J E INTERNATIONAL Vs. S K MINOCHA
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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Usha Mehra, J. -
(1.)M/s. J.E. International had filed an application for setting aside the ex-parte award dated 3rd March, 1994 passed by the Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Delhi. This application by the impugned order was dismissed on 6th September, 1994, inter alia, on the ground that the Labour Court became functus officio, hence had nojurisdiction to set aside the ex-parteaward after 30 days lapsed since the publication of the award in Gazette or after the date when the award came into operation.
(2.)The legal point raised in this petition is whether the jurisdiction of the Labour Court to entertain such If like application ceased after the expiry of the period of 30 days of the publication of the award in the Official Gazette. In order to appreciate the legal point raised the brief and relevant facts necessary for the disposal of this legal point are that the respondent No. 2 workman made a claim against the Management i.e., present petitioner. That claim was referred for adjudication to the Labour Court, Delhi. The term of reference was "whether the service of Shri Rajmani have been terminated illegally and/or unjustifiably and if so to what relief he is entitled and what terms are necessary in this regard". After receipt of the reference. Presiding Officer, Labour Court on 26th October, 1991 passed an order for the issuance of a notice to the partics for 3rd February, 1992. Pursuant to this order, the reference was registered as LC.ID No. 561 /91. It is the case of the petitioner that the said notice issued by the Labour Court was not received byit,hencecould notappearon3rd February, 1992. Since,nooneappeared on behalf of the petitioner on 3rd February, 1992 the Labour Court proceeded the Management ex-parte. The workman also did not put in appearance on that day yet he was not proceeded exparte because one Virender Singh purported to be the representative of the workman had put in appearance. The said Virender Singh did not file any authorisation letter on 3rd February, 1992 still the Labour Court accepted him to be authorised representative of the workman and adjourned the case to 4th November, 1992. On 4th November, 1992 the said Virender Singh filed the authorisation letter. On 3rd February, 1992 in fact the workman was not represented by any one nor the management was represented, still the Labour Court erroneously chosen to proceed ex-parteonly against the Management. Even otherwise on the basis of alleged service of summons on an unauthorised person, namely, one Shri A.K. Sharma who was not an employee of the petitioner nor authorised to receive the summon, the Court fell in error in assuming that summon had been served on the petitioner. It is in this background that an application was filed by petitioner before the Labour Court for setting aside the ex parte award.
(3.)The Labour Court by the impugned order conduded that the Labour Court had become functus officio because after 30 days of the publication of the award it ceased to have any jurisdiction to rescind the award already passed or to readjudicate the reference.
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