ALEMBIC CHEMICAL WORKS COMPANY LIMITED Vs. WORKMEN
LAWS(SC)-1960-12-28
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on December 15,1960

ALEMBIC CHEMICAL WORKS COMPANY LIMITED Appellant
VERSUS
WORKMEN Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

CALCUTTA INSURANCE LIMITED VS. WORKMEN [LAWS(SC)-1967-2-5] [REFERRED]
RAM PARSHAD VS. ONKAR NATH [LAWS(DLH)-1969-10-11] [REFERRED]
BALAK RAM GUPTA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-1987-5-24] [REFERRED]
PUSHPABEN MAGANLAL B HARIJAN MAKWANA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(GJH)-2005-3-36] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF M P VS. PRADEEP MESHRAM [LAWS(MPH)-2000-11-33] [REFERRED TO]
B VITTAL PAI VS. SYNDICATE BANK [LAWS(KAR)-1999-9-30] [REFERRED TO]
SISIR KUMAR MONDAL VS. STATE OF W B [LAWS(CAL)-2007-8-76] [REFERRED TO]
BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE PORT OF KOLKATA VS. M S KHANDPUR [LAWS(CAL)-2007-10-15] [REFERRED TO]
SHASHKIYA KSHETRIYA MUDRANALAYS KARMACHARI SANGH GWALIOR VS. DY SUPRINTENDENT THE MANAGER GOVERNMENT REGIONAL P [LAWS(MPH)-1978-11-30] [REFERRED TO]
TAMIL NADU CEMENTS CORPORATION LTD VS. N PANDURANGAN [LAWS(MAD)-2004-2-154] [REFERRED TO]
Tamil Nadu Cements Corporation LTD VS. N Pandurangan [LAWS(MAD)-2005-2-86] [REFERRED TO]
HINDUSTAN LEVER LIMITED VS. HINDUSTAN LEVER EMPLOYEES UNION [LAWS(BOM)-2006-12-75] [REFERRED TO]
JAGDEO SUKHDEV HIROLE THROUGH L RS VS. DIVISIONAL CONTROLLER MAHARASHTRA STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORN AKOLA [LAWS(BOM)-2012-5-46] [REFERRED TO]
ASSOCIATED CEMENT COMPANIES LTD VS. INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL [LAWS(P&H)-1967-3-13] [REFERRED TO]
GUJARAT MINERAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION VS. PRESIDING OFFICER LABOUR COURT [LAWS(GJH)-1985-8-24] [REFERERED]
VIRSA SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-1970-1-4] [REFERRED TO]
BHUPINDRA CEMENT WORKERS UNION VS. ASSOCIATED CEMENT COMPANIES [LAWS(P&H)-1970-10-22] [REFERRED TO]
JAMNA LAL MOHAN LAL VS. BARKAT ALI [LAWS(RAJ)-1985-8-7] [REFERRED TO]
UNITED INDIA INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED VS. MADHO SINGH [LAWS(RAJ)-2003-9-4] [REFERRED TO]
ASHUTOSH DWIVEDI VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(ALL)-2009-1-193] [REFERRED TO]
JUDGEMENT_527_TLMPH0_2000 VS. STATE [LAWS(MPH)-2000-10-77] [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA AND GENERAL MANAGER NORT HERN RAILWAY VS. NAND LAL GHALEY [LAWS(ALL)-2014-11-68] [REFERRED TO]
CHETU RAM VS. ASA NAND [LAWS(P&H)-1961-11-23] [REFERRED TO]
SUNDARI DEVI AND ORS. VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(ALL)-2014-12-139] [REFERRED TO]
HINDUSTAN LEVER LIMITED THE WORKMEN VS. RAM MOHAN RAY:HINDUSTAN LEVER LIMITED [LAWS(SC)-1973-3-7] [REFERRED]
WORKMEN OF METRO THEATRE BOMBAY VS. METRO THEATRE LTD [LAWS(SC)-1981-7-31] [FOLLOWED]
GAZIABAD ENGINEERING CO PRIVATE LIMITED VS. CERTIFYING OFFICER KANPUR [LAWS(SC)-1978-1-14] [RELIED ON]
UNION OF INDIA VS. PRABHAKARAN VIJAYA KUMAR [LAWS(SC)-2008-5-131] [REFERRED TO]
POLYCHEM LIMITED VS. R D TULPULE INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL BOMBAY [LAWS(SC)-1972-3-73] [RELIED ON]
KALA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2011-3-23] [REFERRED TO]
BATA INDIA LTD VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2011-3-149] [REFERRED TO]
JASHDAN MUNICIPALITY VS. SONABEN BHAGABHAI LALIT PLOTS [LAWS(GJH)-2011-3-75] [REFERRED TO]
MANAGEMENT OF HOTEL ASHOK VS. PRESIDING OFFICER INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL [LAWS(KAR)-1983-9-16] [REFERRED TO]
D M S RAO VS. STATE OF KERALA [LAWS(KER)-1961-9-26] [REFERRED TO]
SHANMUGHAM CHETTIAR VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(KER)-1965-1-11] [REFERRED TO]
VINODAMMA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(KAR)-2010-3-107] [REFERRED TO]
REKHA @ RANI VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2014-3-126] [REFERRED TO]
CHAMPA DEVI VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2014-3-218] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF HARYANA AND ORS. VS. AMAR SINGH CLARE, ASSISTANT EXCISE AND TAXATION OFFICER AND ORS. [LAWS(P&H)-1990-2-70] [REFERRED TO]
SURAJ GOPE VS. THE UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(PAT)-2015-8-79] [REFERRED TO]
CHETU RAM VS. ASA NAND [LAWS(P&H)-1961-11-34] [REFERRED TO]
GAURAV KAPOOR AND ORS. VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2010-2-516] [REFERRED TO]
GUJARAT MAZDOOR SABHA VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2016-2-14] [REFERRED TO]
JUWEDA KHATOON VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(PAT)-2016-4-7] [REFERRED TO]
MOST. TAREGNA DEVI VS. THE UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(PAT)-2016-7-20] [REFERRED TO]
SUREKHA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(KAR)-2016-2-324] [REFERRED TO]
