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Chemical Workers Union v. Labour Court And Others - WRIT - C No. 4250 of 1999  RD-AH 532 (9 January 2006)
COURT NO. 26
CIVIL MISC. WRIT PETITION NO.4250 OF 1999
Chemical Workers Union
Labour Court at Ghaziabad and another
HON. SHISHIR KUMAR, J.
This writ petition has been filed for setting aside the award dated 22.12.1995 published on 27.9.1997 in Adjudication Case No.253 of 1987 and further prayer is for commanding the Labour Court to treat the termination of the services of the 12 workmen w.e.f. 12.3.1987 and to rehear the matter of dispute and decide the same on the basis of the dismissal having taken place on 12.3.1987. The writ petition has been filed on behalf of one Sri Virendra Garg, Member, Executive Committee of the Chemical Works Union, 231, Lal Jhanda Bhavan, Ambedkar Road, Ghaziabad against the award dated 22.12.1995 by which the claim of the workmen has not been accepted by the Labour Court.
The facts arising out of the writ petition are that the workmen who are working under respondent no.2, there was some dispute and they went on strike and then they have stated that they wanted to join from 12.11.1987 but the employer has not permitted them to join the duties as such the dispute arose. The matter was referred to the State Government and the State Government has referred the dispute to the Labour Court for adjudication. The reference is being reproduced below:
SsSssssss D;k lsok;kstdksa Onkjk layXu ifjsssssf'kIV esaa mfYyf[kr vius 12 Jfesdksa dks fnukad 12-3-87 ls dk;Z ls IkzFkd/ ofpr fd;k tkuk mfpr rFkk vFkok oW/kkfusd g ?S ;fn ugha rks lEcf?kr Jfed D;k ykHk ikus dk vf/ksdkjh gS rFkk vU; fdu fooj.kksa lfgr\
The Labour Court has rejected the claim of the petitioner only on the ground that the date which has been mentioned by the petitioner as 12.3.1987, there was no termination order and as the respondent has come with a case that the services of these workmen have been terminated on 9.4.1987 and there is no reference regarding consideration of the order dated 9.4.1987, therefore, the Labour Court will not adjudicate the matter beyond the reference and had dismissed the claim of the petitioner.
Sri K.P. Agarwal, learned Senior Advocate has submitted that from the reference it is clear that the petitioner wanted to join on 12.3.1987 but as the same has not been permitted by the employer, therefore, that date may be taken into consideration regarding the order of termination or cessation of work. Admittedly the petitioners were not permitted by the employer from 12.3.1987 to join, therefore, the Labour Court ought to have taken into consideration that as the petitioners were not permitted to work on the said date, therefore, inspite of the fact that employer came with the case that their services have been terminated on 9.4.1987 and there was no reference for consideration of the order of termination dated 9.4.1987, therefore the Labour Court has got no jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute. Reliance has been placed upon A.I.R. 1976 S.C. Page 1111 The State Bank of India Vs. Shri N. Sundar Money and has submitted that the Labour Court ought to have considered the jurisdiction vested in law by refusing to enter into the merits of the case and holding that cause of action has not arisen on 12.3.1987 is an illegal view taken by the Labour Court. The Labour Court did not take into consideration that for the workmen it was termination of their services when they have been refused permission to enter into the factory on 12.3.1987 when they had called off the strike and wanted to resume work. Inspite of the fact that if the order of dismissal of the workmen even if it is accepted, it had taken place on 9.4.1987 but as no departmental/domestic inquiry has taken place, the order is bad and the Labour Court ought to have taken into consideration the order dated 9.4.1987. It is well settled law by the Apex Court in case of Phulbari Tea Estate Vs. Its Workmen which was decided in 1959-vide A.I.R. 1959 S.C. Page 1111 that before punishing a workman, he must be charge-sheeted and a domestic inquiry should be held because 12 workmen has been denied opportunity of being heard as such the same was against the principles of natural justice.
