Disputes between seamen and employers
150. Power to refer disputes between seamen and their employers to tribunals.-
(1) Where the Central Government is of opinion that any dispute between seamen or any class of seamen or of any union of seamen and the owners of ships in which such seamen are employed or are likely to be employed and exists or is apprehended and such dispute relates to any matter connected with or incidental to the employment of the seamen, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a tribunal consisting of one or more persons, and refer the dispute to the tribunal for adjudication.
(2) The tribunal so constituted shall have power to regulate its own procedure and shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), when trying a suit in respect of the following matters:-
(a) enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) compelling the production of documents;
(c) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses;
(d) any other matter which may be prescribed, and any proceeding before the tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
(3) No party to a dispute shall be entitled to be represented by a legal practitioner in any proceeding before the tribunal except with the consent of the other party or parties to the proceeding and with the leave of the tribunal.
(4) The tribunal shall dispose of the reference expeditiously and shall, as soon as practicable on the conclusion of the proceedings, submit its award to the Central Government.
(5) On receipt of the award the Central Government shall cause it to be published and the award shall become enforceable on the expiry of thirty days from the date of such publication: Provided that where the Central Government is of opinion that it will be inexpedient on public grounds to give effect to the award or any part of it, it may before the expiry of the said period of thirty days by order in the Official Gazette either reject the award or modify it, and where the Central Government does so, the award shall not become enforceable or shall become enforceable subject to the modifications, as the case may be.
(6) An award which has become enforceable under this section shall be binding on-
(a) all parties to the dispute;
(b) where any party to the dispute is the owner of the ship, his heirs, successors, or assigns.
(7) Save as otherwise provided in the award, an award shall remain in operation for a period of one year from the date on which it becomes enforceable and shall thereafter continue to remain in operation until a period of two months has elapsed from the date on which notice is given by any party bound by the award to the other party or parties intimating its intention to terminate the award.
(8) Any money due to a seaman from the owner of a ship under an award may be recovered as wages.
(9) Nothing contained in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947), shall apply to any dispute between seamen or any class of seamen or any union of seamen and the owners of ships in which such seamen are employed or are likely to be employed.