Supreme Court: Civil Courts lacks Jurisdiction on Provisions under ID Act

Jurisdiction of Civil Courts - LAW INSIDER

Swarna Shukla

Published On: October 9, 2021 at 09:00 IST

A Civil Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain a suit structured on the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, the Supreme Court noted while dismissing an Appeal filed by a man challenging an Order on his termination.

A Bench of Justice R Subhash Reddy and Hrishikesh Roy said, “Civil Courts may have the limited jurisdiction in service matters, but jurisdiction may not be available to the Court to adjudicate on Orders passed by Disciplinary Authority.”

The Court referred to its earlier decision, which states that when the Civil Court has no jurisdiction, the decree passed in those proceedings can have no force of law.

The Court noted that specified authorities under the IDA, including the appropriate government and the industrial Courts perform various functions and the ID Act provides for a wider definition of ‘termination of service’.

The Supreme Court was looking into an Appeal filed by Milkhi Ram, a daily wage employee under the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, whose services of the temporary employee were relinquished by an order issued by the Executive Engineer.

The Suit was decreed ordering reinstatement of the Plaintiff with back wages. Defendant too was directed to also consider regularization of services, for Plaintiff.

The Electricity Board challenged the above decision before the District Judge, Dharamshala but the Appellate Court observed that the question of jurisdiction is a mixed question of law and facts and since the litigation is continuing so long, it would be improper to relegate the Plaintiff to the Labour Court.

The Board made an offer to appoint the terminated wager to the post of LDC in the regular pay scale, the Plaintiff gave a joining report with several conditions, which was not acted upon by the management.

Later the Plaintiff applied for execution of the decree before the Civil Judge which directed the Board to accept the decree and give effect to it.

However, the Board once again challenged the Order before the Himachal Pradesh High Court, and it set aside the decree passed in favour of the Plaintiff.

Also Read: What is the Jurisdiction of Civil Courts?

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