The hands of Industrial Tribunal are not fettered while discharging its functions u/s 15 (2) (b). Once an interim relief is prayed for, the Tribunal had to apply its mind as regards the existence of a prima facie case. It cannot be said that the consideration by the Government before making a reference would constitute a prima facie case. This power cannot be exercised mechanically – The word interim relief have to be distinguished from interlocutory order, relief granted by way of interim measure becomes final and therefore the question of any refund would not arise – 2000 (1) LLJ 565.
16. Form of report or award.- (1) The report of a Board or Court shall be in writing and shall be signed by all the members of the Board or Court, as the case may be:
Provided that nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent any member of the Board or Court from recording any minute of dissent from a report or from any recommendation made therein.
(2) The award of a Labour Court or Tribunal or National Tribunal shall be in writing and shall be signed by its presiding officer.
Award of Tribunal referring workmen to civil surgeon for determining age of workmen after workmen was allowed to continue for two more years based on determination of age by medical board as 58 years on reference by management – 1996 (1) LLJ 453 (SC).
17. Publication of reports and awards.- (1) Every report of a Board or Court together with any minute of dissent recorded therewith, every arbitration award and every award of a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal shall, within a period of thirty days from the date of its receipt by the appropriate Government, be published in such manner as the appropriate Government thinks fit.
(2) Subject to the provisions of section 17A, the award published under sub-section (1) shall be final and shall not be called in question by any Court in any manner whatsoever.
It was held that though Sec. 17 (1) makes it obligatory on the Govt. to publish its award the time –limit of thirty days prescribed therein is merely directory and not mandatory. Remington Rand of India Vrs. The Workmen, (1967) II. L.L.J. 866 (SC); Sirsilk Ltd Vrs. Govt. of A.P. – (1960) I L.L.J. 614 (A.P).
17A. Commencement of the award.- (1) An award (including an arbitration award) shall become enforceable on the expiry of thirty days from the date of its publication under section 17:
Provided that -
(a) if the appropriate Government is of opinion, in any case where the award has been given by a Labour Court or Tribunal in relation to an industrial dispute to which it is a party; or
(b) if the Central Government is of opinion, in any case where the award has been given by a National Tribunal,
that it will be inexpedient on public grounds affecting national economy or social justice to give effect to the whole or any part of the award, the appropriate Government, or as the case may be, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that the award shall not become enforceable on the expiry of the said period of thirty days.
(2) Where any declaration has been made in relation to an award under the proviso to sub-section (1), the appropriate Government or the Central Government may, within ninety days from the date of publication of the award under section 17, make an order rejecting or modifying the award, and shall, on the first available opportunity, lay the award together with a copy of the order before the Legislature of the State, if the order has been made by a State Government, or before Parliament, if the order has been made by the Central Government.
(3) Where any award as rejected or modified by an order made under sub-section (2) is laid before the Legislature of a State or before Parliament, such award shall become enforceable on the expiry of fifteen days from the date on which it is so laid; and where no order under sub-section (2) is made in pursuance of a declaration under the proviso to sub-section (1), the award shall become enforceable on the expiry of the period of ninety days referred to in sub-section (2).
(4) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1) and sub-section (3) regarding the enforceability of an award, the award shall come into operation with effect from such date as may be specified therein, but where no date is so specified, it shall come into operation on the date when the award becomes enforceable under sub-section (1) or sub-section (3), as the case may be.
17B. Payment of full wages to workman pending proceedings in higher courts.-Where in any case, a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal by its award directs reinstatement of any workman and the employer prefers any proceedings against such award in a High Court or the Supreme Court, the employer shall be liable to pay such workman, during the period of pendency of such proceedings in the High Court or the Supreme Court, full wages last drawn by him, inclusive of any maintenance allowance admissible to him under any rule if the workman had not been employed in any establishment during such period and an affidavit by such workman had been filed to that effect in such Court:
Provided that where it is proved to the satisfaction of the High Court or the Supreme Court that such workman had been employed and had been receiving adequate remuneration during any such period or part thereof, the Court shall order that no wages shall be payable under this section for such period or part, as the case may be.
For involving Sec 17-B of the Act, following conditions should be satisfied :
There must be an award of the Labour Court or Industrial Tribunal directing reinstatement of the workman;
The award should have been challenged in a proceeding pending in the High Court or the Supreme Court;
The workman should not have been gainfully employed in any establishment during the pendency of the said proceedings.
All the above conditions should be cumulatively established and only in such a case the workman would be entitled to claim benefits under Section 17-B . K Jayaraman Vrs. Quilon Gas Service, 1995 (70) FLR 1028 (Ker)
Though in Sec. 17-B of the Act the words “from the date of the award “ are not found having regard to the Objects and Reasons stated for inserting date from which the full wages last drawn to be paid should be from the date of the award till disposal of the proceedings. M/s. Vishveshwaraya iron & Steel Vrs. M. Chandrappa, 1993 II CLR 124.
‘Full wages cast drawn ‘ – Meaning of Once a workman granted benefit u/s 17-B of the Act then an order denying the same cannot be passed even if the order of reinstatement was set aside – 1997 (9) Supreme 428.
The court has no jurisdiction to direct non-compliance with the provisions of S. 17-B when the condition Precedent for passing an order in terms of S. 17-B is satisfied, and that being the legislative mandate, the Division Bench of the High Court committed serious error in interfering with the direction of the learned Single Judge to comply with the provisions of S. 17-B while staying the direction of reinstatement of the Labour Court – 2000 (1) LLJ 23 SC.
18. Persons on whom settlements and awards are binding.- (1) A settlement arrived at by agreement between the employer and workman otherwise than in the course of conciliation proceeding shall be binding on the parties to the agreement.
(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), an arbitration award which has become enforceable shall be binding on the parties to the agreement who referred the dispute to arbitration.
(3) A settlement arrived at in the course of conciliation proceedings under this Act or an arbitration award in a case where a notification has been issued under sub-section (3A) of section 10A or an award of a Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal which has become enforceable shall be binding on -
(a) all parties to the industrial dispute;
(b) all other parties summoned to appear in the proceedings as parties to the dispute, unless the Board, arbitrator, Labour Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, records the opinion that they were so summoned without proper cause;
(c) where a party referred to in clause (a) or clause (b) is an employer, his heirs, successors or assigns in respect of the establishment to which the dispute relates;
(d) where a party referred to in clause (a) or clause (b) is composed of workmen, all persons who were employed in the establishment or part of the establishment, as the case may be, to which the dispute relates on the date of the dispute and all persons who subsequently become employed in that establishment or part.