The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, a pivotal legislation in India, delineates
a comprehensive framework for the resolution of conflicts arising in the
industrial landscape. The primary objective of this legislation is to maintain
industrial peace and harmony by providing mechanisms for the expeditious
settlement of disputes between employers and employees. Under the Act, various
authorities are entrusted with the responsibility of adjudicating and settling
The process commences with conciliation, where efforts are
made to bring the parties to a mutual agreement through the intervention of a
conciliation officer. If conciliation fails, the dispute can be referred to a
Board of Conciliation or a Court of Inquiry, depending on the nature and scope
of the disagreement. In cases where conciliation proves ineffective or the
dispute remains unresolved, the Act empowers the appropriate government to refer
the matter to an industrial tribunal or a national tribunal for adjudication.
These tribunals consist of individuals with expertise in industrial matters and
have the authority to hear and determine disputes, rendering awards that are
binding on the parties involved. The Act also provides for the establishment of
labor courts to adjudicate disputes of a less complex nature. These courts play
a crucial role in ensuring a speedy resolution of disputes, contributing to the
overall efficiency of the dispute resolution mechanism.
Additionally, the Act
recognizes the significance of grievance redressal mechanisms within
establishments. It mandates the formation of grievance committees to address
individual grievances and maintain a channel for resolving issues at the
workplace level. Furthermore, the Act confers upon the appropriate government
the power to exempt certain establishments or classes of establishments from its
provisions, allowing for flexibility in implementation based on specific
The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 is a foundational piece
of legislation that establishes a comprehensive and structured framework for the
settlement of industrial disputes. By providing a range of authorities and
mechanisms, it aims to foster an environment conducive to industrial peace,
ultimately contributing to the sustained growth and development of the
industrial sector in India.
The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947(thereafter referred as ID Act,1947) marks a
significant milestone in India's industrial progress. Recent amendments have
expanded its scope, applying to all Indian industrial entities employing one or
more individuals. Examples of conflicts include collective disputes supported by
trade unions or a substantial number of workers, along with individual disputes
related to service termination.
The historical exploitation of labor, inherent
in civilization, persists despite ongoing struggles by laborers and their
organizations. Preceding 1947, industrial disputes were resolved under the Trade
Disputes Act of 1929, revealing flaws necessitating fresh legislation. The
Industrial Disputes Bill, introduced and referred to a select committee,
underwent amendments based on committee recommendations. Passed on March 11,
1947, it became effective on April 1, 1947, as the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
(14 of 1947).
Enacted to address and settle industrial disputes while
safeguarding workers, the Act comprises 40 sections organized into 7 chapters.
An industrial dispute represents a conflict between management and workers
regarding terms of employment, involving disagreement between employers and
employee representatives. During such disputes, both parties, management, and
workers, attempt to exert pressure�management may resort to lockouts, while
workers may use strikes, picketing, or gheraos. The Industrial Disputes Act,
1947, stands as a crucial legislation striving for equitable treatment of labor
and the promotion of industrial peace.
The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (ID
Act), is enacted to investigate and settle disputes in any industrial
establishment. It defines an "industrial dispute" as a conflict between workmen
and employers or among workmen related to employment, non-employment, terms of
employment, or labor conditions. Dismissing an individual workman is considered
an industrial dispute. The ID Act mandates the formation of Works Committees,
comprising employers and workmen, to foster good relations and address
differences. It establishes Conciliation Officers, Boards of Conciliation,
Courts of Inquiry, Labour Courts, Tribunals, and National Tribunals for dispute
Arbitration is another recognized method. The ID Act aims for a
legalistic dispute resolution approach, emphasizing preventive measures to
eliminate conflicts. It prohibits unfair labor practices, detailed in the Fifth
Schedule, including strikes and lockouts (except under defined conditions with
proper notice). The Act imposes penalties for illegal strikes, lockouts, and
unfair labor practices, addressing layoff, retrenchment, and compensation
The ID Act provides that an employer who intends to close down an industrial
shall obtain prior permission at least ninety days before the date on which he
intends to close
down the industrial establishment, giving the reasons thereof. The Industrial
Disputes Act of 1947 serves as a comprehensive regulatory framework for labor
laws, applying to all workmen and individuals employed across the Indian
mainland. Enacted on April 1, 1947, it emerged in response to enduring conflicts
between capitalists or employers and workers. The perennial divergence of
opinions between these groups often gave rise to disputes, prompting
governmental intervention through the introduction of this legislation.
