Criminal Appeal No. 768 OF 2007 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.2371 of
Dr. Arijit Pasayat, J
1. Challenge in this appeal is to the order passed by the
Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing the writ
petition filed by the appellant questioning correctness of the award
dated 25.8.2003 made by the Presiding Officer Central Government
Industrial Tribunal cum Labour Court, Chandigarh (hereinafter referred
to as the 'Labour Court').
2. Background facts in a nutshell
are as follows:
3. Respondent was engaged as Mazadoor on daily wages basis during
various periods from 1.1.1985 to 15.1.1987. He was engaged as per the
requirement of the department on the basis of specific sanction of
muster roll vacancies from time to time. However, the aforesaid sanction
did not exceed 25 days in one stretch of period under any circumstances
and the period of Sundays and holidays were also included in the above
period. As the services of the respondent no.1 were no longer required,
his engagement was terminated on 16.1.1987. After about five years
respondent no.1 sought for a reference and claimed that his services
were to be regularized. He claimed that he has worked for more than 240
days and, therefore, the termination of service without following the
procedures of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (in short 'the Act') was
bad in law. The appellant filed reply to the claim petition. It was
specifically pleaded that the appellant is a part of the Defence
Department and is not an industry and, therefore, the reference was not
maintainable. Labour Court did not specifically deal with this aspect
and holding that the respondent had rendered services for 240 days, his
termination was not sustainable. The award was challenged before the
High Court. Apart from the other controversies a specific plea was
raised that the appellant is not an industry and, therefore, the Act has
4. The High Court by the impugned
order held that the requirements of Section 25F of the Act had not been
complied with and, therefore, the order of the Labour Court was not to
be interfered with.
5. Learned counsel for the appellant
submitted that the basic plea that the Act has no application and the
appellant cannot be treated as an industry, has not been considered.
6. Per contra, learned counsel for
the respondent submitted that the order of the High Court does not
suffer from any infirmity.
7. From a perusal of the orders of
the Labour Court and the High Court, it is noticed that the factual
position has not been analysed in detail and abrupt conclusion has been
arrived at. Additionally, the legal issue regarding maintainability of
the reference was not considered. Right from the beginning of the
proceedings before the Labour Court and in the High Court, appellant had
taken specific plea that the Act was not applicable to it and it was not
an industry. Unfortunately, as noted above, neither the Labour Court nor
the High Court dealt with this issue.
8. Above being the position, we set
aside the orders of the Labour Court and the High Court and remit the
matter to the Labour Court to decide the objection raised by the
appellant about the maintainability of the proceedings under the Act,
founded on the claim that it is not an industry. The other factual
aspects shall also be considered on evidence being led by the parties.
9. The appeal is accordingly
disposed of without any order as to costs.
Print This Judgment