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vasudevan v (retired)     20 February 2010

Civil Court Jurisdiction

I am the Secretary of retired bank employees.  My members are clerical,substaff from workmen categories and includes officer staff also from a private bank retired under VRS.  We have filed civil suit against the Pvt bank for

claiming money due on account of non payment of pension to VRS employees

claiming money due on account of non-payment of silever jubilee award of Rs.5000/- to VRS employees

The claim is both for workmen & officers.  Though we know, workmen can approach Labour court / Tribunal / raise a dispute, in order to reduce multiplicity of litigation we filed a suit before civil court.

There is no express bar  in ID Act that workmen cannot approach civil court.

But there is bar in ID Act that officers / supervisors cannot  seek remedy under ID Act.

In the circumstances, are we correct in filing civil suit?

In swarnakar Vs Bank of India, SC held that VRS is a contract.  One of the terms of contract i.e VRS is payment of terminal benefits like pension, gratuity and ex-gratia.

I came to know of a SC judgment in https://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/Jurisdiction-of-Civil-Court-in-labor-matters-when-not-barred-/796/ wherein it is mentioned that seeking remedy under common law by way suit is permitted.

Can you clarify whether our stand is correct in approaching civil court?  Will the civil court have jurisdiction over the matter?

I will be thankful if you give any case law in this regard.


 6 Replies

Ramakrishnan.V (Lawyer)     21 February 2010

The civil court jurisdiction is not barred because section 9 of the code of civil procedure tells as,"

9. Courts to try all civil suits unless barred.

The Courts shall (subject to the provisions herein contained) have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred.

1[Explanation I].- A suit in which the right to property or to an office is contested is a suit of a civil nature, notwithstanding that such right may depend entirely on the decision of questions as to religious rites or ceremonies.

2[Explanation ll].- For the purposes of this section, it is immaterial whether or not any fees are attached to the office referred to in Explanation I or whether or not such office is attached to a particular place.].

Generally speaking, Agency Courts like Civil Courts have plenary powers to try all suits which involve determination of any civil right.  Only two things are required to give the jurisdiction, i.e., (i) dispute must be of a civil nature, and (ii) its cognizance must not be barred by other statute either expressly or by necessary implication.  Ouster of Agency Courts jurisdiction cannot be readily inferred and the provisions of ouster have to be strictly construed.

In Ganga Bai v. Vijay Kumar1, the Apex Court held that a suit for its maintainability requires no authority of law and it is enough that nostatute bars the suit.  A suit is expressly barred if a legislation in express terms says so.  It is impliedly barred if a statute creates a new offence or a new right and prescribes a particular penalty or special remedy.  In that event, no other remedy can, in the absence of contrary intention, be resorted to.

Hence, it could be said your case is before the right forum.

Ramakrishnan. V.

1 Like

vasudevan v (retired)     21 February 2010

Dear Shri Ramakrishnan,

Thank you for your kind and immediate clarification.


Vasudevan V


N RAMESH. (Advocate Chennai. Formerly Civil Judge. Mobile.09444261613)     22 February 2010

In my view, the civil suit filed by you is maintainable, the dispute raised by you can not be termed as industrial dispute. It is in the nature of civil right.

1 Like

vasudevan v (retired)     22 February 2010

Dear Mr Ramesh,

Thank you very much ,Sir for sparing your valuable time and opinion.  For the benefit of all, I am giving a relevant judgment recently delivered by the Bench at Delhi High Court supporting your valuable opinion.


*Reportable *


FAO (OS) Nos. 465-466 of 2006 

Reserved on : August 13, 2008

Pronounced on : August 29, 2008

American Express Bank Ltd. & Anr. . . . Appellants  vs Ravinder Kumar Saini Please see the attachment to get the judgment in pdf format.

 Thank you for your guidance                      Regards V Vasudevan, Secretary, Commercial Banks Retd Employees Assn, Chennai

Attached File : 20 20 saini.pdf downloaded: 176 times

girishankar (manager)     26 February 2010


P.K.Haridasan (Advocate)     26 February 2010

Your dispute is not coming under industrial disputes Act. You are right in filing in civil court. Here you questioning the terms of a contract.

1 Like

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