Citation 1995 AIR 319, 1994 SCC (5) 572
Date of Judgment 19/03/19
Court Supreme Court of India
Petitioner Syndicate Bank
Respondent K. Umesh Nayak
Syndicate bank vs K. Umesh nayak,1994 is a notable case which has a reference to the supreme court’s earlier three rulings in Churakulam Tea Estate vs workmen, Crompton Greaves Ltd vs workmen, and Bank of India vs T.S. Kelawala. This case is related to memorandum of settlement which was signed by The Indian bank association and All India bank employees’ unions. In this case, the Appellant is Syndicate bank and the Respondent is K .Umesh nayak.(worker’s federation) Earlier this case was filed as writ petition in the High court. However, the contradictory decision by the benches, the matter was appealed and referred to the Supreme Court.
FACTS OF THE CASE :
The workforce and the Association of Banks both signed the settlement. Workmen had various perks to which they were entitled, according to the settlement. Banks continued to claim that the Central Government’s approval was required for the implementation, so they did not carry out that portion of the settlement. The two sides communicated frequently in an effort to resolve this problem, but little progress was noted. The workers published a number of strike notices. There were also conciliation proceedings going on. It was observed that during this time, construction workers were successful in obtaining a writ of mandamus from the HC, pleaded for the fulfilment of the settlements, and interfered with work. Additionally, the workers asked the CO to adjourn the mediation. A circular from the bank stating that salaries will be paid
ISSUE RAISED :
The question in this case was whether it would be appropriate for the strike’s legality to be taken into consideration when determining whether an employer might withhold workers’ wages for the duration of a strike.
– What is the strike’s legality?
– Should the Division Bench’s ruling be overturned?
CONTENTIONS OF PLAINTIFF :
Employees were prohibited from striking during the conciliation hearings and for seven days following the proceedings under Section 22(1)(d) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947, hence the strike will be regarded as illegal.
As the issue of the government’s consent by the bank for the settlement arose by the federation, they further argued that it is an industrial dispute. As a result, the Industrial Dispute Act’s Section 22(1)(d) is applicable in this situation.
CONTENTIONS OF PLAINTIFF :
The respondent argued that because there was no such provision in the agreement, the settlement of the dispute did not require permission from the government.
They also argued that the conciliation processes were invalid since there were no industrial disputes, negating the application of Section 22(1)(d) of the Industrial Dispute Act.
This case reexamined and resolved divergent conclusions that the Supreme Court had expressed in rulings by a smaller court.
A strike will be illegal, according to the Court, if it violates the Industrial Disputes Act’s rules.
According to the act, no employee of an industrial establishment is permitted to strike in violation of their employment agreement, and no employer is permitted to proclaim a lockout while conciliation proceedings before a Board are pending and for seven days following the conclusion of such processes.
The court determined that neither a statute’s provision had been broken, nor could it be said that the strike was justifiable under the given circumstances.
It instructed the Central Government to report the wage deduction controversy to the proper authorities under the Act for resolution within eight weeks.
In conclusion, the Industrial Disputes Act, the appropriate procedure, and the appropriate forum must be followed for determining the legality or illegality of a strike. The High Court lacks authority to consider an industrial dispute that is pending before the appropriate tribunal designated by the Industrial Disputes Act. The judgment could be overturned if the court exceeded its power and interfered with an industrial tribunal’s jurisdiction.
This Article is written by N. Shishwa, Student of University of Law, Osmania Uniersity. Intern at Legal Vidhya