On the other hand, the counsel for the respondent no.2 Sri Satish Chaturvedi has submitted that after the strike the petitioners workmen have not joined and as they were involved in the strike, the intimation regarding the charges and order of suspension were sent individually to the concerned workman and others by registered post and also under insured cover and a copy of that was affixed on the main gate of the factory. The charge sheet -cum-suspension order was also published in the issue date 15.3.1987 in the local Hindi Daily ''Hint' but no reply was submitted inspite of the repeated opportunity given to them. It has further been submitted on behalf of the respondents that a specific averment was made in the written statement filed before the Labour Court that as the Managing Director and another director was involved as victim and witness in the case, therefore, there was a bonafide apprehension that it will not be possible to hold a peaceful and domestic inquiry as such it was decided not to hold any domestic inquiry. The services of the workmen were not terminated in order to reference and they continued to be unauthorized absent, therefore, it will be presumed that they have all voluntarily abandoned their jobs. It has further been submitted on behalf of the respondents that on the basis of the document and on the basis of the evidence it was fully proved that the workmen petitioner has not joined the services after 12.3.1987 inspite of the end of the strike and services of the petitioner were terminated on 9.4.1987. No order was passed on 12.3.87; therefore, the Labour Court has rightly refused to go beyond the reference of the State Government. It has also been brought to the notice of the Court that there was some quarrel and order of suspension of the workmen were withdrawn by the employer on 27.1.86 but the strike was continued and there was no compromise. The workmen themselves have finished the strike on 12.3.1987. The Labour Court has recorded a finding to this effect that inspite of the end of the strike as stated by the workmen, they have not turned up for work in the organization. The finding of fact has been recorded by the Labour Court that the workmen have failed to prove that they wanted to work from 12.3.87 but respondent no.2 has not permitted them to enter into the premises. The notices which were sent to the workmen regarding termination of their services were filed before the Labour Court and the finding to this effect has been recorded that there is no reason to disbelieve the documents which have been submitted by respondent no.2 and the services of the workmen have been terminated by the employer vide its order dated 17.4.1987. The Labour Court has also recorded a finding of fact that the services have been terminated by a written order and no order was passed on 12.3.1987 and the Labour Court cannot go beyond the reference made by the State Government, therefore, there cannot be any interference.
From the evidence it is also clear that the workmen gave a notice on 11.3.87. The same was given by the Union but there is no signature of the workman and no information to this effect that respondent no.2 has not permitted to work these workmen has been given to the Labour Court Commissioner. It has also come in the statement that no complaint to the City Magistrate has been made as the petitioners have failed to prove that they tried to join on 12.3.87. On the other hand, a finding to this effect has been recorded by the Labour Court that respondent no.2 has sent a registered notice on 9.9.87 and the same has been proved by producing the receipts and by oral evidence and as such, has recorded a finding that there was no dispute on 12.3.1987, therefore, the reference is bad.
I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri Satish Chaturvedi who appears for the respondents and have perused the record. From the record it is clear that the reference was to the effect that whether the services of the workmen have been dispensed with from 12.3.1987 and what is the effect? The Labour Court has recorded a finding to this effect that as the reference was regarding consideration of retrenchment and cessation of work from 12.3.1987 and from the record it has been proved that the services of the petitioners were terminated and there was no reference by the State Government regarding the order dated 9.4.1987, the Court has no jurisdiction to go beyond the reference made by the State Government, as such has dismissed the claim on the ground that there was no dispute on 12.3.1987. In the case reported in 2005 SCC ( L & S) 154, Mahendra L. Jain Vs. Indore Development Authority, the Apex Court has clearly held that the Labour Court can only decide the dispute referred to it. The Labour Court has got no jurisdiction to go beyond it.
In 2005 S.C.C. (L & S) Page 372, Management of Madurantakam Corporation Sugar Mills Ltd. Vs. S. Vishwanathan the Apex Court has held regarding the scope of interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and has held that the Labour Court or Industrial Court is final Court of fact unless and until it is proved that it is illegal apparent on the face of record, the Court should not interfere in the finding of fact recorded by the Labour Court.
Admittedly from the reference it is clear that there was no dispute between the petitioners and the respondents, which was referred by the State Government and in view of the Apex Court judgment. It is well settled that the Labour Court has to act according to the reference and cannot go beyond it. In such a way I am of opinion that the finding recorded by the Labour Court is correct and it needs no interference by this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
The writ petition is devoid of merit and is hereby dismissed. No order as to costs.
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