MALLAPPA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(KAR)-2015-12-216] [REFERRED TO]
KANHAIYA LAL AND OTHERS VS. DISTRICT DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF CONSOLIDATION, PRATAPGARH AND OTHERS [LAWS(ALL)-1974-1-38] [REFERRED TO]
NGEF LTD. VS. THE LABOUR OFFICER AND INSPECTOR AND OTHERS [LAWS(KAR)-1976-7-33] [REFERRED TO]
BRANCH MANAGER, NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LTD. VS. BABY DEVI [LAWS(PAT)-2016-4-137] [REFERRED TO]
MOST. NAIMUNESA W/O LATE BIGU KHALIFA R/O VILLAGE - SARAIA, P.S. AMJHOR, VS. THE UNION OF INDIA THROUGH THE GENERAL MANAGER, EASTERN RAILWAY, KOLKATA [LAWS(PAT)-2016-7-107] [REFERRED TO]
RAMDHAN @ NAMDEO S/O SAVAI JADHAV VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-2008-12-202] [REFERRED TO]
N G E F LIMITED, BANGALORE VS. LABOUR OFFICER & INSPECTOR, BANGALORE [LAWS(KAR)-1976-7-36] [REFERRED]
MUKESH RANI AND ORS. VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2017-1-214] [REFERRED TO]
RAJU K. THOMAS AND ANOTHER VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(KER)-2017-6-52] [REFERRED TO]
KAPIL AND OTHERS VS. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS [LAWS(MPH)-2017-5-45] [REFERRED TO]
KAVITA WD/O SANJAY AWACHARE VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-2018-2-78] [REFERRED TO]
S. CHITRA VS. THE UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2017-12-46] [REFERRED TO]
N KUMAR VS. UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY REP BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-67] [REFERRED TO]
S BHUVANESWARI VS. UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY REP BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-69] [REFERRED TO]
M KASIRAJAN VS. UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY REP BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-86] [REFERRED TO]
P CHUKKAMMA VS. UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY REP BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-129] [REFERRED TO]
GEETHA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2018-2-134] [REFERRED TO]
M SANTHA VS. UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY REP BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER CHENNAI [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-191] [REFERRED TO]
S ANNAMALAI VS. UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY REP BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-219] [REFERRED TO]
C SELVI VS. SELVA AKSHAYA [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-224] [REFERRED TO]
B PARIMALA VS. UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY REP BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-252] [REFERRED TO]
MAURICE K LAI VS. UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY REP BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER CHENNAI [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-348] [REFERRED TO]
N. JAMBULINGAM VS. THE UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-496] [REFERRED TO]
SAJAN SHARMA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(ALL)-2018-2-402] [REFERRED TO]
THE UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTH CENTRAL RAILWAY VS. A. JAYASREE AND ORS. [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-542] [REFERRED TO]
C LAKSHMI VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2017-12-230] [REFERRED TO]
S DHANASEKAR VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-733] [REFERRED TO]
B. RAJYALAKSHMI AND OTHERS VS. THE UNION OF INDIA, OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY [LAWS(MAD)-2017-12-423] [REFERRED TO]
M. KASIRAJAN AND ORS. VS. THE UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-954] [REFERRED TO]
P. CHUKKAMMA AND OTHERS VS. THE UNION OF INDIA OWNING SOUTHERN RAILWAY [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-965] [REFERRED TO]
C. SELVI AND OTHERS VS. THE UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2018-1-974] [REFERRED TO]
SAROJ DADEL VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(JHAR)-2018-4-190] [REFERRED TO]
SWORNAMALA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2019-1-364] [REFERRED TO]
V.NAGALAKSHMI VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2019-2-221] [REFERRED TO]
RANJANA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-2020-3-42] [REFERRED TO]
MAKSUD SHEIKH GAFFUR SHEIKH VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-2020-8-115] [REFERRED TO]
JAWA SINHA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(JHAR)-2019-5-98] [REFERRED TO]
BALRAM SUDAKAJI SAKPAL VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-2021-3-122] [REFERRED TO]
REKHA DILIP SAPKALE VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-2021-3-165] [REFERRED TO]
MRS. RAZIYA ABDUL KADIR SHAIKH VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-2022-1-120] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

