THE CHALA BEEDI WORKERS INDUSTRIAL CO-OP. SOCIETY LTD. Vs. LABOUR COURT AND ANR.
LAWS(KER)-2003-6-89
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Decided on June 03,2003

The Chala Beedi Workers Industrial Co -Op. Society Ltd. Appellant
VERSUS
Labour Court and Anr. Respondents

JUDGEMENT

R. Rajendra Babu, J. - (1.) An industrial dispute (I.D. 13/99) was referred for adjudication before the Labour Court, Kannur. The terms referred for adjudication were whether the denial of wages to Smt. Omana by the management of Chala Beedi Workers Co -operative Society for the period from 16th September 1996 to 20th August 1997 was justifiable, and, if not, what was the relief to which she was entitled to. The management raised a contention that the reference was not maintainable and as such the maintainability should be heard as a preliminary point. On the basis of the above contention, the Tribunal raised a point "whether the issues referred for adjudication are maintainable -. After considering the available evidence and circumstances the Tribunal found that the reference for adjudication was maintainable. The above finding on the preliminary point is under challenge at the instance of the employer society by filing this original petition.
(2.) Heard the learned Counsel for the Petitioner and the Respondent.
(3.) One of the arguments advanced by the learned Counsel for the Petitioner, the Chala Beedi Workers Industrial Co -operative Society, was that the individual dispute raised by the 2nd Respondent Smt. Omana could not be maintained in view of the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act (For short, the Act). The Industrial Tribunal was relying on Sec. 2A of the Act for arriving at the conclusion that the dispute raised by an individual employee also was maintainable. Sec. 2A of the Act reads: Dismissal, etc. of an individual workman to be deemed to be an industrial dispute - - Where any employer discharges, dismisses, retrenches or otherwise terminates the services of an individual workman, any dispute or difference between that workman and his employer connected with, or arising out of, such discharge, dismissal, retrenchment or termination shall be deemed to be an industrial dispute notwithstanding that no other workman nor any union of workmen is a party to the dispute. Admittedly the 2nd Respondent was a worker (beedi roller) of the Petitioner society. The dispute between the parties was as to whether there was denial of employment for the period from 16th September 1996 to 28th September 1997. According to the society the workman did not turn up for work and was unauthorisedly absenting from duty. But, according to the workman, she was not permitted to attend duty and there was denial of employment and she had sent a letter to the management on 19th September 1996 itself regarding the denial of employment from 16th September 1996. The management admitted the receipt of such a letter on 19th September 1996. Thus there was dispute regarding the denial of employment to a workman. Sec. 2A would take in all individual disputes regarding discharge, dismissal, retrenchment or termination or otherwise from service of an employee. Placing reliance on Sec. 2A of the Act, the Tribunal found that the dispute between the employer and the individual employee can be raised as an industrial dispute. Though the learned Counsel for the Petitioner tried to assail the above finding in view of Sec. 2A of the Act, I find no reasons to interfere with the finding that the dispute is maintainable.;


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