Dispute Resolution

Famous Conciliation Cases in India

The researcher has dealt with famous cases on conciliation in India in this blog. In addition, the majority involves disputes revolving around conciliation officers. For clarity, the researcher has divided each case into four parts:

  • Name of the parties
  • Facts
  • Issue
  • Judgment

A few of the famous conciliation cases in India are as follows:

Case: Guajrat Ambuja Cement Pvt. Ltd. v. U.B. Gadh [1]

Petitioner: Gujarat Ambuja Cement Pvt. Ltd.

Respondent: U.B. Gadh

Facts: The petitioner has challenged an award passed by the labour court.

Issue: When do the conciliation proceedings begin when ambiguity is there?

Held: There are two separate procedures for conciliation proceedings. The first instance, where a notice of strike is given by the workers. Rule 76 and 77 provide for the same. Under Rule 76 the conciliation officer attempts to:

  • interview both the employer and employee
  • aim to settle the dispute

Rule 11 covers conciliation proceedings in situations not covered by Rule 76 and 77.

Case: Subhashbhai Bhanabhai Patel And Others v. State Of Gujarat And Others [2]

Petitioner: Subhashbhai Bhanabhai Patel

Respondent: State of Gujarat, Reliance Industries Limited

Facts: The conciliation proceedings between the Union and Reliance Industries Limited did not succeed. Then the Conciliation Officer drew a failure report. However, the report was not submitted to the third respondent, State of Gujarat. The dispute was pending. The statutory authority also did not act according to law. Under section 33A of the Industrial Disputes Act, the authorities refused to register the complaint. The Industrial Tribunal was to be notified about it. Under article 226 of the constitution, the respondents filed a writ petition.

The appellants were dismissed from the respondent’s company. They were demanding a higher amount for signing a long-term agreement. A new executive body was elected in 2002. The appellants did not contest the said election. Thus, they ceased to be the member of the Executive body. They also misrepresented themselves in court to get favourable orders.

Issue: Whether prior approval is required to dismiss a workman who was previously an office-bearer of Union?

Held: The court dismissed the appeal. It was held that “if a workman ceased to be office-bearer of Union, then his dismissal does not require approval under section 33(2)(b) of the Act.”

Case: M/S Imi Norgren Herion (Pvt.) Ltd. v. Labour Court, U.P. Noida, And Ors. [3]

Petitioner: M/S Imi Norgren Herion (Pvt.) Ltd.

Respondent: Labour Court, U.P. Noida

Facts: The petitioner had terminated the respondent’s contract. Both the parties agreed to reconcile. The conciliation proceedings started in 2015. The respondent withdrew his claim in the conciliation proceedings to avoid litigation. Both the parties settled the matter. It was also registered. Additionally, the petitioner paid Rs. 3,45,376 to the respondent for settlement. Thus, the petitioner contended that by entering into an agreement the respondent could not start a conciliation case.

Issue: Whether the respondent has any further claim after settlement?

Held: The court referred to various sections of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936. Under section 6-D of the Act, [4] the proceedings before the Labour Court or tribunal shall be deemed to have commenced on the date of reference of the dispute to adjudication and concluded on the date on which the award becomes enforceable under section 6-A.[5]

The tribunal has the authority to decide the jurisdiction once the reference for adjudication is made. Neither the conciliation officer has the authority to decide the jurisdiction based on the merits of the case. The registered settlement between the parties denotes that the dispute came to an end. There lies no merit in the instant petition by the respondent. Thus, the court dismissed the petition.

[1] Guajrat Ambuja Cement Pvt. Ltd. v. U.B. Gadh, (2006) 1 GLR 269.

[2] Subhashbhai Bhanabhai Patel & Ors. v. State Of Gujarat & Ors., (2007) 3 GLR 2588.

[3] M/S Imi Norgren Herion (Pvt.) Ltd. v. Labour Court, U.P. Noida & Ors.,

[4] The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, §6-D.

[5] The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, §6-A.

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