The Act's primary aim is to instill peace and harmony in the realm of industrial
relations by providing a structured mechanism for dispute resolution.
Recognizing the inherent differences between employers and workers, it seeks to
address and mitigate conflicts that may arise within or between these parties.
By coming into force on April 1, 1947, the Industrial Disputes Act establishes a
legal foundation that promotes a peaceful resolution of issues, contributing to
a conducive and balanced environment within the industrial landscape. The
government's decision to enact this legislation reflects a commitment to
fostering amicable relationships and ensuring equitable treatment within the
The scope and purpose of this Act encompass the examination and resolution of
industrial disputes, serving various objectives. It specifically focuses on
industries operated by or under the authority of the Central Government, railway
organizations, or industries designated by the Central Government. The Act is
designed to address and settle conflicts within these sectors, providing a
framework for the effective management of industrial relations and ensuring a
harmonious working environment.
This legislation is tailored for the scrutiny
and resolution of industrial disputes, catering to diverse purposes. Its
application is directed towards industries under the jurisdiction of the Central
Government, railway organizations, and industries designated by the Central
Government. The Act, with its focused scope, aims to effectively manage and
settle conflicts within these specific sectors, promoting a framework conducive
to maintaining harmonious industrial relations and fostering a cooperative
The Act provides distinct features, offering precise guidelines for the
establishment of a works committee, applicable to both employers and workmen.
This committee is mandated to facilitate measures that promote positive working
relations and understanding between workmen and employers. It operates with the
overarching goal of resolving any significant differences of opinion that may
arise in the future regarding various work-related matters. The guidelines set
forth by the Act underscore the importance of cultivating a cooperative and
harmonious working environment by fostering communication and mutual
By emphasizing the establishment of works committees, the Act
recognizes the pivotal role they play in facilitating dialogue and cooperation
between employers and workmen. This proactive approach aims to prevent and
address potential disputes, creating a platform for constructive discussions and
resolutions. The Act's commitment to addressing material differences of opinion
reflects its dedication to maintaining a balanced and collaborative relationship
between employers and workmen, ultimately contributing to a conducive and
amicable industrial landscape.
The genesis of the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 can be traced back to the
aftermath of World War I, a period that marked a significant awakening among the
working class. Prior to this era, employees were subject to the unilateral
decisions of employers concerning their service and compensation. The war served
as a catalyst for change, prompting workers to assert their rights through
strikes, while employers responded with lockouts. The industrial landscape
witnessed a surge in labor movements as the working class sought fair treatment
and improved working conditions. In response to the escalating industrial
conflicts, particularly the numerous strikes and lockouts in 1928-29, the
government took a decisive step by enacting the Trade Disputes Act of 1929.
legislation aimed to provide a mechanism for resolving industrial disputes and
acknowledged the establishment of trade unions as legal entities. While it
marked progress in recognizing the rights of workers and addressing disputes, a
fundamental flaw became apparent � the absence of provisions to govern
procedures when restrictions on the right to strike and lockout were imposed in
public utility services.
The inadequacies of the Trade Disputes Act of 1929 became evident, leading to a
subsequent remedy during the Second World War (1938-1945). Rule 81-A of the
Defense of Indian Rules was introduced, allowing the referral of industrial
conflicts to adjudicators for resolution. This step addressed the deficiency in
the earlier legislation, providing a mechanism for handling disputes during a
critical period. However, with the conclusion of the Second World War, Rule 81-A
was set to expire on October 1, 1946. Recognizing the ongoing need for a
comprehensive legislative framework to govern industrial disputes, the
government, utilizing its Emergency Powers, extended the validity of Rule 81-A
beyond its initial expiration date.
