prpri Authorities Under M.R.T.U. & P.U.L.P. Act, 1971 with Case Laws Authorities Under M.R.T.U. & P.U.L.P. Act, 1971 with Case Laws


Divided into Labour Court and Industrial Court which is tabulated below for seamless understanding:-

Labour Court


• Constituted under Section 6 of the Act

• State Government shall by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute one or more Labour Courts, having jurisdiction in such local areas

• State Government shall appoint persons having the prescribed qualifications to preside over such Courts as prescribed under Article 234 of the Constitution for being eligible to enter the judicial service of the State of Maharashtra

• Person shall not be more than sixty years of age.


Industrial Court


• Constituted under Section 4 of the Act

• State Government shall by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute an Industrial Court

• Consist of not less than three members, one of whom shall be the President

• Every member of the Industrial Court shall be a person who is or has been a judge of a High Court or is eligible for being appointed a Judge of such Court



  • As specified under Section 44 of the Act, the Industrial Court shall have superintendence over all Labour Courts, the same has been reflected in the case Clifford Rebello v Hotel Oberoi Towers, here writ petition was moved before the Bombay High Court by the petitioner against the interim order passed by the Ninth Labour Court. The learned counsel of Respondent sought to rely upon the judgment of this Court in the Case of Engineering Employee’s Union v Devidayal Rolling and Refineries (Private) Limited, wherein it is clearly ruled that the challenge to award of Labour Court before the High Court cannot be entertained when the alternative and equally efficacious remedy by way of revision under Section 44 of the said Act is available. The petition was disposed of with a direction to the Labour Court to expedite the hearing of the matter.
  • SCHEDULE IV – General Unfair Labour Practices on the part of employers

This Schedule has 10 items listed each of which explains the general unfair labour practice on part of the employers.

One of it is Item No 5 as specified below:-

Item 5. To show favouritism or partiality to one set of workers, regardless of merits.

The reference for the same can be drawn to the case B.E.S.T Undertaking Bombay & Another v B.E.S.T Kamgar Sena & Others, the petitioner refused to pay to the workers ex-gratia payment in lieu of bonus for accounting year 1983-84 which was payable vide resolution no 3rd October 1984. The payment was refused basis subsequent Resolution dated 15th October, 1984 which made the amount payable to those workers who attended duly for three days during the period when some workers were on strike.

The learned member of Industrial Court said that the Resolution was ridiculous, discriminatory and arbitrary in nature within the meaning of Item 5 of Schedule IV of the M.R.T.U. and P.U.L.P. Act, 1971 and amounted to Unfair Labour Practice.

  • Section 28 – Procedure for dealing with complaints relating to unfair labour practices

(1) Where any person has engaged in or is engaging in any unfair labour practice, then any union or any employee or any employer or any Investigating Officer may, within ninety days of the occurrence of such unfair labour practice, file a complaint before the Court competent to deal with such complaint either under Section 5, or as the case may be, under Section 7, of this Act

SCHEDULE II – Unfair Labour Practices on the part of employers

1. To interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to organise, form, join or assist a trade union and to engage in concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, that is to say-

(a) threatening employees with discharge or dismissal, if they join a union;

4. To encourage or discourage membership in any union by discriminating against any employee, that is to say-

(a) discharging or punishing an employee because he urged other employees to join or organise a union.

Case – Vividh Kamgar Sabha v Kalyani Steels Ltd and Another, Supreme Court of India, Jan 9, 2001, the appellant claimed to be a Union representing the workmen of a canteen run by the respondents. The appellant Union claimed that even though they are actually the employees of the Respondents. The Respondents are not treating them on par with the other employees and have notionally engaged contractors to run the canteen.

The appellant filed a complaint under Section 28(1) of the Act alleging that respondents have engaged in Unfair Labour Practices under Items 1(a), 4(a) of Schedule II and Items 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 of Schedule IV of the Act.

Here the Court concluded that where the workmen have not been accepted to be its employees, then no complaint would be filed under the Act. It is only after the status as a workmen is established in an appropriate forum that a complaint could be made under the provisions of this Act. Hence complaint is not maintainable.

