Decided on May 05,1976

Bangladesh Jatiya Matshajibi Samabaya Samity Ltd. Appellant
Chairman, Labour Court Respondents


MAHMUD HUSAIN, J. - (1.) This appeal by special leave is against a judgment of a Bench of the High Court Division passed in writ jurisdiction wherein the petitioner challenged the order dated 24.2.72 passed by Chairman, Labour Court, Chittagong directing re-instatement of respondent No. 2 in his post under the petitioner with all back wages and benefits attached to the same. The High Court Division discharged the Rule issued earlier thus upholding the order passed by the Labour Court.
(2.) Short facts for disposal of the case are that the appellant is a Co-operative Society registered under Co-operative Societies Act, 1940. The object of the appellant-Society is to improve the socio-economic condition of the fishermen of the country, to catch fish through its members and to export the same to different parts of the world and to import nylon and other twine for its members. Respondent No. 2 was appointed accountant of the Appellant-Society who was later on found negligent in the discharge of his duties and responsibilities and as such an order was served upon him on 2nd December, 1968 directing him to hand over the charge of his office to the Assistant Accountant and was placed under suspension from 7th December, 1968 pending drawing up proper proceeding. Charge-sheet was submitted against him on 21st January, 1969 with a direction to show cause as to why he should not be dismissed from service for his misconduct. Assistant Registrar of the Co-operative Society, Chittagong was appointed as Inquiry Officer. Respondent No. 2 submitted his explanation to the Inquiry Officer on 1. 2. 1969. The Inquiry Officer submitted a report and on that basis the respondent No. 2 was dismissed from service from 1st October, 1969.
(3.) Respondent No. 2 moved the Labour Court by an application under section 25(i)(b) of the Bangladesh Employment of Labour (Standing Orders) Act, 1965. The appellant appeared before the Labour Court and submitted its written statement and the Labour Court after hearing did not find Respondent No. 2 guilty of the misconduct as defined in section 17 (3) of the Standing Orders Act and accordingly held that the order of dismissal of respondent No. 2 was illegal and passed an order directing reinstatement as earlier stated. As against that the petitioner moved the High Court Division and raised only one point which is with respect to the jurisdiction of the Labour Court to try the case. The High Court Division held that the order passed by the Labour Court was not without jurisdiction. As against that the petitioner sought the leave contending that the High Court Division erred in holding that the Cooperative. Societies Act was not a special. Act and that the Labour Statutes superseded the Co-operative Societies Act in relation to disciplinary action against the employees of the Co-operative Society. Leave to appeal was granted for examining if workers under Co-operative Societies are entitled to invoke the Labour Statutes against disciplinary actions taken against them 4. Mr. T.H. Khan learned Counsel for the appellant submitted that the Cooperative Societies Act, 1940 is a complete Cede by it self and the provisions of the Act and the Rules made thereunder go to show that it is a special Act meant for Co-operative Societies only. He drew our attention to section 86 of the Co- operative Societies Act under Chapter IX dealing with settlement of disputes, section 86 runs thus: "86. Any dispute touching the business or affairs of a Co-operative Society or of the liquidator of a society shall be referred to the Registrar, if the parties thereto are among the following, namely: So, according to him all disputes relating to the affairs of the Co-operative Society shall be referred to the Registrar. Section 133 of the Cooperative Societies Act runs thus: "133. (1) Save as provided in this Act, no Civil or Revenue Court shall have any jurisdiction in respect of (a) the registration of a co-operative Society or its by laws or of an amendment of its by-laws; or (b) the dissolution of a managing committee and the management of the society on dissolution thereof; or (c) any dispute required under section 86 to be referred to the Registrar; or (d) any matter concerned with the wingding up and dissolution of a Co-operative Society. (2) While a Co-operative Society is being wound up no suit or other legal proceeding relating to the business of such Society shall be proceeded with or instituted against the liquidator as such or against the society or any member thereof except by leave of the Registrar and subject to such terms as he may impose. (3) Same as provided in this Act, no order, decision or award under this Act shall be liable to be challenged, set aside, modified, revised or declared void in any Court on any ground whatsoever except want of jurisdiction." ;

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