This extension played a pivotal role in
preserving the key clause that would later find a permanent place in the
Industrial Disputes Act of 1947. The culmination of these historical
developments led to the enactment of the Industrial Disputes Act in 1947. This
legislation retained the crucial provisions introduced under Rule 81-A,
providing a robust framework for the examination and settlement of industrial
disputes. The Act, which came into effect on April 1, 1947, aimed to foster
peace and harmony in industrial relations by offering specific guidelines and
procedures for the resolution of conflicts between employers and workmen.
essence, the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 was a response to the evolving
dynamics of industrial relations in India. It marked a departure from the
limitations of earlier legislations, addressing the inadequacies that had been
identified during times of industrial strife. The Act, with its historical roots
in the aftermath of World War I and the subsequent developments during World War
II, stands as a crucial legal framework shaping the landscape of industrial
relations in India.
Highlights of ID Act,1947:
The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947, encapsulating the essence of its long
title, serves as a pivotal legislation designed to address industrial disputes,
facilitate investigations, and cater to other specified objectives. Its reach
extends across territories under direct British control and was subsequently
applied to the Princely States upon their integration into the Indian Union.
Enacted by the Central Legislative Assembly, the Industrial Disputes Act
received assent on the 11th of March 1947, signifying a crucial milestone in
India's legal framework concerning industrial relations. Subsequently, the Act
came into effect on the 1st of April 1947, laying the groundwork for a
structured and comprehensive approach to the resolution of conflicts within the
The Act's long title succinctly outlines its primary purpose � the provision for
the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes. It underscores the
legislative intent to create a mechanism that not only addresses conflicts but
also seeks to establish a framework for resolution and understanding between
employers and workmen. By incorporating "certain other purposes" in its long
title, the Act acknowledges the multifaceted nature of industrial relations and
the need for a holistic approach in its regulation.
Territorially, the Act
initially applied to regions under direct British control. However, as India
underwent a significant transformation with the integration of Princely States
into the Indian Union, the Act's territorial extent expanded to encompass the
entire nation. This expansion aligned with the broader vision of creating a
unified legal framework for industrial relations across the newly-formed Indian
The enactment of the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 was a response to
the historical context of industrial conflicts during and after World War II.
Its provisions were shaped by the evolving dynamics of labor movements and the
recognition of the imperative to establish a legal framework that balances the
interests of employers and workers. The Act stands as a testament to India's
commitment to fostering industrial peace and harmony by providing a legislative
foundation for the fair and effective resolution of disputes. Its historical
significance, from territorial expansion to the assent and commencement dates,
underscores its enduring impact on shaping the landscape of industrial relations
Entities Empowered By The Act For Dispute Resolution And Their Respective
Industrial Dispute-Sec. 2 (k)
Industrial Dispute is:
Any dispute of difference between employers and employers
employers and workmen; or between workmen and workmen, which is connected with
employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or with the conditions
of labour of any person.
A defined industrial dispute, as per Section 2(k), involves parties encompassing
employers and workmen, employers with employers, or workmen with workmen. The
following conditions must be met for the existence of such a dispute:
- The dispute must go beyond a mere difference of opinion; there should be a factual dispute.
- The dispute must be formally embraced by the union in writing at the initiation of the dispute. Any subsequent adoption of the dispute in writing will invalidate the reference, underscoring the critical importance of the date of espousal.
- The impact of the dispute extends beyond an individual workman, affecting the interests of multiple workmen as a class within an industrial establishment.
- The dispute may pertain to any specific workman or group of workmen, or any other individual representing their collective interest.
These conditions delineate the criteria for the classification of an industrial
dispute, emphasizing the need for tangible disagreement, formal written adoption
by the union at the dispute's inception, and a collective impact on a class of
The requirement for a factual dispute ensures that the disagreement
transcends subjective differences, demanding an objective basis for its
classification as an industrial dispute. The insistence on written espousal by
the union at the dispute's initiation underscores the procedural significance,
with subsequent endorsements being deemed invalid.
Moreover, the collective
impact criterion emphasizes the broader implications of the dispute, extending
beyond individual concerns to encompass the interests of a class of workers
within an industrial establishment. This collective dimension is crucial in
distinguishing an industrial dispute from individual grievances.
The provisions encapsulated in these conditions aim to establish a robust and
well-defined framework for the identification and resolution of industrial
disputes. They emphasize both the substantive and procedural aspects, ensuring
that disputes meeting the specified criteria receive the necessary attention and
adjudication under the Industrial Disputes Act.
