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Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea For Increasing Number Of Labour Courts & Industrial Tribunals

Zeb Hasan
8 April 2022 11:30 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea For Increasing Number Of Labour Courts & Industrial Tribunals
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The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a plea seeking increase in the number of Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunals and expeditious appointment of Presiding Officers in the positions that are currently lying vacant. Notice was issued by a Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla in the petition filed by Labour Law Association, returnable on...

The Delhi High Court today issued notice on a plea seeking increase in the number of Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunals and expeditious appointment of Presiding Officers in the positions that are currently lying vacant.

Notice was issued by a Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla in the petition filed by Labour Law Association, returnable on 18th May.

The plea states that the petitioner is aggrieved by the action of the State and Delhi High Court in decreasing the number of Industrial Tribunal and Labour Courts from time to time, without consulting the Trade Unions and Management Federations.

It is stated that despite the sanctioned strength 10 Labour Courts and 3 Industrial Tribunals, the Respondents unmindfully reduced the number without any prior information to any of the stakeholders

"In 2017 when the Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunal were shifted from Karkardooma District Court Complex to Dwarka District Court Complex there were 9 Labour Courts and 2 Industrial Tribunal functional. However, suddenly after 8 months only 5 Labour Court and 1 Industrial Tribunals were functional. At the time of sending the representation there were only 5 labour Court and 1 Industrial Tribunal in function. Even today only 9 Labour Courts and 2 Industrial Tribunals are functional which Is still less than the sanctioned strength," the Petitioner states

It is stated in the plea that the problem of vacant Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunals in Delhi has consequently led to unnecessary delay in disposal of disputes and increase in pendency of disputes, and that such delay has caused undue hardships to the litigants.

"As per proviso to Section 10(2A) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 a dispute pertaining to an individual worker must be decided within a period of three months. In matters pertaining to other kind of industrial disputes having the nature of general demand, the state government usually prescribes in the reference order a period of six months for disposal. But, the disposal rate is so abysmal that the average time taken for disposal of an industrial dispute is around ten years. One of the main factors behind such poor disposal rate of industrial disputes is non-functioning of Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunals at its full strength ."

It is submitted that the current sanctioned strength of Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunals, even if they work in full capacity, is inadequate to shorten the time for disposal as desired in the Industrial Disputes Act. Further, the current sanctioned strength has been decided many years back and there has not been any review of the same in recent years.

The petitioner states that it made a representation in this regard to the respondents on 20 January, 2021, but there has been no action.

In view of the above, the petitioner has prayed for direction to Respondents to consider his representations dated 20.01 .2021 seeking appointment of Presiding Officers in vacant Labour Courts and Industrial Tribunals;

Further it has prayed for directions to respondents to increase the number of labour courts and industrial tribunals as per norms for speedy disposal;

At the end it has prayed for directions to the Respondents not to decrease the number of labour courts and tribunal from time to time without consultation with the Trade Unions and Management Federations.

Case Title: Labour Law Association v. Registrar General, Delhi High Court & Anr.

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