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Special Leave Petitions Against Orders of Industrial Tribunals

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  • Special Leave Petitions Against Orders of Industrial Tribunals
    The Supreme Court has been called upon to interfere with the orders and awards passed by the industrial and other tribunals in the country. The competency of the Court to entertain an special leave petition directly against the order of an industrial tribunal has been questioned, but the Court has held that the scope of Article 136 of the Constitution is very wide and an, appeal can be entertained under that Article from the decision of an industrial tribunal.

    However, it is preferable that an aggrieved person approaches the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court may be inclined to entertain a petition in a very rare case e.g. in Hindustan Tin Works Ltd. v. Employees, the Supreme Court held that jurisdiction under Article 136 should be exercised only in a case where a question of general importance was involved and when the decision of the Tribunal shocks the conscience of the Court. It was held that the Court would exercise its discretionary jurisdiction only in cases where the award was made in violation of the principles of natural justice or it raised important principles of industrial law requiring elucidation and final decision of the Court or where it discloses such exceptional or special circumstances as to merit the consideration of the Supreme Court.

    The scope of the power under Article 136 of the Constitution vis-a-vis awards of industrial tribunals was stated in Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd., Calcutta v. Their Employees, where the Court

    Article 136 of the Constitution does not confer a right of appeal to any party from the decision of any tribunal, but it confers a discretionary power on the Supreme Court to grant special leave to appeal from the order of any tribunal in the territory of India. It is implicit in the discretionary reserve power that it cannot be exhaustively defined. It cannot obviously be so construed as to confer a right to party where he had none under the law. The Industrial Disputes Act is intended to be a self-contained one and it seeks to achieve social justice on the basis of collective bargaining, conciliation and arbitration. Awards are given on circumstances peculiar to each dispute and the tribunals.

    are, to a large extent, free from the restrictions of technical Considerations imposed on Courts. A free and liberal exercise of the power under Article 136 may solution to such disputes to achieve industrial peace. Though Article 136 is couched in widest terms, it is necessary for this Court to exercise it discretionary jurisdiction only in cases where awards arc made in violation of the principles of natural justice, causing substantial and grave injustice to parties or raising an important principle of industrial law requiring elucidation and final decision by this Court or disclosing such other exceptional or special circumstances which merit the consideration of this Court.

    In a subsequent case46, the Court repelled the argument that a liberal approach has to be taken in labour matters or cases arising out of disputes under the Industrial Disputes Act.

    Some of the principles governing the Courts interference in awards of Industrial Tribunals that can be culled out on the basis of judicial decisions are as follows
    (1) Where there has been a grave miscarriage of justice or where the procedure adopted by the Tribunal is such that it offends all notions of legal procedure.
    (2) Where a person has been dealt with arbitrarily or has not been given a fair deal.
    (3) Where the Tribunal has not directed its mind to the real question to be decided and has passed an order on the basis of an irrelevant finding which has resulted in manifest injustice.
    (4) Where the Tribunal acts in excess of jurisdiction conferred upon it under the statute or regulations creating it, or where it ostensibly fails. to exercise patent jurisdiction, where there is an apparent error on the face of the decision and where the Tribunal has failed to apply the established principles governing the question at issue and grave injustice has resulted therefrom.
    (5) Where the finding is perverse in the sense that it is not supported by any evidence.

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