Chandrakant Tukaram Nikam and others vs. Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad and
In the case of Chandrakant Tukaram Nikam and others vs. Municipal Corporation of
Ahmedabad and another
, the Supreme Court pronounced that the jurisdiction of the
Civil Court is implicitly prohibited in matters related to dismissal or removal
from service. The court affirmed that the suitable recourse for seeking relief
in such cases lies within forums established under the Industrial Disputes Act,
This legal precedent underscores the principle that when disputes arise
concerning the termination or removal of an individual from employment,
resorting to the jurisdiction of Civil Courts is not permissible. Instead, the
Industrial Disputes Act serves as the designated and appropriate avenue for
addressing grievances related to employment termination.
The Supreme Court's
ruling in this case reinforces the specialized nature of labor disputes and the
need for a dedicated mechanism, as outlined in the Industrial Disputes Act, to
adjudicate matters arising from dismissals or removals from service. This
decision aligns with the legislative intent to streamline and expedite the
resolution of employment-related conflicts through specialized forums
specifically tailored to address the nuances of industrial relations.
Jadhav J. H. vs. Forbes Gobak Ltd.:
In the case of Jadhav J. H. vs. Forbes
, the court established a significant precedent by holding that a
dispute concerning a solitary workman could be deemed an industrial dispute. The
key determinant in this scenario is whether the dispute is endorsed either by
the union or by a collective group of workmen. Importantly, the ruling clarified
that the legitimacy of the union espousing the cause of the individual workman
need not be contingent on its majority status within the overall union.
This decision underscores the inclusive approach taken by the court in
recognizing the potential industrial nature of a dispute involving a single
workman. By emphasizing that the endorsement of the cause by either the union or
a group of workmen is sufficient, irrespective of the union's majority status,
the court has extended the scope of what qualifies as an industrial dispute.
This interpretation is aligned with the spirit of labor laws, promoting a broad
and inclusive definition to ensure that the rights and concerns of individual
workmen are adequately addressed within the framework of industrial relations.
Authorities Under The Act And Their Duties
The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 is a comprehensive legislation designed to
address and resolve disputes that could disrupt the tranquility of the
industrial environment. It plays a pivotal role in fostering harmony and a
cooperative relationship between employers and employees. The Act serves as a
self-contained code, compelling parties involved to turn to industrial
arbitration as the primary means for resolving disputes.
establishment of statutory norms, the legislation contributes to the maintenance
of amicable relations between employers and employees, reflecting the principles
of socio-economic justice. The Act designates various authorities for the
investigation and settlement of industrial disputes, ensuring a structured
approach to conflict resolution. These authorities include the Works Committee,
Conciliation Officer, Boards of Conciliation, Court of Inquiry, Labour Court,
Labour Tribunals, and National Tribunals.
Each of these entities plays a
distinct role in the process, collectively contributing to the effective
functioning of the dispute resolution mechanism outlined by the Industrial
Disputes Act. This multi-tiered approach reinforces the commitment to creating a
fair and balanced industrial landscape, promoting equitable resolutions and
preventing disruptions that may hinder the overall peace of the industry.
Works Committee (Section 3):
The works committee, as defined in Section 3, is a collaborative body comprising
representatives from both employers and workmen. Serving as a platform for
articulating the challenges faced by all parties involved, the primary objective
of the works committee is to address and resolve issues arising in the
day-to-day operations of an establishment, ultimately fostering industrial
The committee's core function lies in identifying and addressing
employee grievances, striving to reach agreements through a consultative
process. Its formation is mandated by the appropriate Government through a
general or special order, specifically in industrial establishments employing
100 or more workmen, whether currently or within the preceding 12 months.
Members include representatives from both employers and workmen engaged in the
establishment. The works committee is entrusted with the duty to proactively
promote measures aimed at securing and preserving a positive relationship
between employers and workmen. To achieve this, the committee comments on
matters of mutual interest, endeavors to resolve any significant differences of
opinion, and facilitates consensus on relevant issues.
It is important to note that decisions made by the works committee are not
legally binding, emphasizing its advisory and consultative nature in the pursuit
of amicable relations within the industrial setting.
