Caparo Engineering India Ltd. v. Ummed Singh Lodhi

Industrial Disputes Act, 1947

Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and award passed by the Labour Court, the employer – management preferred writ petitions under Article 227 of the Constitution of India before the High Court and by the impugned common judgment and order the High Court has dismissed the said writ petitions treating the said writ petitions under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge, the appellant preferred writ appeal/s before the Division Bench of the High Court and the Division Bench has dismissed the said appeal/s as not maintainable observing that the writ petition/s before the learned Single Judge was/were under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.

Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned common judgment and order passed by the High Court dismissing the writ petitions and confirming the respective judgments and awards passed by the Labour Court declaring the order of transfer dated 13.01.2015 as illegal, null and void and in breach of the provisions of the I.D. Act, more particularly, Section 9A of the I.D. Act, the management/employer has preferred the present appeals. That the appellant has also challenged the order passed by the Division Bench dismissing the writ appeal/s as not maintainable.

Held: Now, so far as the submission on behalf of the appellant that the learned Single Judge of the High Court wrongly treated the petition(s) under Article 227 and as such the learned Single Judge ought to have treated the petition(s) under Article 226, therefore, the writ appeal before the learned Single Judge would have been maintainable, is concerned, 22 at the outset, it is required to be noted that before the learned Single Judge in the cause title specifically Article 227 has been mentioned. Even in prayer clause, no writ of certiorari is sought. The prayer is simply to quash and set aside the judgment and award passed by the learned Labour Court and, therefore, in the fact situation, the Division Bench has rightly dismissed the writ appeal as not maintainable. Be that it may, even for the sake of submission, assuming that we accept the submission that the petition before the learned Single Judge ought to have been treated as under Article 226 and writ appeal would have been maintainable, in the facts and circumstances of the case and instead of remanding the matter to the Division Bench to decide the same afresh, we, ourselves, have decided the entire controversy/issues on merits considering the fact that the order of transfer is of 2015 and that most of the employees have by now retired or they are about to retire on attaining the age of superannuation and that it is stated that they are not paid the salaries since 2015. Therefore, we, ourselves, have decided the entire issues on merits.

In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, we see no reason to interfere with the impugned judgment and award passed by the learned Labour Court confirmed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court. We are in complete agreement with the view taken by the learned Labour Court as well as the learned Single Judge holding the 23 order of transfer dated 13.01.2015 transferring the respective workman from Dewas to Chopanki, which is at about 900 Kms. from the place they were working as illegal, mala fide and in violation of Section 9A read with Fourth Schedule of the Industrial Disputes Act.

Consequently, all these appeals deserve to be dismissed and are accordingly dismissed. The appellant is directed to comply with the judgment and award passed by the learned Labour Court confirmed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court. All the concerned workmen shall be entitled to the consequential benefits including the arrears of salary etc., as if they were not transferred from Dewas and continued to work at Dewas and whatever benefits, which may be available to the respective workmen including the arrears of salary/wages, retirement benefits etc. shall be paid to the concerned workman within a period of four weeks from today. All these appeals are accordingly dismissed with costs, which is quantified at Rs.25,000/- qua each workman also to be paid to the concerned workman within a period of four weeks from today.