Nashik Workers Union vs. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
In the Supreme Court of India
Civil Appellate Jurisdiction
Civil Appeal nos. 9332- 9333 of 2010
Dipak Misra, J.
The appellant filed a complaint against the respondent for reinstatement of the trainees with the continuity of the services and back pays. Eventually, the complaint came before the Labour Court. The Court declared that the employer had engaged in the unfair labour practices. The case further came before the industrial court and then to the High Court. While being in the High Court a contention was raised by the respondent that the government in respect to the dispute was Central govt. & not the State govt. Therefore, the Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971 doesn’t apply hence, the complaint should be dismissed. The learned judge declared that, the disputed government was the State Government and not the Central Govt. The same judgment passed by the single judge was challenged by preferring an intra court appeal before the division bench. Thus, the division bench came to a conclusion that the appropriate govt. is central govt. for the purpose of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947. Therefore, the complaint filed is not maintainable.
Is the appropriate government in dispute is the Central Govt.? Or the State Govt.?
Approach of the Supreme Court & Judgment:
The court sharply stated that the Division Bench hasn’t dwelt on the merits of the case and only decided the appeal on the ground of maintainability of the complaints. There have been many cases which bolster the appropriate govt. The reference was made out to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited vs. Workmen and others wherein it was contended that the company is in control of Central Govt. Making another reference, it was stated that the question whether a corporation is an agent of the state must depend upon the facts of each case. Therefore, looking after the references, certain references cannot be regarded as binding precedent. Therefore, the appropriate government in relation to the respondent company is the State Government. Thus, the matter is remitted to the High Court for fresh adjudications and has requested the Court to dispose of the matter within six months. The appeals are allowed, but there shall be no order as to costs.