Conciliation officer (Section 4):
To facilitate the promotion and resolution of industrial disputes, the competent
Government has the authority, through an official Gazette notification, to
designate an appropriate number of conciliation officers. The primary goal of
appointing a conciliation officer is to cultivate a favorable atmosphere within
the industry and facilitate the reconciliation of disputes between workers and
The appointment may be made for a designated geographical area or for
specific industries within a given area. Additionally, the appointment can be
either permanent or for a defined and limited duration, offering flexibility in
addressing industrial conflicts and fostering ongoing cooperation between the
concerned parties. The role of the conciliation officer is administrative rather
Their responsibilities include conducting conciliation
proceedings, investigating disputes, and taking necessary actions to encourage
the involved parties to reach a fair resolution. The conciliation officer is
authorized to visit the establishment related to the dispute, provided
reasonable notice is given, and to request and examine relevant documents.
Following these activities, they are required to submit a report and a
memorandum of settlement to the appropriate Government.
This report must be
furnished within 14 days from the commencement of the conciliation proceedings,
or within a shorter period if prescribed by the appropriate Government. The
conciliation officer holds the authority to access premises and call for the
inspection of documents, ensuring a comprehensive and thorough evaluation of the
dispute resolution process.
Boards of Conciliation (Section 5):
Through an official Gazette notification, the competent Government holds the
authority to establish a Board of Conciliation for the resolution of industrial
disputes. This Board comprises a chairman and either 2 or 4 additional members,
representing the involved parties in equal numbers, as deemed appropriate by the
The chairman must be an independent individual, defined as
someone uninvolved in the dispute or directly connected to any industry affected
by said dispute. Even though the chairman may hold shares in a company
associated with or likely to be impacted by the dispute, disclosure of such
interests to the Government is mandatory (Section 2(i)).
When the competent Government identifies the existence of industrial disputes in
an industry, it can formally refer the matter in writing to the Board of
Conciliation. The primary responsibility of the Board is to facilitate the
settlement of the dispute, and subsequently, it must submit a report and a
memorandum of settlement to the competent Government. In instances where no
settlement is reached, the Board is obligated to provide a comprehensive report
outlining the steps taken.
If no further reference is made, the Board
communicates the reasons to the involved parties. The Board is required to
submit its report within two months from the date of the dispute referral, or
within a timeframe determined by the competent Government. The written report,
signed by all Board members, is a critical component of this process.
Court of Inquiry (Section 6):
The competent Government, through an official Gazette notification, has the
authority to establish a court of inquiry to examine any matter connected with
or relevant to the resolution of industrial disputes. This court is to include
an independent person or individuals as deemed appropriate by the competent
Government, and it comprises two or more members, one of whom is appointed by
The court is mandated to submit a report within six months from
the initiation of its inquiry, though this period is subject to extension if
necessary. Endowed with powers akin to a Civil Court under the Code of Civil
Procedure 1908, the court can enforce the attendance of individuals, examine
them under oath, compel the production of documents and material objects, issue
commissions for witness examinations, and handle other prescribed matters.
report of the court, signed by all members, may include a note of dissent from
any member. Both the report and any dissenting notes must be published by the
competent Government within 30 days of receipt. It's crucial to note that a
court of inquiry lacks the authority to impose or enhance any settlement upon
the involved parties.
Labour Court (Section 7):
Through an official Gazette notification, the competent Government has the
authority to establish one or more labor courts for the adjudication of
industrial disputes pertaining to matters outlined in the Second Schedule. A
labor court, comprising a single individual appointed by the competent
Government, primarily functions to conduct its proceedings promptly and deliver
its award upon conclusion.
The presiding officer of a labor court must meet certain qualifications, such as
having been a Judge of the High Court, serving as a District Judge or Additional
District Judge for a minimum of three years, holding any judicial office in
India for no less than seven years, or having been the presiding officer of a
Labor Court under a provincial or State Act for a minimum of five years.
Additionally, the appointed individual must be an "independent" person and
should not have surpassed the age of 65 years. These criteria ensure that the
presiding officer possesses the necessary legal acumen and impartiality to
effectively adjudicate industrial disputes within the framework of a labor
Labour Tribunals (Section 7- A):
Through an official Gazette notification, the competent Government has the
authority to establish one or more Industrial Tribunals for the adjudication of
industrial disputes. A Tribunal comprises a single individual appointed by the
competent Government, and if deemed necessary, the Government may appoint two
assessors to advise the Tribunal.
