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Hindustan Lever Mazdoor Sabha v/s Hindustan Lever Limited & Another

    WRIT PETITION NO.1852 OF 1999

    Decided On, 09 April 1999

    At, High Court of Judicature at Bombay


    Shri K.K. Singhavi with Ms. Meena Doshi for the petitioner. Shri P.K. Rele for the Respondents.

Judgment Text


The petitioner Hindustan Lever Mazdoor Sabha has filed this writ petition and challenged the order of the Industrial Tribunal, Mumbai passed below Exhibit U-18 in Reference (IT) No.39/97.

2.During the hearing the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner Shri Singhavi took me through the relevant documents attached to the petition and also the order under challenge. He highlighted the provisions of section-36 of the Industrial Disputes Act and the orde

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passed by the Commissioner of Labour dated 3-5-1997 referring the dispute for adjudication as per the schedule to the said order of reference. As per the order passed by my brother Justice A.P. Shah in Writ Petition No.884 of 1998 filed by the petitioner Mazdoor Sabha, the Tribunal was directed to dispose of by giving six months time by directing the Industrial Tribunal to decide the Reference in accordance with law without being influenced by the interim order passed by the Industrial Court in Complaint (ULP) No.284 of 1998. 3.The Industrial Court has, on considering the pleadings, framed issue No.2 which reads as under: "Whether the First Party Company proves that the Hindustan Lever Mazdoor Sabha has no locus standi to represent the employees concerned in the present Reference." An affidavit is filed by Shri Sameer Nagarajan, the Employee Relations Manager of the company opposing the petition and also annexing certain documents as filed before the Industrial Tribunal in Reference No.39 of 1997 between the company and the concerned employee accepting the fresh settlement under section 2-P of the Industrial Disputes Act with the company. The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent company Shri Rele has also, while supporting the order, contended that no case is made out by the petitioner which requires to be interfered with while exercising my writ jurisdiction. Before the Industrial Court, in the said proceedings, on behalf of the respondent company an application seeking directions for production of documents is filed and it is prayed that the Registrar of Trade Unions, Calcutta be directed to furnish the documents viz. the annual returns from 1975 till 1998 filed in the office of the Registrar, Trade Union as required under section 28 of the Trade Unions Act, 1926; the certificate of registration issued to Hindustan Lever Mazdoor Sabha and the list of membership of the Sabha from 1975 till date. 4.The said application was opposed by the petitioner Mazdoor Sabha and it was prayed that in view of the decision and the documents that have been sought for are not given for the purpose of entertaining the application and accordingly prayed that the application for seeking directions be rejected. The Industrial Tribunal has, after considering the said application and the contentions raised before him, allowed the said applications Exhibits C-9, C-20 and C-21 and directions are issued to the Registrar of Trade Unions, Calcutta for furnishing relevant documents as per his operative order and further directions to petitioner Mazdoor Sabha to furnish list of the employees who are its members from 1975 till date. 5.Shri Singhavi, the learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner has placed reliance upon a decision of the Supreme Court reported in 1998 1 C.L.R. page-857 (Hindustan Lever Mazdoor Sabha v. Hindustan Lever Limited) on the point of individual settlement and the effect of such settlement.6.Without expressing anything on merits in respect of the contentions raised before me and on examining the order under challenge, as the order passed by the Industrial Court on an application for production of documents is an inter-locutary order, as observed earlier that in view of the issue framed, the parties are required to lead evidence and when application for production is filed and the same is granted while exercising my writ jurisdiction and more particularly the order under challenge being an inter-locutary order, I am not inclined to interfere with the said order while exercising writ jurisdiction. Hence the petition is dismissed. However, as observed earlier, the Industrial Court is directed to decide the Reference expeditiously within six months. In view of the order passed for production of documents, the Registrar of Trade Union, Calcutta as well as Bombay be intimated and informed that the required information as per the order be furnished as expeditiously as possible within four weeks and if the requisite information is not furnished within that time, the Industrial Court will not wait for such record and the Industrial Court to proceed with the Reference in accordance with law. 7.With these observations, the writ petition is summarily dismissed. However, there will be no order as to costs. A copy of the order be sent to the Industrial Court incorporating the directions to forward a copy to the Registrar of Trade Unions, Calcutta as well as Bombay.

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