Section 15 to 22 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947 Bare Act & Notes

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Section 15 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Duties of Labour Courts, Tribunals and National Tribunals

It provides that in case of any dispute referred to the Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal for adjudication, then the Court shall hold it proceeding and shall submit its award to the appropriate Government within the period specified. 

Illustration

A matter was referred to the Labour Court and accordingly, time was granted for 6 months from the date of the investigation. In such a case, the Court shall submit its award to the appropriate authority within the period specified. 

Section 16 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Form of report or award

It provides that every report whether it be by the Board or the Court shall be signed by all the members of the Board or the Court as the case may be. Also, the award of any Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal shall be in writing and shall be signed by its presiding officer. 

Illustration

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A report submitted by the board for the dispute to the Appropriate Government shall be in writing and shall be signed by all members of the board. 

Section 17 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Publication of reports and awards

It provides that any report of a Board or Court together with any minute of dissent recorded shall be published by the Government in such manner as it may deem fit within 30 days from the date of receipt of the report. Further, any awards published shall be final and shall not be called in question by any Court in any manner whatsoever.

Illustration

The report by the board was submitted on 1st June 2019 to the Appropriate Government. Later, the Government shall publish any such report within 30th June 2019 in any manner as it may deem fit. 

Section 17A of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Commencement of the Award

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It provides that an award shall become enforceable after the expiry of 30 days from the date of its publication under Section 17. It provides that concerning the enforceability of the award, it shall come into operation with effect from such date as may be specified but where no date is specified then it shall come into operation on the date when the award becomes enforceable concerning the provision as mentioned of 30 days or 15 days, in a case where any award rejected or modified is laid before the Legislature of a State or before Parliament. 

Illustration

The Government published such an award granted on 1st June 2019. Later, upon expiry of 30 days, i.e. 30th June 2019, the reward awarded shall become enforceable. 

Case Law

RANIGUNJ CHEMICAL WORKS V. LEARNED JUDGE, FOURTH INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL, 1998 LLR 475.

It provided that Industrial Tribunal retains its jurisdiction to deal with an application for setting aside an ex-parte award only until the expiry of 30 days from publication of the award. Thereafter, Tribunal is relegated to the position of functus officio. 

Section 17B of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Payment of full wages to workman pending proceedings in Higher Courts

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It provides that in case of any order of Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal directing reinstatement of any workman, and the employer opts to appeal against such award in High Court or the Supreme Court, then the employer shall be liable to pay such workman during the period of pendency of the proceeding in the High Court or the Supreme Court as the case may be, provided that such workman has not been employed in any establishment during the period. 

Illustration

The employer challenged the decision of the Labour Court in the High Court relating to the reinstatement of a workman. In this scenario, the employer is liable to pay wages along with all maintenance allowance payable to him, provided that such workman remains unemployed during the period. 

Case Law

CARONA SAHU CO. LTD. V. ABDUL KARIM MUNAKHAN,1994 LLR 199 (BOM)

It provided that the words full wages last drawn appearing in section 17B would include the wages drawn on the date of termination of service plus yearly increments and dearness allowances. For calculating the wages last drawn by the workman, the revision of pay, if any, will also have to be taken into consideration.

Section 18 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Persons on whom settlement and awards are binding

It provides that in case of any settlement by way of an agreement, then in such case it shall be binding on the parties to the agreement. Also, any award which has become enforceable shall be binding on the parties to the agreement. Further, any settlement arrived in the course of conciliation proceedings shall be binding on all parties to the dispute, all other parties summoned to appear in the proceedings as parties to the dispute, the heirs, successors or assigns in respect of the establishment to which the disputes relate. 

Illustration

A dispute between both parties was resolved by way of agreement between the two. In such a scenario, both parties would be binding by the agreement. 

Case Law

MAYURAKSHI COTTON MILLS (1990) LTD. V. NINTH INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL, DURGAPUR, (2003) II LLJ 485 (CAL)

In this case, a settlement was arrived at by an agreement between the company and its employees/workmen represented by the Mazdoor Union only; it was arrived at otherwise than in the course of a conciliation proceeding. Accordingly, such bipartite settlement was binding in terms of section 18(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 only on the parties to the said agreement.

Section 19 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Period of operation of settlement and awards

It provides that a settlement shall come into operation on such date as is agreed upon by the parties, in any case, no date is specified then the date on which the memorandum of the settlement is signed by the parties shall be considered. It provides that any such settlement shall be binding as may be specified, but in case it is not specified then for six months and further two months from the date on which notice in writing of an intention to terminate the settlement is given by one party to other parties to the settlement. 

Illustration

The dispute between both the parties was resolved through an agreement and with this regard no date was specified for as to settlement to come into operation. In this scenario, the date on which the memorandum of the settlement is signed by both parties shall be considered. 

Section 20 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Commencement and conclusion of proceedings

It provides both provisions as to when should a proceeding be deemed to have commenced and when such proceeding shall be deemed to have been concluded. For commencement of a conciliation proceeding, shall be deemed to have commenced on the date on which a notice of strike or lock-out as provided under Section 22 of the act. In furtherance, such proceeding shall be deemed to have been concluded where a settlement has arrived and memorandum of the settlement is signed by the parties, also when no settlement is being arrived at and such report is being sent to the appropriate Government or the report of the board is being published, and in the case when referring to the Labour Courts, Tribunals or National Tribunal is being made. Furthermore, in case of any proceeding before an arbitrator or before a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal shall be deemed to have been commenced on the date of the reference of the dispute, and such proceedings shall be deemed to have been concluded on the date of which the awards become enforceable. 

Illustration

There lies a dispute between two parties, the dispute shall be deemed to have been concluded through conciliation proceeding when a settlement is arrived at along with the signing of a memorandum of the settlement. 

Section 21 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947

Certain matters to be kept confidential

It provides that any such information which is not directly available and was managed only upon investigation, then such information upon request by the concerned trade union, individual, firm, or company involved may by application request in writing to the conciliation officer be treated as confidential. Also, any person presents at or concerned in the proceeding shall not disclose any information without the consent in writing of the secretary of the trade union or the person firm, or company in question as the case may be. 

Illustration

An individual during the investigation disclosed some confidential information to the conciliation officer. Given this, the person may request in writing to the conciliation officer that such information shall not be published.


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