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Report No. 58

Federal Court

7.16. But, before the Supreme Court came on the scene, one special feature of industrial law was considered by the Federal Court in Western India Automobile Association v. Industrial Tribunal, Bombay, 1949 SCR 321, that case, the dispute brought by the employers before the Federal Court was in relation to the powers of industrial tribunal to direct the reinstatement of an employee where services had been terminated by the employer.

Basing the argument on principles of Common Law relating to master and servant, the employees urged that the Industrial Tribunal had no jurisdiction to direct reinstatement, since the termination of the employment was in accordance with the terms of contract. "Adjudication", said the Federal Court in rejecting this argument, "does not, in our opinion, mean adjudication according to the strict law of master and servant". "The award of the tribunal may contain provisions for settlement of a dispute which no court could order if it was bound by ordinary law, but the tribunal is not fettered in any way be these limitations." It is on this basis that the whole of industrial jurisprudence has been subsequently founded by the decisions of the Supreme Court.

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