Writ Petition (Art. 227) No. 5068 of 2008. Case: The Himalaya Drugs Company Trademark/Registered Trade Mark-M.M.I. Corporation Licence Users and Ors. Vs Shalaj Nathaniel. Chhattisgarh High Court

Case NumberWrit Petition (Art. 227) No. 5068 of 2008
CounselFor Appellant: Parag Kotecha, Advocate and For Respondents: Harsh Wardhan, Advocate
JudgesSanjay K. Agrawal, J.
IssueCode of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) - Order XIV Rules 14, 2, 5; Constitution of India - Articles 136, 226, 227; Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Section 10
Judgement DateFebruary 02, 2017
CourtChhattisgarh High Court


Sanjay K. Agrawal, J.

  1. Invoking the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, the petitioners herein who are a pharmaceutical industry and its officers have questioned the order dated 4-3-2008 passed by the Labour Court, Bilaspur by which the Labour Court has declined to adjudicate the preliminary objection and directed it to be adjudicated at the time of final hearing and further, questioned the order dated 14-7-2008 by which the application under Order 14 Rule 5 of the CPC for framing additional issue, has been rejected finding no merit.

  2. Mr. Parag Kotecha, learned counsel for the petitioners, would submit that the orders passed by the Labour Court rejecting the application for preliminary objection as well as rejecting the application for framing additional issue, are unjustified, as the respondent is not Medical Representative and is not workman, as such duly covered by the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in the matter of H.R. Adyanthaya etc. etc. v. Sandoz (India) Ltd. etc. etc. AIR 1994 SC 2608. Therefore, the impugned orders be set aside and the matter be remitted to the trial Court for framing issue and deciding that issue as preliminary issue.

  3. Mr. Harsh Wardhan, learned counsel for the respondent, however, would support the impugned orders.

  4. I have heard learned counsel for the parties and considered their rival submissions and also gone through the documents available on record with utmost circumspection.

  5. The appropriate Government finding the industrial dispute between the workman and the employer, by its order dated 9-1-2007 directed the dispute to be adjudicated by the Labour Court and referred the question as to whether it is legal and appropriate to suspend the services of respondent workman Shalaj Nathaniel without giving compensation and prior notice and if not, then what help the individual must liable to get and what direction should be given to the employer in this respect.

  6. The petitioner employer filed statement of claim and thereafter, during the pendency of said dispute made an amendment incorporating para 8(a) in its statement of claim that the petitioner is a pharmaceutical industry and the respondent was employed as sales promotion employee and in that case, the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976 is applicable and therefore, the case is not maintainable and deserves to be dismissed. Immediately thereafter, the petitioner Company also filed a preliminary objection on 10-12-2007 that the objection is not maintainable and therefore suspending the preliminary objection the case be closed and also filed an application under Order 14 Rule 5 of the CPC for faming the issue as to whether the respondent is a workman under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and whether the application is barred by law.

  7. The Labour Court by its impugned orders rejected both the applications finding no merit holding that in the schedule referred by the appropriate Government the question is already covered by the dispute referred by the appropriate Government and there is no need to frame additional issue against which this writ petition has been preferred.

  8. At this stage, it would be appropriate to notice the object of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 for which it is enacted as highlighted by Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in the matter of S.K. Verma v. Mahesh Chandra and another (1983) 4 SCC 214 as follows:-

    "5. It is trite to say that Industrial Disputes Act is a legislation intended to bring about peace and harmony between labour and management in all industry and for that purpose, it makes provision for the investigation and settlement of industrial disputes. It is, therefore, necessary to interpret the definitions of 'industry', 'workman', 'industrial dispute', etc. so as not to whittle down, but to advance the object of the Act. Disputes between the forces of labour and management are not to be excluded from the operation of the Act by giving narrow and restricted meanings to expressions...

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