as the latter had not been given a proper opportunity of showing cause against the not for of penalty served upon him Inasmuch as the copies of the report of the enquiry committee and the flatling of the board of enquiry were not famished to him. The tribunal also noted that the charge against Kanraj Mehta was rather vague and he was not wrong in his a verb vat before the board of enquiry that the charges were vague and therefore he could not defend himself on that account. In the result the tribunal hold that the order of removal passed against Kanraj Mehta be set aside. The employer was however left free, if it so desired, to reinatitute the enquiry and to proceed agjainst him according to law. Meanwhile, however, Kanraj was ordered to be restored to the position In which he stood tin 13 September 1956 when the notice of charge was Issued to him. As the main controversy is about the correct Interpretation of the operative part of the order of the Industrial tribunal, it is reproduced below: The reference partly succeeds and the order of removal passed by the society against Kanraj la set aside and It IB left open to the society, If they so desire to relnstltute the enquiry and to proceed against him according to law; meanwhile the position In which Kanraj stood on 13 September 1956 when notice of charge was Issued against him is restored. Kanraj then filed a petition under Section 33c (2) of the Act for the computation of the monetary benefits admissible to him under the award of the industrial tribunal. Kanraj took the position that although the employer had put him back on duty on 15 February 1964 In compliance with the award of the industrial tribunal It had simultaneously passed orders that he shall not be entitled to any wages for the past period. The application was opposed by the employer on the following grounds:
(1) That the application was premature as it was filed before the expiry of one month from the date of the publication of tb. 3 award. (2) That the application was not covered 'by Section 32c (2) of the Act. If at all there was any question of Interpretation of the award, Kinraj should have sought his relief under Section 36 A of the Act by approaching the Government. (3) That the award conferred no monetary benefits on Kanraj prior to 7 October 1963 or even thereafter. (4) That Kanraj had already filed a claim under the Payment of Wages Act for the same amount and therefore he was not entitled to seek the aid of the labour court under Section 33c (2) of the Act. Then, without prejudice to the other pleas, the employer joined issue regarding the amount of the claim.

(3.)REGARDING point (1), the labour court pointed out the distinction between the date from which the award became final and the date when it becomes enforceable. It observed that the award becomes final on the date of Its publication and as the application was filed after the date of the publication It was competent though the award could be enforced only after one month of its publication. Accordingly It repelled the contention of the employer, In this behalf.

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