Fertilizers Vs. State of U.P. & Ors  INSC 386 (28 July 2000)
V. Patil, S.R.Babu
J U D
G M E N T RAJENDRA BABU, J. :
are fourappeals filed before us, which arise out of the common order made by
the High Court. The third respondent in each of these cases has been a workman
on the establishment of the appellant. An agreement was entered into by the
appellant and the trade unions in the presence of the Additional Labour
Commissioner (Conciliation) on 19.10.89 settling counter disputes.
scheme of the settlement of disputes under the U.P.Industrial Disputes Act,
1947 and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 [hereinafter referred to as the Act]
is identical except that under Section 6-B of the U.P. Act there is no
provision corresponding to the Act. The High Court has, therefore, given a
finding that this aforesaid provision is applicable in the State of U.P. This view of the High Court appears to be correct.
It would only mean that settlement in the course of conciliation reached with
the union or the unions representing the much larger interest of the workmen
would ordinarily be binding on majority of the unions. Undoubtedly, even a
dispute not espoused by a union, but deemed to be a dispute under Section 2-A
of the Act, a union can enter into settlement, in the larger interests of the
workmen and the Industry.
present case it could be seen that each of the workman had been terminated from
service long before the question of closure arose. In fact, the agreement
specifically refers to services of seven workmen whose services had been
terminated in the year 1988-89 and not with regard to others.
are three crucial clauses in the agreement arising from interpretation Clause
(7), Clause (10) and Clause (14). Clause (7) is to the effect that services of
the seven workmen terminated in the year 1988-89 and whose disputes are pending
before the Industrial Tribunal (1) Allahabad certain terms for settlement were made. If the closure compensation is
more than Rs.15,000/- then that amount shall be payable and if such
compensation is less than the said amount of Rs.15,000/- then lesser amount
shall be payable. Clause (10) provides that all such disputes/suits, which are
pending before the High Court or Tribunal/Labour Court, whether collective or individual, would be deemed to have
been finally decided on the basis of this agreement and all such cases would be
withdrawn from the Court. Clause (14) reads that on the basis of this agreement
in connection with all the disputes and payments arising out of the closer, all
the existing disputes would be deemed to have been finally decided. However,
respondents in each of these cases disputed applicability of the aforesaid
settlement to their case. Before the Tribunal an application was filed for the
appellants claiming that the reference should be decided in terms of the
settlement dated 19.10.1989. That application has been rejected and the writ
petition was filed before the High Court by the appellants. The High Court took
the view that in the present case the services of each of the respondents were
terminated in year 1985 and unless his consent is taken, the union has no right
to settle the disputes relating to his termination of service and in the
absence of any mention of this dispute in the settlement, it is of no
consequence and therefore on that basis held that the view taken by the Labour
Court is correct and calls for no interference and rejected the writ petition
filed by the appellants. Hence this appeal.
of Clause (7) Clause (10) and Clause (14) of the settlement would indicate that
it was entered in the wake of the closure of the factory in the year 1988-89.
The claim of the respondent workmen is that their services had been terminated
long before that is in the year 1985.
their cases were not within the purview of the settlement at all. A careful
reading of clauses (7), (10) and (14) would make it clear that they would only
cover those cases which were proximate to the time of settlement and not all
those which were far beyond the date of settlement. Therefore, we are of the
view that the High Court and the Labour Court were justified in their views, of course, for different
reasons. The Labour
Court can now dispose
of these matters in accordance with law.
appeals, therefore, stand dismissed, however, with no order as to costs.