The individual appointed to the Tribunal must
meet specific qualifications, such as being a Judge of the High Court or having
served as a District Judge or Additional District Judge for a minimum of three
years. Additionally, the Government, at its discretion, may appoint two
assessors to provide guidance during the Tribunal's proceedings. Although the
functions of the Tribunal closely resemble those of a judicial body, it is not
technically classified as a Court, and its powers differ from those of a Civil
The proceedings before an Industrial Tribunal are quasi-judicial in
nature, incorporating all the essential attributes of a Court of Justice. Under
Section 7-A of the Act, the Government holds the authority to constitute the
Tribunal for a limited time, automatically concluding on the expiry of the
stipulated period for a specific case. Similar to the duties of a Labor Court,
upon the reference of an industrial dispute, the Tribunal is obligated to
conduct its proceedings promptly and submit its award to the appropriate
National Tribunals ( Section 7 B)
The Central Government, through an official Gazette notification, has the
authority to establish one or more National Industrial Tribunals for the
adjudication of industrial disputes, particularly those of national importance
or those likely to involve industrial establishments in more than one State. The
National Industrial Tribunals consist of a single individual appointed by the
Central Government. For eligibility as the presiding officer, the appointed
individual must be, or must have been, a Judge of a High Court.
Additionally, the Central Government has the discretion to appoint two persons
as assessors to provide guidance to the National Tribunal during its
proceedings. This ensures that the Tribunal is well-informed and equipped to
handle complex industrial disputes of national significance or those with
Reference of Disputes
The Appropriate Government is mandated under Section 10 to refer any industrial
disputes for adjudication to the Conciliation Board, Labour Court, Court of
Inquiry, Industrial Tribunal, or National Tribunal.
Voluntary Arbitration for Dispute Resolution:
The resolution of industrial disputes can be pursued voluntarily under section
- Referral of Disputes to Different Authorities:
Disputes are directed to the Conciliation Board to facilitate settlements,
emphasizing promotion over adjudication. However, if the purpose of the
reference is investigative rather than conciliatory or adjudicatory, it should
be directed to a Court of Inquiry. Furthermore, matters linked to the Second or
Third Schedule are directed to the Labour Court. Conversely, any industrial
dispute related to the Second or Third Schedule may be referred to the
Industrial Tribunal. In cases where the disputes pertain to a public utility
service and a notice is issued, it becomes mandatory for the Appropriate
Government or the Central Government to refer the matter for adjudication. It's
important to note that the Appropriate Government's power to make a reference is
discretionary and subject to judicial review.
- Referral of Disputes to the National Tribunal Involving Questions of
If industrial disputes are deemed of national importance or likely to impact
industrial establishments in more than one state, the Appropriate Government
refers them to the National Tribunal for adjudication. In cases where a matter
is already referred to the National Tribunal and is pending before a Labour
Court or Tribunal, the proceedings before the Labour Court or Tribunal become
null and void. Conversely, it is not permissible to refer matters under
adjudication before the National Tribunal to a Labour Court or Tribunal.
- Reference on Application of Parties:
If an individual or a group jointly applies a matter in the prescribed manner to
the Conciliation Board, Labour Court, Court of Inquiry, Industrial Tribunal, or
National Tribunal for adjudication, the Appropriate Government, upon being
satisfied, specifies a suitable time limit to submit the award.
- Timeframe for Award Submission:
Section 10(2A) of the Act outlines the specific time frame within which the
Appropriate Government must submit the award when a reference is made to the
Labour Court, Industrial Tribunal, or National Tribunal for adjudication.
Procedure And Powers of Authorities
- In cases where an industrial dispute is not referred to the Conciliation Board, Labour Court, Court of Inquiry, Industrial Tribunal, or National Tribunal for adjudication, the employer and the workers can, through a written agreement, opt for arbitration, explicitly stating the names of the arbitrator.
- The arbitration agreement must be formalized in the prescribed format and signed by the involved parties.
- Within one month from receiving the arbitration agreement, which is to be sent to the Appropriate Government and the Conciliation Officer, a copy of the agreement must be published in the official Gazette.
- The designated arbitrator or arbitrators are responsible for investigating the disputes and submitting the award to the Appropriate Government.
