In Civil Appeal No 5758 of 2012-SC- Effective relief can be granted only if worker’s permanent address is furnished in pleadings: Top Court directs parties to furnish their permanent addresses in cases relating to labour law disputes
Justices Abhay S. Oka & Rajesh Bindal [16-03-2023]
Read Judgment: M/s. Creative Garments Ltd v. Kashiram Verma
New Delhi, March 18,2023: Directing the Authorities working under the various labour laws to take some corrective steps, the Supreme Court has observed that merely mentioning through the Labour Union or authorised representatives will not be sufficient and service of notice of workman will have to be effected on the permanent address of the workman
Referring to Payment of Wages Act, 1936, Workman Compensation Act, 1923, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, Minimum Wages Act, 1948, Payment of Gratuity Act 1972 & Civil Procedure Code, 1908, the Bench said, “Effective relief can be granted to a worker only if the permanent address of the workman is furnished in the pleadings.”
This case revolved around an award of the Labour Court which showed that the address of the respondent was through some Union and he had not furnished his own address. A perusal of the order passed by the Single Bench of High Court showed that the respondent workman was represented, hence he knew about the challenge to the award of the Labour Court and also dismissal of the Writ Petition.
The Order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court in the appeal filed by the Management against the order passed by the Single Bench showed that the statement of the counsel for the Management was recorded that the Management would reinstate the workman and he shall be communicated accordingly so as to enable him to report for duty.
Challenge was to the award of the Labour Court only to the extent of award of back-wages. The appeal was admitted. Thereafter, the Management had sent various communications by Registered Post/Courier requesting the respondent to report for duty. However, there was no response.
Further, when the matter was taken up by the Division Bench of the High Court, the statement of counsel for the workman was recorded that he would report for duty. The Management sent another letter to the workman specifically mentioning that his inaction to report for duty would amount to presumption that he is no more interested to join the duty. Request was also made to him to furnish his permanent address.
When the matter was taken up for hearing, the appellant’s counsel on instructions from his client submitted that the respondent had not reported for duty till date which meant that he was no more interested in joining duty and must have been gainfully employed after leaving the job in question.
The appeal in question had been filed by the Management challenging the order passed by the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court of Judicature vide which the order passed by the Single Bench was upheld. As a consequence, the award of the Labour Court was held to be valid whereby the Court had directed reinstatement of the respondent with continuity of service from December 8, 1997 with full back wages.
The Bench was of the view that the award of the Labour Court granting backwages and continuity in service to the respondent workman deserved to be set aside as he had not reported for duty despite the statement made by his counsel in Court.
“The present appeal cannot be kept pending as the conduct of the respondent itself establishes that he is no more interested in employment what to talk of back-wages”, the Bench said while allowing the appeal and setting aside the impugned order passed by the High Court and the award of the Labour Court.The Bench also ordered that a sum of Rs 10,000 which was directed to be deposited by the appellant before this Court be refunded back to the appellant.
The Bench also stated that to simplify labour laws and strengthening the protection available to workers, including unorganised workers in terms of statutory minimum wages, social security and healthcare of the workers, the Parliament has consolidated 29 labour laws under 4 category of Codes, namely, Wage Code, Social Security Code, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code and The Industrial Relations Code.
The aforesaid Codes are yet to be enforced, the Bench noted while also remarking, “With the enforcement of 4 Labour Codes, we are hopeful that in future, when rules are framed, authorities will take care that parties to the dispute furnish their permanent addresses in the cases relating to labour law disputes.”
“In future all the cases to be filed and in all the pending cases, the parties shall be required to furnish their permanent address(es). Even if the representative of the workman is appearing, he shall furnish permanent address of the workman as well. Even in proceedings subsequent to first stage, it shall be mandatory to provide permanent address of the party for his service”, the Bench ordered.
The Bench concluded the matter by stating that service of notice of workman will have to be effected on the permanent address of the workman.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to stay up to date on our product, events featured blog, special offer and all of the exciting things that take place here at Legitquest.
Add a Comment