Case Law Details

Case Name : Avinash Saloman, Vs South Eastern Coalfields Limited, (Chhattisgarh High Court)
Appeal Number : WP (S) No. 832 of 2012
Date of Judgement/Order : 30/11/2015
Related Assessment Year :

Chhattisgarh High Court  National Coal Wage Agreement is a settlement within the meaning of Section 2(P) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and is having force of law.

Relevant Extract of Chhattisgarh High Court Judgment

19. Thus, on the basis of aforesaid decision, it is quite vivid that National Coal Wage Agreement is a “settlement” within the meaning of Section 2(p) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and is binding as provided under Section 18(3) of the ID Act and having force of law and to continue to remain in force unless the same is altered/modified or substituted by another settlement. The National Coal Wage Agreement, which was in force from 1.7.2006 to 30.6.2011 is contained in Chapter IX, which relates to Social Security. Clause 9.3.0 relates to provision of Employment to Dependants. Clause 9.3.1 relates to employment to dependant and clause 9.3.2 relates to employment to one dependant of the worker who dies while in service.

20. A careful perusal/reading of clause 9.3.3 of the NCWA would show that dependant of the deceased either it may be wife/husband, as the case may be, unmarried daughter, son and legally adopted son would be entitled for dependant employment under Social Security Scheme. It would also be evident from close look of Chapter IX that there is no provision in the NCWA, which dis-entitles any dependant member from employment under Social Security Scheme on the ground that some other member of his family is employed elsewhere or is in government job and as such, NCWA does not exclude the dependant of the deceased for dependant employment on the ground that one of the family member is on employment and family is able to meet both ends. Clause 13.3.0 of the NCWA provides that the Management of the Coal Companies on their part will not resort to unilateral interpretations of the Agreement in case of any doubt or difficulty in interpretation or implementation of any clause of this Agreement, the same shall be referred to and settled by the Joint Bipartite Committee for the Coal Industry or a Sub-Committee constituted by the JBCCI for the purpose in the spirit of mutual goodwill. So, if there is any dispute according to the respondents, then the matter has to be referred by the respondents to the sub-committee, which admittedly they have not been referred with reference to the ground which the respondents have taken in this writ petition.

21. Thus, it is quite vivid that the provision of dependant employment in National Coal Wage Agreement is not a concession but arises from the contractual liability of the respondent/SECL flowing from settlement entered by and between the management and employee having regard to the provision contained in Section 18 (3) of the ID Act. It is an agreement entered into between the coal companies and representative of the employees in the shape of the NCWA and is a “settlement” within the meaning of Section 2(p) of the ID Act and it creates right in favour of the dependant of the deceased to get dependant employment as per provisions of the NCWA and as such, it is a contractual liability of the respondent/SECL having force in Law. The question No.1 is 18 answered accordingly.

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