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Indian Case Summary

The Bharat Bank Ltd., Delhi vs Employees Of The Bharat Bank … on 26 May, 1950 – Case Summary

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In the case of The Bharat Bank Ltd., Delhi vs Employees of The Bharat Bank on 26 May, 1950, the Supreme Court of India was called upon to adjudicate a dispute between the Bharat Bank Ltd., Delhi (the petitioner) and its employees (the respondents). The case was heard by a bench consisting of Kania, Hiralal J. (CJ), Fazal Ali, Saiyid, Sastri, M. Patanjali, Mahajan, Mehr Chand, and Mukherjea, B.K.

Facts of the Case

The employees of the Bharat Bank Ltd., Delhi had made certain demands which were not met favorably by the bank. As a result, the employees went on strike. In response, the bank served notices on them to resume work and proceeded to discharge a number of them. The Central Government constituted a Tribunal under section 7 of the Industrial Disputes Act (XIV of 1947) to adjudicate on the industrial disputes in banking companies. The disputes were referred to this Tribunal under section 10 of the Act.

Issues Raised

The primary issue raised in this case was whether the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to grant special leave to appeal against the determination of an Industrial Tribunal. The respondents contended that the Industrial Tribunal did not exercise the judicial powers of the State and that its determination was not in the nature of a judgment, decree, or order of a Court so as to be appealable.

Court’s Observations and Judgment

The Court observed that the functions and duties of the Industrial Tribunal were very much like those of a body discharging judicial functions, although it was not a Court. The rules framed by the Tribunal required evidence to be taken and witnesses to be examined, cross-examined, and re-examined. The Act constituting the Tribunal imposed penalties for incorrect statements made before the Tribunal.

The Court held that under Article 136 of the Constitution of India, the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to entertain an application for leave to appeal from the decision of the Tribunal, even though it would be very reluctant to entertain such an application.

On the merits of the case, the Court did not find any ground for admitting the appeal. The aggrieved parties were advised to apply for redress by adopting other appropriate proceedings. The appeal was therefore dismissed with costs.