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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Supreme Court stated that a civil court lacks jurisdiction to hear a case based on the Industrial Disputes Act's provisions.
  • The above observation was made by a bench of Justices R Subhash Reddy and Hrishikesh Roy.

BACKGROUND

  • In this case, the plaintiff, who worked as a daily wage employee for the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, sued in civil court to contest his dismissal.
  • The plaintiff was reinstated with back wages when the matter was decided. The Appellate Courts supported the judgement.
  • The court issued an order instructing the Board to give effect to the decree in response to the decree holder's execution petition.
  • The Board challenged this ruling in the High Court by filing a civil revision petition, claiming that the civil court lacked jurisdiction to hear a claim under the ID Act and that only the industrial court could have provided relief to the aggrieved employee.
  • The High Court granted the petition for revision and overturned the decree.
  • The plaintiff appealed the High Court's decision to the Supreme Court, arguing that the civil court's jurisdiction is not wholly barred even when relief is sought under the terms of the ID Act.
  • The Board, on the other hand, argued that when claimed relief is based on the ID Act, the civil court's jurisdiction is voided.
  • It argued that when a civil court lacks jurisdiction, the decree is null and void, and the plaintiff cannot seek relief on the basis of such a void order.
  • The question before the Apex Court was whether the civil court suit brought at the request of the terminated employee was maintainable.

COURT’S OBSERVATION

  • The court stated that the plaintiff's claim in the lawsuit was clearly based on the provisions of the ID Act, and that the employer is therefore allowed to raise a jurisdictional objection to the civil court proceedings.
  • "This Court is unable to accept the view propounded by the courts below and is of the considered opinion that the civil court lacks jurisdiction to entertain a suit structured on the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act," the Supreme Court ruled.
  • The court upheld the judgement made by the Himachal Pradesh High Court.

QUESTIONS

  • Which subject of law does Industrial Disputes Act belong to?
  • What are your views on the judgement?

Share your views in the comments section below.

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