Dear Rajkiran, hope the following extract may throw some light on the doubt posed by you :
"COMPRESSION OF PROVISIONS OF THE INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES ACT CONCERNING UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICES WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE MAHARASHTRA ACT. “When we keep the relevant provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act concerning unfair labour practices in view and compare these provisions with the provisions of the Maharashtra Act, a clear difference becomes obvious. Section 25-T of the Industrial Disputes Act prohibits an employer or workman or a trade union from committing any unfair labour practice. While so far as Section 27 of the Maharashtra Act is concerned, it prohibits an employer or union or employee from engaging in any unfair labour practice. Consequently the prohibition under the Industrial Disputes Act is against the commission of unfair labour practice which may include the final acts of such commission. While Section 27 of the Maharashtra Act prohibits the concerned party even from engaging in any unfair labour practice. The word `engage' is more comprehensive in nature as compared to the word `commit'. But even that apart, Section 25-U provided for penalty for committing unfair labour practice and mandates that whoever is guilty of any unfair labour practice can ..8.. be prosecuted before the competent court on a complaint made by or under the authority of an appropriate Government under Section 34(1) read with Section 25-U of the Industrial Disputes Act. So far as the Maharashtra Act is concerned, there is no direct prosecution against a party guilty of having engaged in any unfair labour practice. Such a prosecution has first to be preceded by an adjudication by a competent court regarding such engagement in unfair labour practice. Thereafter, it should culminate into a direction under Section 30(1)(b) or it may be a subject matter of interim relief order under Section 30(2). It is only thereafter that prosecution can be initiated against the concerned party disobeying such orders of the Court as per Section 48(1). Consequently, it cannot be said that the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court was not right when it took the view that the act of engaging in any unfair labour practice by itself is not an offence under the Maharashtra Act while such commission of unfair labour practice itself is an offence under the Industrial Disputes Act.” SOME CASE LAWS In a Bombay High Court in the Murlidhar s/o Atmaram Wani vs Dharangaon Nagarpalika (2008(1) CLR 825) case, the Hon'ble Court held that a litigant should be given an opportunity to prosecute for its remedy on merits rather than rejecting his claims on mere technicalities. In this case, the petitioner was working for the municipal council as a driver on daily wages. He filed a complaint under MRTU & PULP Act 1971, claiming various service benefits including permanency. The Industrial Court had allowed the permanency benefit to the petitioner, awarded payment of relevant wage rates with retrospective effect and directed the council accordingly. When the council did not comply with the direction of the Industrial Court to grant permanent status to the petitioner and subsequently failed to pay pensionary and other retirement benefits upon his superannuation, the petitioner filed complaints under MRTU & PULP Act. The respondents objected to the complaints on the ground of undue delay without justification. The petitioner replied that the Chief Officer of the council had already paid some part of the benefit by installments and, therefore, he had reason to believe that the rest will also be paid to him. He cited the verbal assurances of the Chief Officer of the council that he would be paid his dues, in due course. The High Court observed that the delay in filing complaints was not on account of either negligence or callousness of the petitioner. The Court further observed that petitioner being a class IV employee belongs to that stratum of the society 11/15/2017 Print Article : Concept of unfair labour practice and the procedure for its redressal under M.R.T & P.U.L.P Act https://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/print.php?art_id=1051 6/7 which cannot be expected to challenge the authority of his employer, more so after being given a verbal assurance by a high ranking official of the employer. A litigant should be given an opportunity to prosecute its remedy on merits because it advances the substantial cause of justice. Delay in the present case has been caused not by the fault of the party but by the circumstances of the case. Therefore, it has to be condoned, and the complaints filed by the petitioner for the ULPs of not ..9.. granting retirement and pensionary benefits as well as permanent status would have to be decided on merits and in accordance with law. In another case, Ratnagar Ramchandra Patil vs Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay (2008 (1) CLR 923), before the same High Court, a similar judgment was given on 25 February 2008. The Justice BH Marlapalle held that refusing promotion from class IV to class III posts amounts to ULP if the rules of the organisation contain provision for such promotions. The High Court held that it is well settled that to be considered for promotion is a legal right and if the same is infringed