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R. Balasundar (deceased) v. The Presiding Officer - W.P.NO.8375 OF 1995 AND W.M.P.No.13384 OF 1995 [2002] RD-TN 340 (7 June 2002)


DATED: 07/06/2002



W.P.NO.8375 OF 1995 AND W.M.P.No.13384 OF 1995 1. R. Balasundar (deceased) .. Petitioner /deceased 2. Leela

3. Anburani

4. Latha

5. Rajkumar

6. Rajasekar .. Petitioners impleaded as per order dt.20.8.2001 in W.M.P.No.19425 of 1996 Vs.

1. The Presiding Officer,

Additional Labour Court,


2. The Management of

Fenner India Limited,

Kochadai, Madurai 625 016. .. Respondents Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issuance of Writ of Certiorari as stated therein. For Petitioners : Mr.V. Prakash

For Respondent-1 : Mr.S.P. Prabhakaran,

Special Govt. Pleader

For Respondent-2 : Mr S. Ravindran for

M/s. T.S. Gopalan & Co.

- - - : JUDGMENT

This writ petition is filed against the order of the Labour Court wherein the Labour Court has refused to entertain the Industrial Dispute raised by the petitioner challenging the order of termination, on the ground that the petitioner is not a workman as defined under Section 2(s) of the Industrial Disputes Act. The original petitioner having expired during pendency of the writ petition, his legal representatives have been brought on record as petitioners 2 to

6. For convenience, the applicant before the Labour Court is referred to as the original petitioner.

2. The original petitioner joined service under the second respondent and was made permanent on 14.2.1961. He was promoted as Junior Assistant Supervisor on 13.2.1984 and was subsequently promoted as Supervisor III on 1.8.1986. Subsequently the services of the original petitioner were terminated by the second respondent on 2.3.1989 on the ground that his performance was not satisfactory. Alleging violation of provisions contained in the Industrial Disputes Act, the original petitioner raised industrial dispute. However, the Labour Court held that the original petitioner was appointed in supervisory capacity and his salary was more than Rs.1,600/-, the original petitioner was not a workman within the meaning of Section 2(s) of the Industrial Disputes Act.

3. The relevant provisions contained in definition Section 2(s) are quoted hereunder :-

2(s) “workman” means any person (including an apprentice) employed in any industry to do any manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be express or implied, and for the purposes of any proceeding under this Act in relation to an industrial dispute, includes any such person who has been dismissed, discharged or retrenched in connection with, or as a consequence of, that dispute, or whose dismissal, discharge or retrenchment has led to that dispute, but does not include any such person (i) . . . (ii) . . .

(iii) . . . (iv) who, being employed in a supervisory capacity, draws wages exceeding one thousand six hundred rupees per mensem or exercises, either by the nature of the duties attached to the office or by reason of the powers vested in him, function mainly of a managerial nature.

A perusal of the above said definition clause makes it clear that any person employed in supervisory capacity may be considered as workman, if he does not draw wages exceeding Rs.1,600/- per month, in the alternative, if such supervisor does not exercise function mainly of a managerial nature.

4. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioners has submitted relying upon the decision of the Madras High Court reported in 1980 II L.L.J. 16 (ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION LTD., MADRAS Vs. ADDITIONAL LABOUR COURT, MADRAS AND OTHERS) that merely because the petitioner was designated as supervisor, it cannot be held that his work was supervisory in nature.

5. As has been observed by the Supreme Court in 1961 (I) LLJ 18 ( LLOYDS BANK LIMITED Vs. PANNA LAL GUPTA AND OTHERS), the question as to whether a person is in supervisory capacity or not would depend upon the duties of the employee and not on the designation. Ultimately it is the nature of the duty and not the name of the post which is relevant in considering the question.

6. Similar view has been expressed by the Supreme Court in 1965 ( II) LLJ 175 (ALL INDIA RESERVE BANK EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION AND ANOTHER Vs. RESERVE BANK OF INDIA AND ANOTHER), a decision which has been relied on by the counsels appearing for both the parties.

7. There is no dispute that the original petitioner was receiving salary in excess of Rs.1,600/- at the relevant time. The only question is whether he was engaged in supervisory capacity.

8. In the present case, the Labour Court has considered the evidence adduced on both sides and after considering the nature of the duties performed by the petitioner has come to a factual conclusion that the job of the petitioner was supervisory in nature. This is essentially an inference based on appreciation of evidence on record. In the absence of any perversity or glaring mistake in such a finding, there is no scope to take a different view in the matter.

9. There is another reason why there should not be any interference with the order passed by the Labour Court. It appears that the Labour Court had passed the award on 24.6.1992, but the writ petition was filed after a lapse of about three years in June 1995. Even though no specific period of limitation has been prescribed for filing a writ petition, it is well settled that writ petition should be filed as expeditiously as possible without any unnecessary delay or laches. No cogent reason has been indicated in the writ petition explaining the undue delay in filing the writ petition.

10. For the aforesaid reasons, I do not find any merits in the writ petition, which is accordingly dismissed. No costs. Consequently, W.M.P.No.13384 OF 1995 is closed. 07-06-2002 To

The Presiding Officer, Additional Labour Court, Madurai. P.K. MISRA, J. 


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