  • Section 21 – Right to appear or act in proceedings relating to certain unfair labour practices

(1) No employee in an undertaking to which the provisions of the Central Act for the time being apply, shall be allowed to appear or act or allowed to be represented in any proceedings relating to unfair labour practices specified in Items 2 and 6 of Schedule IV of this Act except through the recognised union :

Provided that, where there is no recognised union to appear, the employee may himself appear or act in any proceeding relating to any such unfair labour practices.

A landmark case pertaining to Recognised Union and Unfair Labour Practices is Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation & Anr vs Casteribe Rajya P. Karmchari on 28 August, 2009

Question – Whether the two complaints filed by Casteribe Rajya Parivahan Karmchari Sanghatana (“Union”), an Unrecognised Union under “MRTU & PULP Act”, alleging unfair labour practice on the part of the employer under Item No. 6 of Schedule IV are maintainable?

The correct interpretation to place upon Section 21 is this: Where there is a recognised union only that recognized union can be allowed, on behalf of an employee, to appear or; act or be represented in proceedings relating to unfair labour practices specified in Items 2 and 6 of the Schedule IV. Where there is no recognized union an employee may himself appear or act in any proceeding relating to such unfair labour practice. This does not mean that an unrecognized union cannot; act or appear in a proceeding relating to such unfair labour practice. It can represent an employee or the employee may appear himself if he so chooses.

The appeals were dismissed with no order as to costs.

  • Section 20(1) – Rights of recognised union of the Act reads as follows:-

Such officers, members of the office staff and members of a recognised union as may be authorised by or under rules made in this behalf by the State Government shall, in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, have a right,-

(a) to collect sums payable by members to the union on the premises, where wages are paid to them ;

(b) to put up or cause to be put a notice-board on the premises of the undertaking in which its members are employed and affix or cause to be affixed notices thereon ;

(c) for the purpose of the prevention or settlement of an industrial dispute,—

(i) to hold discussions on the premises of the undertaking with the employees concerned, who are the members of the union but so as not to interfere with the due working of the undertaking ;

(ii) to meet and discuss, with an employer or any person appointed by him in that behalf, the grievances of employees employed in his undertaking ;

(iii) to inspect, if necessary, in an undertaking any place where any employee of the undertaking is employed ;

(d) to appear on behalf of any employee or employees in any domestic or departmental inquiry held by the employer.

The above provision is reflected in Tata Memorial Centre & Anr vs Tata Memorial Hospital Workers & Anr, here the petitioners were encouraging other Unrecognised Unions and also provided them premises inside the establishment for running activities of the union and also supported them financially against the provision of Section 20. Subsequently, respondent 1 (Recognised Union) challenged this and the Industrial court held that petitioners were charged with Unfair Labour Practices as contemplated under Item 2(a) and 2(b) of Schedule II of the Act.

  • SCHEDULE IV – General Unfair Labour Practices on the part of employers

Item 9. Failure to implement award, settlement or agreement.

In Chief Officer, Sangli Municipal Council v Dharamsing Hiralal, Bombay High Court, the respondent workman was appointed as a Bill Clerk in the Public Works Department as a temporary workman for a period of 15 months and after having worked for continuous period of 15 months, he wasn’t made a permanent workman thereby failing to implement the award passed by virtue of the provisions of the Award made in Reference (IT) No. 102 of 1955. Thereby, the respondent contented that the petitioner committed Unfair Labour Practice as per Item 9 of Schedule IV. The learned member of Industrial Court, Pune came to conclusion that petitioner was guilty of unfair labour practice covered by Items 6 and 9 of Schedule IV.




DISCLAIMER : Absolute Care is taken to prepare this article; however, inadvertently if any errors occur then, the Author shall not be held responsible for any such cause. The Content published is only for educational purpose and shall not be construed as the rendering of any Professional Advice in any manner whatsoever. Readers must exercise their Judgement and refer the original source before any implementation. Further, the Content is an original work of the Author and may be used only after written permission.

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August 2021