S.33C Industrial Disputes Act Is For Execution Of Award, Labour Court Can’t Enter Adjudicatory Process To Decide Disputed Facts: Gujarat High Court
[20 June 2022] The Gujarat High Court has made it clear that Section 33C of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, is for the purpose of execution of the award or dealing with the pre-existing right or benefit arising out of the settlement of a workman against his employer. The same does not make way for a Labour Court to enter into an adjudicatory process, giving a finding on disputed facts between the parties.
The Bench comprising Justice AY Kogje was hearing a challenge to a Labour Court’s order directing the Petitioner-organisation to pay full wages to the respondent-workman from 2006-2013.
Justice AY Kogje noted that it was a matter of dispute between the parties as to whether the workman had arrived in Orissa to join the plant towards reinstatement. This dispute had to be undertaken for adjudication. However, Sec 33C allows only for the execution of the award or deals with the pre-existing right or benefit arising out of the settlement of a workman against his employer. Reliance was placed on M/s. Bombay Chemical Industries v/s. Deputy Labour Commissioner and Another to observe:
“As per the settled proposition of law, in an application under Section 33(C)(2)of the Industrial Disputes Act, the Labour Court has no jurisdiction and cannot adjudicate dispute of entitlement or the basis of the claim of workmen. It can only interpret the award or settlement on which the claim is based. As held by this Court in the case of Ganesh Razak and Anr. (supra), the labour court’s jurisdiction under Section 33(C)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act is like that of an executing court.”
Accordingly, it held that the order of the Labour Court was beyond the powers under Sec 33C(2) of the Act.