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Union of India Vs. Gurbachan Singh & ANR [1997] INSC 437 (21 April 1997)

K. RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA

ACT:

HEADNOTE:

O R D E R Delay condoned.

The respondent, when he entered into service did not place any documentary evidence like school leaving certificate etc. insupport of his date of birth.

Consequently, his casecame to be referred to the Medical Board. Before the Medical Board, the respondent statedthat his age was 20 years,but the Board on the basis his appearance and other features was of the opinion that he was around 25 years. He was due to retire from service on November 30,1980. but he was allowed to retireon 30.11.84.

On reference, the Railway Board gavethe ex post facto sanction and directed the petitioner to retire him w.e.f. 30.11.84 an retain him in service from 1.12.80 to 30.11.84 after givinghim re-employment on usual terms and conditions. The respondentfeeling aggrieved, filed application before Labour Court underSection 33-C(ii) of the IndustrialDisputes Act,1947 claimingall retiral benefits; the Labour Court granted him reliefs prayedfor.

The petitioners challenged theorder of the Labour Court in W.P. No. 9647/96, which was dismissedby the High Court in limine on 10.7.1996. Thus, thisspecialleave petition.

The power and jurisdiction of the Labour Court/Industrial Court under Section 33-C(ii) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 were dealt with by this Court in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v.Ganesh Razak &Anr.

[9198501 SCC 235] Itwas held thatthe labour Court is devoid of power and jurisdiction to adjudicate upon fresh claim or to give directions onthat basis. TheLabour Court at best has power to interpret the award and then work out the wages payable to the Workmen in terms of the awardetc.

Shri Singhvi, learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the petitioner contends that inview of the above decision, the view taken by the LabourCourt is not correct in law. We find some force inthe contention raised by the learnedcounsel. However, in view of the law already settled by this court in the above judgment,we think that on the facts and circumstances, this case doesnot warrant interference. However,it is directedthat the judgment of the High Courtor Labour Court should not be treated as precedent for any future casesas it is not consistentwith the lawlaid bythis Court.

The Special Leave petitionis accordingly dismissed.

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