J.H. JADHAV VS. M/S FORBES GOKAK LTD. CASE SUMMARY 2005 SC

J.H. JADHAV VS. M/S FORBES GOKAK LTD. CASE SUMMARY 2005 SC

J.H. Jadhav VS. M/S Forbes Gokak Ltd. case provides an answer to the question of whether the petitioner is entitled to promotion or not. It also gives an answer to the issue of whether the dispute, in this case, will be considered an industrial dispute or not under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.

BENCH: Justice Ruma Pal And Justice C.K. Thakker

J.H. JADHAV JUDGEMENT DATE: February 11th, 2005

J.H. JADHAV CASE CITATION: (2005) 3 SCC 202

J.H. JADHAV CASE FACTS:

  • The appellant was hired as an employee by the respondent and he claimed to the appellant that he will get the promotion to a clerk but afterward; he denied the same.
  • Then the appellant raised an industrial dispute in the industrial tribunal that, whether he is reasonable in claiming for promotion with effect from the date, his juniors were promoted.
  • The respondent denied the claim in his written statement by stating that the individual dispute raised by the appellant was not an industrial dispute under Sec 2(k) of the industrial dispute act, 1947 as he was not supported by the significant number of workman nor he was supported by the majority union.
  • Then Jadhav claimed he was supported by the Gokak Staff Union and the secretary of the union supported him by appearing as a witness in the tribunal.
  • The union filed the documents as evidence, including letters by the union to the deputy labor commissioner and the objections filed by them before the conciliation officer.
  • Then the tribunal, after examining the evidence, concluded that the minority union of the organization in which he was working supported the appellant. It further stated that the respondent did not produce any records of considering the appellant’s efficiency or performance in the establishment while denying him a promotion.
  • The tribunal accepted the appellant’s claim by stating that the respondent was unfair by denying him a promotion and directing him to promote the appellant from the date it promoted his juniors with consequential benefits.
  • Then the respondent filed a writ petition challenging the award of the tribunal, but the single bench judge dismissed it. Then a writ appeal was filed by the respondent before the appellate court.
  • The appellate court interpreted sec 2(k) of the industrial dispute act and concluded that there is neither definitive proof that shows that a minority union supported the appellant by passing a resolution nor he was a member of the union.
  • Then the case was referred to the Supreme Court, and the court set aside the order of the high court and accepted the decision of the tribunal.

ISSUES:

  • Whether the dispute will be considered an industrial dispute or not under sec 2(k) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947?
  • What are the essential conditions for the dispute to be considered an industrial dispute under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947?

CONTENTIONS:

J.H. JADHAV CONTENTIONS (PETITIONER):

  • He stated the respondent denied him a promotion as a clerk.
  • He further stated that it promoted the employees who were juniors as a clerk in the establishment.
  • He contended by referring to the respondent’s contention that the Gokak Mills Staff Union, which provided evidence in his support, supported him.

M/S FORBES GOKAK LTD. CONTENTIONS (RESPONDENT):

The respondent contended it will not consider the individual dispute raised by the appellant an industrial dispute under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947, as the appellant was neither supported by the significant number of workmen nor by any majority union.

RATIO DECEDENDI:

  • JUSTICE RUMA PAL AND JUSTICE C.K. THAKKER: The phrase ‘the union’ in sec 2(k) of the industrial dispute act can be a union of minority workman as well as it can be the union not related to the concerned establishment which was stated in M/S Workmen of Dharampal Prem Chand VS M/S Dharampal Prem Chand (Saughandhi) 1965 (3) SCR 394. So from this, we can say that it is not obligatory whether the majority union supported the dispute.
  • They further stated that there is no prescribed manner to show the support of the dispute by the union but the form of resolution must be proved by the union if it is in the case’s issue and also the evidence of support shown by the union will be considered depending on the facts of the case.

DECISION:

The Supreme Court held that the decision given by the High Court was irrational and therefore unsustainable. It further held that the case will not be referred to the High Court as requested by the counsel of the respondent. The Supreme Court concluded it by allowing the appeal and setting aside the order of the High Court. The award of the tribunal is granted with some changes that the benefit of the promotion will be given to the appellant up to the dismissal of his services proceeding against the appellant for a separate industrial dispute. It further stated that if the appellant was not dismissed, then he will be promoted as stated in the award.

CONCLUSION:

We can conclude from this case that if the individual dispute is supported by a union whether it’s a majority or minority of workmen of a union, it will be considered an industrial dispute under the industrial dispute act and a resolution will be issued for the support by the union if it is in the case’s issue and then it will proceed accordingly in the court of law.


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Ankit Kumar

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