GAJENDRAGADKAR - (1.)THIS appeal by special leave arises from an industrial dispute between the appellant the Alembic Chemical Works Co. Ltd., and the respondents, its workmen. The said dispute related to a single demand made by the respondents with regard to leave. THIS demand consisted of three parts, (a) one month's privilege leave with full salary and dearness allowance on completion of eleven months service in a year with a right to accumulate upto six months, (b) one month's sick leave with full salary and dearness allowance for each year of service with right to accumulate for the entire period of service, and (c) every workman should be entitled to take leave in proportion to the number of days he is in service of the company at the time of his application for the same. THIS dispute was referred by the Government of Bombay for adjudication before the Industrial Tribunal under S. 10 (1) (d) of the Industrial Disputes Act XIV of 1947.
(2.)THE Tribunal considered the contentions raised by the appellant against the respondent's demands, took into account awards or agreements between employers and their employees in comparable concerns and made its award. In regard to privilege leave the Tribunal has ordered that leave should be granted to the staff members covered by the reference as follows.
Privilege leave upto 3 ..16 days as at completed years of service present per year.

Up to 9 completed years ..22 days per year.

And thereafter ..one month for every 11 months of service.

THE award allows accumulation of privilege leave upto three years. As regards sick leave, the Tribunal has ordered that the appellant should give its staff covered by the present award 15 days sick leave in a year with full pay and dearness allowance with a right to accumulate upto 45 days. It has also directed that no medical certificate should be demanded if sick leave for three days or less is asked for. In regard to the third item of demand concerning leave in proportion the Tribunal has made appropriate direction which it is unnecessary to set out for the purpose of this appeal.

