At this juncture, apropos it is to point out that this Court, earlier, in more than two cases, had requested Mr. J. Radhakrishnan, I.A.S., when he was the Health Secretary, to appear online to assist the Court and he also ensured that the parties arrive at a compromise and a quietus is given to the matter. It is only with this object in mind, we have requested the aforesaid officers to appear online. Post on 25.09.2023 at 1.00 p.m. (S.V.N., J.) (K.R.S.,J.) 21.09.2023 cad
W.A. No.914 of 2020
CHEYYAR COOP. SUGAR MILLS LTD., REP. BY ITS ADMINISTRATOR, ANAKKAVUR, THIRUVANNAMALAI DISTRICT.
|THE PRESIDING OFFICER,
ADDITIONAL LABOUR COURT, VELLORE DT, VELLORE
THE DHINA KOOLI THOZHILALAR
THE SECRETARY,GOVERNMENT OF
|Petitioner Counsel||Respondent Counsel|
PVT NOTICE FOR RR3 AND 4 ONLY
LEARNED COUNSEL FOR R2, VIDE C
M/S.SPL. GOVT. PLEADER
FOR RR3 & 4, VIDE C/O DATED 24
AOS FILED REG RR3 & 4 – SERVED
R-3 THE DHINA KOOLI THOZHILALA
R-4 THE SECRETARY,GOVERNMENT O
To set aside the order dated 29-04-2019 made in W.P.No.14998/2011 received by the Management on 15-07-2019. RR3 and 4 impleaded. vide order of court dt 05.10.2020. made in WA.914 of 2020.- A.P.S.,CJ and S.K.R.J.
- VAIDYANATHAN, J.
- RAJASEKAR, J.
Heard Mr. Bala Ramesh, learned counsel for the appellant Mill, Mr. Haja Nazruddin, learned Additional Advocate General assisted by Mrs. V. Yamuna Devi, learned Special Government Pleader appearing for the State and Mrs.D.Geetha, learned counsel for the second respondent association.
2 In order to give a quietus to the matter, this Court made a suggestion to the State as to whether there is a feasibility of granting 50% of backwages due to the employees.
3 Mrs. D. Geetha, learned counsel, submitted that the amount calculated and furnished is based on the available documents and that the entire records are with the appellant Mill. She further submitted that the employees are entitled to much more and still, she will put across to the employees as to whether the said 50% of backwages could be accepted by them. It is her further submission that even though there are more than 200 employees, only 115 of them are pursuing the matter.
4 We have made it clear to the learned Additional Advocate General that in case the award of the Labour Court is confirmed, the Government will have to sanction prosecution.
5 Mr. Bala Ramesh, learned counsel for the appellant Mill, submitted that the employees will have to take recourse to filing computation petitions and prosecution cannot be initiated unless the amount is quantified.
6 We are of the view that in the light of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Jaipur Zila Sahakari Bhoomi Vilas Bank Ltd. v Ram Gopal Sharma (2002) 2 SCC 244 and also the judgment of a Single Bench of this Court, as confirmed by a Division Bench in Addison Paints & Chemicals Ltd. v Addison Paints & Chemicals Ltd. & others 2000 (3) LLN 994 (Mad) and 2000 (3) LLN 1000 (Mad.), proceedings under Section 33(c)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act and prosecution under Section 29, ibid., are independent of each other.The relevant paragraphs, viz., paragraphs 11 and 12 of the order of the Single Bench, supra, are extracted below:
“11. The last of the argument relates to the scope of S. 29 of the Industrial Disputes Act and as to when the same can be invoked. The argument is that unless and until the amounts payable to the workmen are quantified in a manner known to law and the management still refuses to pay the amounts, the question of prosecution under S. 29 of the Industrial Disputes Act will not arise. A bare reading of S. 29 does not support such an argument. The section only says that any person who commits a breach of any term of any settlement or award, is liable to be prosecuted. Whether in a particular case the management commits a breach of the award or any terms of the award, it is for the Magistrate before whom they are prosecuted to decide The section does not say that there must be a quantified amount in any award or settlement and only in such cases, the person concerned can be prosecuted. So long as the section is wide enough to attract any breach of the award, I cannot hold that the Magistrate has no jurisdiction to proceed further in the matter. It is in this connection that I am impressed by the last argument of Sri N.G.R. Prasad, as set out in the counter-affidavit. That argument is that it is open to the management to put forth all their arguments before the concerned Magistrate in C.C. No. 10403 of 1995. Unless the Petitioner is able to show that the Magistrate as no jurisdiction to try the case, this Court should not normally interfere with such criminal proceedings. There is no reason why a different view should be taken because the management is involved in a criminal case. I have already indicated that it is open to the management to address all the arguments placed before this Court and convince the Magistrate about their innocence. I, therefore, make it clear that I have not purported to decide any issue in this judgment and keep all the points open for argument before the Magistrate. I have also indicated the power of the Magistrate to impose a fine in the case of a continuing breach. These and all other matters should be taken into account by the Magistrate in accordance with law and be should proceed to dispose of the charge against the management. It is equally open to the magistrate to hold that the management has not committed any breach of the award or its terms and give the benefits of doubt to the management. I once again repeat that the entire matter is before the Magistrate and it is for him and him along to decide the truth or otherwise of the charge levelled against the management.
- In this view of the matter, I am not inclined to interfere with the prosecution launched against the writ-petitioner for the alleged violation of the award, dated 31 December 1992. The writ petition therefore fails and is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. All interim orders are vacated.”
7 For the purpose of assisting this Court, we request the following officers to appear before this Court via video conferencing at 1.00 p.m. on 25.09.2023 (Monday).
|1||Mr. Kumar Jayant, I.A.S.||Addl. Chief Secy. to Govt., Labour Welfare and Skill Development Department|
|2||Mr. T. Udhayachandran, I.A.S.||Principal Secretary to Government, Finance Department|
|3||Mr. T. Anbalagan, I.A.S.||Additional Commissioner – Sugar, Commissioner of Sugars (I/c)|
|4||Mr. C. Samayamoorthy, I.A.S.||Commissioner, Agricultural Production and Secretary to Government, Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Department|
8 At this juncture, apropos it is to point out that this Court, earlier, in more than two cases, had requested Mr. J. Radhakrishnan, I.A.S., when he was the Health Secretary, to appear online to assist the Court and he also ensured that the parties arrive at a compromise and a quietus is given to the matter. It is only with this object in mind, we have requested the aforesaid officers to appear online.
Post on 25.09.2023 at 1.00 p.m.
(S.V.N., J.) (K.R.S.,J.)