Report No. 225
Amendment of Sections 7, 7a and 7b of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 Making Advocates Eligible To Man Labour Court and Industrial Tribunal
I. Introduction 9-10
1.1 One Advocate filed a petition in public interest (PIL) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court [Civil Writ Petition No. 2798/2006 titled H.C. Arora v. Union of India] praying for quashing Sections 7 and 7A of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 inasmuch as the said provisions do not make advocates with any length of experience at the Bar eligible to be appointed as presiding officers of the Labour Courts and/or Tribunals constituted by the Central Government.
The petitioner argued that members of the Bar with 7-10 years' experience in the legal profession should be made eligible for such appointment by suitable amendment in the said provisions. The High Court disposed of the writ petition by its Order dated 23.10.2008 declining the above prayer along with the following observation:
"A Writ Court is not competent to issue a mandamus either to the Parliament or to any other Legislature to amend the provisions of a statute to any particular effect. The proper course for any such change to be brought about is to approach the Law Commission of India who could examine the issue in the light of the observations made in S.P. Sampath Kumar's case... and make suitable recommendations to the Parliament.
Mr. Arora was, we must say, in fairness, agreeable to making a representation to the Law Commission seeking recommendations for an amendment in the provisions contained in Sections 7 and 7A of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. All that, we need say, is that if such representation is made by Mr. Arora, the Law Commission may examine the feasibility of making a recommendation for a suitable amendment in the provisions."
1.2 The petitioner, Mr. H. C. Arora, Advocate, thereafter, addressed a letter dated 03.03.2009 to the Chairman, Law Commission of India, also enclosing therewith a copy of the aforesaid Order of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, requesting the Law Commission to consider the matter for submitting appropriate report to the Government for amending Sections 7 and 7A of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 for making advocates with 10 years' practice at the Bar eligible for appointment as presiding officers of the Labour Courts/Tribunals constituted by the Central Government.
1.3 In view of the above, the Law Commission decided to take up the subject for consideration.