- The award should bear the signature of the appointed arbitrator or arbitrators.
- A strike or lock-out related to the disputes should be prohibited by an order issued by the Appropriate Government.
Section 11 stipulates that any Conciliation officer, member of a Board, or
Presiding Officer of a Labour Court, Industrial Tribunal, or National Tribunal,
upon giving notice, is authorized to enter the premises of any establishment
related to the disputes. They can follow procedures deemed appropriate by the
arbitrator or relevant authority. These individuals possess powers akin to those
vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, specifically in
matters such as:
- Ensuring the attendance of individuals and examining them under oath,
- Compelling the production of documents and material objects,
- Issuing commissions for witness examination,
- Addressing other prescribed matters.
For expert advice, assessors with specialized knowledge may be appointed by the
Conciliation Board, Labour Court, Court of Inquiry, Industrial Tribunal, or
National Tribunal. The Conciliation officer holds the authority to enforce the
attendance of individuals for examination or document inspection. Furthermore,
these authorities possess full discretion in determining the extent, responsible
party, and conditions for the payment of costs. Consequently, Section 11(1)
empowers the Conciliation Board, Labour Court, Court of Inquiry, Industrial
Tribunal, or National Tribunal extensively in the resolution of industrial
Award And Settlement
An award refers to the interim or final resolution of any industrial dispute or
related question by a Labour Court, Tribunal, or National Tribunal. This
definition encompasses an arbitration award made under section 10A (Section
2(b)). The reports of the Board of Conciliation or the Court of Inquiry must be
in writing and signed by all members, while the award of a Labour Court and
Industrial Tribunal must also be in writing and signed by the Presiding Officer.
Section 21 mandates confidentiality for certain matters, and disclosure requires
written consent from the secretary of the relevant trade union, firm, or
company, as applicable, regarding information obtained by Conciliation Board,
Labour Court, Court of Inquiry, Industrial Tribunal, or National Tribunal.
Generally, an award becomes enforceable 30 days after its publication, unless
the Appropriate Government declares otherwise for awards from the Labour Court
and Industrial Tribunal.
If the Central Government holds a specific opinion on an award from the National
Tribunal, it may also affect enforceability. In such cases, within 90 days from
the award's publication under section 17, the Appropriate Government or the
Central Government may issue an order rejecting or modifying the award. However,
if the Industrial Tribunal's award is deemed fair and just, it is empowered to
issue directions for the award to take effect retrospectively.
Binding on designated individuals (Section 18):
Settlements and awards are binding as per agreements between employers and workers during conciliation
Arbitration awards are binding on parties who referred the disputes to arbitration.
Arbitration, settlement, Labour Court, Industrial Tribunal, or National Tribunal awards are binding on:
- All parties involved in the disputes:
- Other summoned parties unless deemed improperly summoned,
- In the case of an employer, on heirs, successors assigned to the relevant establishment.
- For workmen, on all current and future employees in the establishment or part in question.
A settlement from conciliation proceedings comes into effect on the agreed date
or the date of signing the memorandum when no date is agreed. Violating any term
of a binding settlement or award may result in imprisonment up to 6 months, a
fine, or both.
The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 stands as a pivotal piece of labor
legislation in India, offering a comprehensive framework for the resolution of
conflicts between employers and workers. Enacted with the primary goal of
fostering industrial peace and harmony, the act defines industrial disputes
broadly, encompassing any conflicts or differences between employers and
It lays out a systematic approach to resolving disputes, emphasizing methods
such as conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. A key focus of the act is the
regulation of strikes and lockouts. It provides specific conditions under which
these actions can be initiated, outlining procedures and restrictions to ensure
that industrial actions are conducted within a reasonable framework.
Additionally, the act mandates the establishment of grievance redressal
mechanisms, contributing to a smoother relationship between employers and
employees. By offering a legal structure for dispute resolution, the act aims to
prevent disruptions in industrial activities and create a stable environment for
both workers and employers.
Over the years, it has played a crucial role in shaping the dynamics of labor
relations in India, adapting to evolving economic and industrial landscapes
while steadfastly maintaining its core objective of promoting industrial
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Vibhu Sharma
Authentication No: JN403045399854-30-0124