Before the Tribunal the main contention raised by the appellant was in regard to the propriety and reasonableness of the demand and in regard to the practice prevailing in comparable concerns. Before this Court, however, the provision made by the award in regard to privilege leave has been attacked mainly on the ground that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction to make such an award having regard to the provisions of S. 79 of the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948) (hereafter called the Act). It is urged that S. 79 of the Act has made exhaustive and self-contained provisions with regard to the granting of annual leave with wages to the employees to whom the said Act applies, and the effect of S. 79 is to introduce standardisation in the matter of leave; which means neither the employer voluntarily, nor an Industrial Tribunal by its award, can add to the leave prescribed by the said section. In the matter of leave S. 79 is a complete code, and no additions to the said leave can be made either by a contract or by an award. It is common ground that the respondents are governed by the provisions of the Act. This point was not raised before the Tribunal, but since it is a point of law which arises on admitted facts we have permitted the learned Attorney-General to argue it before us.

The Act was first enacted in 1934 as Act 25 of 1934. Since then it has been amended from time to time. Its main object is to consolidate and amend the law regulating labour in factories. For the purpose of determining which concerns and which employees would be governed by the Act S. 2 (m) and (1) define "factory" and "worker" respectively. Even a broad view of the scheme of the Act and a perusal of its provisions would clearly indicate that the Act is a beneficent measure and its policy is to make reasonable provisions for the preservation of health of the workmen, their safety and their welfare. With that object in view, the Act has made provisions for the regulation of working hours of adults, has regulated the employment of young persons, and has also provided for annual leave with wages to the workmen. The amendments made in the relevant provisions of the Act from time to time indicate that the Act has been pursuing its beneficent policy slowly but steadily and attempting to provide for the workmen better and larger amenities in their employment. It is in the light of this obvious policy and object of the Act that we have to decide the question raised before us by the appellant.

(3.)SECTION 79 (1) occurs in Chapter VIII which deals with annual leave with wages. It provides thus :
"79. (1) Every worker who has worked for a period of 240 days or more in a factory during a calendar year shall be allowed during the subsequent calendar year, leave with wages for a number of days calculated at the rate of -

(i) if an adult, one day for every twenty days of work performed by him during the previous calendar year;

(ii) if a child, one day for every fifteen days of work performed by him during the previous calendar year.

Explanation 1. - For the purpose of this sub-section -

(a) any days of lay off, by agreement or contract or as permissible under the standing orders;

(b) in the case of a female worker, maternity leave for any number of days not exceeding twelve weeks; and

(c) the leave earned in the year prior to that in which the leave is enjoyed;

shall be deemed to be days on which the worker has worked in a factory for the computation of the period of 240 days or more, but he shall not earn leave for these days.

This section has 11 other sub-sections which deal with different aspects and make relevant provisions in regard to annual leave with wages. It is not disputed that the award purports to make provisions for privilege leave in excess of the annual leave sanctioned by S. 79. Can the industrial Tribunal direct the appellant to provide such additional privilege leave to its employees ?; in other words, does S. 79 purport to standardise annual leave with wages so that no departure from the said standard is permissible either way ? The appellant's contention is that except for pre-existing awards agreements, contracts or except for pre-existing law no departure from the standardised provision is permissible after S. 79 was enacted.

This argument raises the question of construing S. 79 in the light of the other relevant provisions of the Act. It may be conceded that the provisions made by S. 79 are elaborate, and in that sense may be treated as self-contained and exhaustive. It is also clear that S. 79(1) does not use the expression "not more than or not less than" as it might have done if the intention of the Legislature was to make its provisions correspond either to the minimum or the maximum leave claimable by the employees; but even so, when S. 79 (1) provides that every worker shall be allowed leave as therein prescribed, the provision prima facie sound like a provision for the minimum rather than for the maximum leave which may be awarded to the worker. If the intention of the Legislature was to make the leave permissible under S. 79(1) the maximum to which a workman would be entitled, it would have used definite and appropriate language in that behalf. We are therefore, inclined to think that even on a plain construction of S. 79(1) it would be difficult to accede to the argument that it prescribes standardised leave which inevitably would mean the maximum permissible until S. 79(1) itself is changed.

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