U P ELECTRIC SUPPLY CO LIMITED Vs. WORKMEN OF S M CHOUDHARY CONTRACTORS
LAWS(SC)-1960-3-34
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ALLAHABAD)
Decided on March 08,1960

UTTAR PRADESH ELECTRIC SUPPLY COMPANY LIMITED Appellant
VERSUS
WORKMEN OF M/S.S.M.CHOUDHARY,CONTRACTORS Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

EXECUTIVE ENGINEER ELECTRICITY STORE DIVISION VS. P O LABOUR COURT [LAWS(ALL)-1996-12-23] [REFERRED TO]
INDIAN FARMERS FERTILISER COOPERATIVE LTD VS. INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL [LAWS(ALL)-1991-5-34] [REFERRED TO]
VIP INDUSTRIES SHRAMIK SANGH VS. VIP INDUSTRIES LIMITED [LAWS(BOM)-2014-10-86] [REFERRED TO]
PEPSICO INDIA HOLDING PVT LTD VS. KRISHNA KANT PANDEY [LAWS(SC)-2015-1-4] [REFERRED TO]
GAYADIN RAM VS. RAM PADA ROY AND OTHERS [LAWS(CAL)-1969-6-48] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Wanchoo, J. - (1.)This is an appeal by special leave against the order of the Industrial Tribunal Allahabad. The appellant is the U. P. Electric Supply Co. Ltd., Lucknow, (hereinafter called the company). It appears that the company used to employ Messrs. S. M. Choudhary (hereinafter referred to as the contractors) as its contractors for doing certain work for it. The contractors in their turn used to employ a number of persons to carry out the work which they had taken on contract. A dispute arose between the contractors and their workmen in 1956 and an application was made on June 6, 1956, by the workmen before the conciliation board. To this application both the company as well as the contractors were parties and four matters were referred by the workmen to the conciliation board, namely, (i) non-grant of bonus for the years 1953-54 and 1954-55; (ii) non-grant of festival holidays; (iii) non-fixation of minimum wages of these workmen at par with the workmen employed by the company; and (iv) non-abolition of the contract system. Efforts at conciliation failed and thereupon the Government of Uttar Pradesh made a reference to the Industrial Tribunal under the U. P. Industrial Disputes Act, No. XXVIII of 1947, (hereinafter called the Act). In this reference only three points were referred out of the four which were before the conciliation board, namely, those relating to bonus, festival holidays and payment of wages to these workmen at part with the workmen of the company. The fourth point which was raised before the conciliation board (namely, non-abolition of the contract system) was not referred. The parties to this reference were two, namely-(i) the contractors and (ii) their workmen. The appellant was not a party to this reference. On August 13, 1956, another notification was issued by the U. P. Government under Ss. 3, 5 and 8 of the Act by which the company was impleaded as a party to the dispute referred by the notification of July 31, 1956. It is remarkable, however, that the matters of dispute which were specified in the reference dated July 31, 1956, were not amended as they could have been under the proviso to S. 4 of the Act, by adding the fourth point of dispute before the conciliation board, namely, the non-abolition of the contract system. When the matter came up before the industrial court in framed a number of issues; and the first and most important issue ran thus:
"Are the workmen concerned employees of the U. P. Electric Supply Co. Ltd., Lucknow or of Messrs. S. M. Chaudhary, contractors -

(2.)The main objection of the company was that the dispute, if any, was between the contractors and their employees and that there was no dispute between the company and its workmen. It was further objected that there was no valid or legal order of the Government referring any dispute between the company and its workmen to the tribunal and therefore the tribunal had no jurisdiction. On the merits it was urged that the workmen concerned were not the workmen of the company and there was no relationship of employer and employee between the company and these workmen and therefore the company could not be regarded as a party to the dispute between the contractors and their workmen.
(3.)It is therefore clear that the main question which was considered by the tribunal was whether the workmen concerned were the workmen of the company or of the contractors. As the tribunal itself says,
"the crux of the whole case was whether the workmen concerned were the employees of the company".
The tribunal went into the evidence in this connection and came to the conclusion that these workmen were in fact and in reality the employees of the company.
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