due to the inaction or wrong action of the employer, the employees have a right to seek redressal before the appropriate judicial forum. The Industrial Court has made manifest error in dismissing the complaint on reasons that are frivolous, baseless and unconnected with the relief sought. Under the rules of the corporation, most of the class III posts are required to be filled through promotions from amongst the class IV employees if they meet the eligibility criteria. The petitioner cannot pray for being promoted but his claim was required to be considered to a limited extent of directing the corporation to hold him eligible for being considered for promotion. Therefore, the corporation was held to be guilty of ULP. The Court directed that the petitioner be considered as eligible for promotion to the class IV posts. Interestingly, in both cases, the employer, held guilty of ULP, was the local authority. Raymond Ltd. and Anr. Vs. Tukaram Tanaji Mandhare and Anr. - Mar 9 2011 Issue before court is Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971 - Sections 3(5) and 28; Industrial Disputes Act, 1947; Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946 - Section 3(13) and 3(14) This appeal was filed against the impugned judgment of the Full Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay. Petitioners filed complaints under Section 28 read with items 1 (a)(b), (d) and (f) of Schedule IV of the Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971 before the Industrial Court/Labour Court for certain reliefs claiming that they were employees of the Respondent company. The Respondent company in all those writ petitions , disputed the status of the employees and had contended in its written statement that there was no relationship of employer - employee with any of the Petitioners. The company had contended that the complainants were employed through the contractors and that the issue regarding maintainability of the complaints would have to be decided by the court. During the pendency of these complaints, the judgments in the case of Vividh Kamgar Sabha v. Kalyani Steel Ltd. (2001) 2 SCC 381 and in the case of Cipla Ltd. v. Maharashtra General Kamgar Union (2001) 3 SCC 101 were pronounced by this Court, and relying upon these decisions, an application was made by the Respondent company before the court that the complaints were liable to be dismissed as there was no employer - employee relationship between it and the complainants. Further a large number of decisions were put forward before this court. Due to conflict in judgments, this ..10..court sent the matter for the larger bench reference. PROS AND CONS OF MRTU & PULP ACT The MRTU & PULP Act is lauded for several reasons. It provides for the recognition of trade unions at the enterprise level, something that is missing in most other states and even at the Central level. By ensuring ‘one union one enterprise’, it helps tackle the problem of multiple unions, the most irritating feature of unionism in India. The conciliation and referral processes under the Industrial Disputes Act are lengthy, bureaucratic and even political.In contrast, under the MRTU & PULP Act, the parties to a dispute can directly approach the labour judiciary and seek legal redress. Both the parties could get injunctions against the actions of the other; thus, no party could do anything without the due process of law be completed. Thus, it provides easy avenues for both, especially workers, to approach the court to prevent or challenge arbitrary actions. However, on the negative side, this easy access to the courts 11/15/2017 Print Article : Concept of unfair labour practice and the procedure for its redressal under M.R.T & P.U.L.P Act https://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/print.php?art_id=1051 7/7 that the Act allows has encouraged high amount of litigation. The parties approach the courts apprehending the conduct of some unfair labour practice or the other and get stay orders. The Srinivasan Committee (2002) found two disturbing consequences of the Act. Firstly, a large number of unions did not seek recognition under the Act. The Committee found that as of 31 December 2001, only 1,445 applicant unions out of 3,302 were granted recognition under the Act. The important reasons for poor response include reluctance of the unions to comply with clauses imposing difficult obligations; long duration of recognition proceedings primarily because of the adoption of membership verification method (the average time taken is two years but there have been cases where it has taken eight years to grant recognition to unions). Secondly, the law failed to check unfair labour practices. Both employers and unions are guilty of approaching the court frequently and, as a result, the pendency of cases relating to unfair labour practices increased in all types of cases. The important cause for litigation by workers relates to unfair discharge by employers (an unfair labour practice under Schedule IV of the MRTP & PULP Act). The main reason for high pendency was the long time taken to dispose of cases, which in turn, was due to (a) time consuming procedures adopted to decide on the disputes, (b) frequent and long adjournments sought by the parties, and (c) reluctance of the parties to comply with the procedural requirements of the Act. Litigation and the delay in disposal of cases cannot promote industrial harmony"