The Industrial disputes Act 1947, was enacted in the post-independence era
with a view to regulate the relationships of the employer and employee and to
maintain peace and harmonious relations between the two. Earlier the growth was
very slow but in recent years it has taken grown due to growing cases in the
supreme court. The growth of the country in the sense of economic development is
dependant upon the industries and the industries could only run smoothly when
there is a harmonious relationship between the two pillars.
Objectives of the Industrial disputes act 1947
The Industrial dispute act of 1947 was enacted with the following objectives:-
a) To promote industrial peace
b) To do economic justice to the workmen
The objective according to the preamble of the Industrial disputes act 1947 are:
a) To make provisions for investigation and settlement of industrial disputes.
b) The objective of all the labor legislation is to ensure fair wages and to
prevent industrial disputes.
Scope and Extent of the Industrial Disputes act 1947
The Industrial disputes act of 1947 extends to the whole of India. it came into
enforcement on 1st April 1947.
Principal objects as stated by the supreme court in the case of Workmen of Dimakuchi
Tea Estate vs Management of Dimakuchi Tea Estate AIR 1958 SC
1) the act aims to promote the measures which are helpful in securing good and
amity relations between the employer and the employee.
2) An investigation and settlement of disputes between an employer and the
employee, employer and workmen, workmen and workmen and giving them the right of
representation in the trade unions.
3) the legislation also tries to do away with illegal strikes and lockouts.
4) it also helps to provide the relief to the workmen in the matter of lay off,
retrenchment, closure of undertaking, etc.
5) it helps to do Collective Bargaining.
The Industrial disputes act is social legislation which tries to maintain a
balance between the interest of the important pillars of the industrial
What do you understand by the term Employer?
The term employer has been defined under the industrial dispute act of 1947
under section 2(g) the employer according to the definition is the person
authorized to do the work in the capacity as an employer under the leadership of
either the Central Government or the state government or the local authority.
What do you understand by the term Industry?
The term Industry is defined under section 2(j) of the act as any business,
trade or undertaking manufacture or calling and includes any calling, service,
employment, handicraft or industrial occupation or avocation of workmen.
an industry exists only where there is a relationship between the employer and
the employee and where the former is engaged in business trade or undertaking
and the later is engaged in any calling service employment or handicraft.
The triple test was laid down in the case of Banglore water supply vs A.Rajappa AIR
1978 SC, where it was laid down that there should be a systematic activity,
organized by the cooperation between the employer and the employee, for the
production of goods and services.
What do you mean by the term workmen?
The term workmen have been defined under section 2(s) of the act which states
that workmen mean a person who is employed in any industry to carry put skilled,
unskilled, manual, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory work.
Authorities under the act:-
There are various authorities under the act such as the works committee,
conciliation officer, conciliation board, courts of inquiry, labour court,
tribunal, national tribunal.
This has been defined under section 3 of the act which says that each industrial
establishment should have a works committee and the works committee will have
equal representations from both the employer and the employee. it is to try to
settle the dispute in the first instance through the process of mediation in the
initial stage of the dispute. The works committee also time to time comments
upon the matters in dispute.
Section 4 of the Industrial disputes act 1947 talks about the provisions of the
conciliation officer. it states that the appropriate government i.e. the central
government, state government or the local authority will appoint such number of
persons to be the conciliation officer as it thinks fit.
it is the duty of the conciliation officer to mediate and promote the settlement
of industrial dispute. The conciliation officer can be appointed either
permanently or for some point of time.
Board of Conciliation:
The board of conciliation are constituted under section 5 by the appropriate
The board of conciliation s constituted in order to promote the settlement of
The board appointed consists of the chairman and two or four other members.
under the board the chairman is the independent person and the other persons
appointed in equal numbers which represents the parties in disputes and the
person who represents the party shall be appointed by the party . the party
needs to appoint such representatives within the time prescribed and if the
party fails to appoint the representatives within the time then the appropriate
government can appoint the person to be the representative of the party.
A board needs to work according to the quorum prescribed but if the chairman or
the other member as the case may be ceased to be available the board shall not
act until a new chairman or member as the case may be has been appointed.
Courts of Inquiry:
the section 6 of the act further talks about the constitution of the court of
inquiry in order to conduct inquiry upon the matter in dispute.the court of
inquiry to be run by the independent person or persons as the appropriate
government thinks fit. where the court consists of two or more persons then any
one of them shall be appointed to be chairman.
section 7 of the act talks about the constitution of the labor court by the
appropriate government. it can create one or more labor court as it thinks fit
for the adjudication of industrial dispute as specified under schedule II. it
consists of one person to be appointed by the appropriate government. the
qualifications of the presiding officer of the court shall be as follows:-
a) if he is or has been a judge of the high court
b) he has for a period of not less than 3 years being a district judge or an
additional district judge
c) has held judicial office for not less than 7 years
d) he has been the presiding officer of a Labor Court constituted under any
Provincial Act or State Act for not less than five years.
e) he is or has been a Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central) or Joint
Commissioner of the State Labor Department, having a degree in law and at least
seven years' experience in the labor department including three years of
experience as Conciliation Officer.
f) he is an officer of Indian Legal Service in Grade I with years' experience in
section 7A deals with the provision of constitution of the one or more tribunal
for the adjudication of dispute relating to the aspects as mentioned in schedule
second or third. tribunal to consist of one person who shall be appointed by
The qualifications of the presiding officer of the tribunal are as follows:-
a) he is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court;
b) he has, for a period of not less than three years, been a District Judge or
an Additional District Judge;
c) he is or has been a Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central) or Joint
Commissioner of the State Labor Department,, having a degree in law and at least
seven years' experience in the labor department including three years of
experience as Conciliation Officer:
d) he is an officer of Indian Legal Service in Grade III with three years'
experience in the grade.
the appropriate government to appoint two persons as assessors to advise the
section 7B deals with the national tribunal which is appointed by the central
government constitute one or more national tribunal for the adjudication of
industrial disputes which in the opinion of the central government involves
questions of national importance or are of such a nature that industrial
establishments situated in more than one state are likely to be interested in or
affected by such disputes. the national tribunal shall be consisted of one
person only to be appointed by the central government. in order to be appointed
as the presiding officer of a national tribunal he should be or has been a judge
of a high court. the central government can also appoint two persons as
assessors to advise the national tribunal in the proceeding before it.
Disqualifications for appointment of the presiding officer of labor court,
tribunal and national tribunal:
section 9 c of the act talks about the provision relating to the
disqualification of the presiding officer which states that if the person is not
an independent person or if he has attained the age of 65 years then he cannot
be appointed as the presiding officer of the labor court or tribunal or national
tribunal by the central government.