STATE OF M.P. Vs. M.P. TRANSPORT WORKERS FEDN.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF M.P.
M.P. Transport Workers Fedn.
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SANJAY KISHAN KAUL,J. -
(1.)The Labour Bar Association, Satna and M.P. Transport Workers Federation sought to assail the provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Labour Laws (Amendment) and Misc. Provisions Act, 2002 (for short ‘the Amendment') enforced by Notification dated 5.8.2005 as ultra vires the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution. The history to the dispute is that the power to try offences under labour laws was conferred on the Labour Courts vide Madhya Pradesh Amendment Act No.43 of 1981, as against the regular criminal Courts. That process was sought to be reversed by the Amendment which was assailed. The rationale was stated to be that the Labour Courts were already burdened and thus, did not have time to adjudicate even the disputes arising out of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and the M.P. Industrial Relations Act, 1960. On the other hand, the parties assailing the said Amendment canvassed that the object of shifting the trial of criminal cases relating to labour disputes to Labour Courts had been conferred by Legislation for promoting industrial harmony.
(2.)In terms of an elaborate judgment of over fifty pages this Amendment was struck down primarily on the ground that Article 21 gave a right for speedy justice and the Amendment in a way took away this right of speedy justice.
(3.)We have heard learned counsel for the State and since none appeared for the respondents, we deemed it appropriate to appoint Mr. V. Giri, learned senior counsel as Amicus Curiae to assist us in the matter. Thus, we have the benefit even of his submissions.
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