Labour Law Cases - Review of Recent Courts' Judgments


1. Industrial Relations Act ( IV of 2008)---

S. 41--Misconduct/Termination of Bank employee--Non-initiation of inquiry proceedings

Misconduct was alleged against employee and terminated but without initiation of any inquiry proceedings, therefore he was rightly reinstated in service.

Misconduct by Bank employee led to his termination. Petitioner/Bank contended that Labour Appellate Tribunal wrongly reinstated the employee without deciding the matter on merit. Respondent/employee contended that neither show cause notice along with statement of allegations was served to him nor inquiry proceedings were initiated against him--Validity. Record revealed the deposition of the representative/authorized Officer of the Bank spelt out that employee was not convicted by criminal court on the allegation leveled against him and, admittedly, he did not produce any letter issued by the Bank regarding performance about the said employee from his previous employers.

Representative of the Bank also admitted that there was no fault on the part of the employee regarding the Bank and that neither inquiry officer was appointed nor inquiry was conducted against the employee by the Bank regarding allegation mentioned in the impugned termination letter. Certain allegations were on record against the employee but his service was not supposed to be terminated without holding full-fledged inquiry and grant of opportunity of hearing to the employee to defend himself on the allegations against him. No illegality or infirmity having been noticed in the impugned orders constitutional petition was dismissed accordingly. [SHC: Soneri Bank Limited through President vs. Aurangzeb and another ; 2018 PLC 117].

P.T.V. Employees Ittehad Union, Punjab through Secretary vs. Federation of Pakistan

2018 PLC 136

I.C.A. No. 53 of 2013 in W.P. No. 25102 of 2011, heard on 3rd July, 2015.

Editor's Note:

A common question of law arise in all these matters in I.C.A. No.53 of 2013 as well as W.Ps. Nos. 14456-2012, 4012-2013 and 31908-2014 is primarily challenging the vires of Industrial Relations Act, 2012 (IRA,2012) whether it is ultra vires or intra-vires of the Constitution. Legal issues arise when one statute IRA,2008 expires and the IRA,2012 took effect after some time. See the next case law of Sui Southern Gas Co. (2018 PLC (C.S.) 846) how law covers when there was a gap or transition period between two laws. Things get legally more complex when contestents takes series of different legal actions based on a statute prevailing at that time which later expires and the later statute IRA,2012 once takes hold change drastically from the IRA, 2008 regarding jurisdiction of labour forums.

In addition, Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2010 was passed drastically changing the legislative authority of the provinces, jurisdictions of labour forums for resolution of labour disputes and provided mechanism for the continuity of past actions. Depending upon the interest of people and trade unions, the new statute itself was challenged in court, thus increasing the legal complexity even more during the transition period. This judgment reflect those legal complexities which arose during the transition period from 2010 to 2012 when things were relatively uncertain and primarily decide the vires of the IRA,2012 common in all these constitutional petitions.

The brief facts of the case is that appellant, PTV Employees Ittehad Union ("lttehad Union") which is also the Petitioner in the Writ Petitions mentioned above, is a union of employees of Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) which is registered under the Punjab Industrial Relations Act, 2010 (PIRA 2010) as a provincial union.

Respondent No.4, All PTV Employees and Workers Union (APE) is also a union of employees of PTV which claims the status of industry-wise trade union and has participated and won a referendum for declaration as Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA). As a trans-provincial CBA, the APE seeks enforcement of provisions of Industrial Relations Act, 2012 (IRA, 2012) while the Appellant challenges the vires of IRA, 2012, and the power of the Registrar Trade Unions appointed under the provisions of 2012, inter alia, to hold a referendum and declare any trade union as the CBA. Hopefully with this legal history and background of facts will help readers understand the judgment better.

2(a) Interpretation of statutes--

Vires of statute---Principles

Court must attribute widest possible meaning (to a statute), and the rule of liberal construction should be followed and every possible effort should be made to save the law rather than destroy it. Even where two views were possible, the one making the enactment constitutionally permissible had to be adopted. [HC(Lhr): P.T.V. Employees Ittehad Union, Punjab through Secretary vs. Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs and 6 others ; 2018 PLC 136].

2(c) Industrial Relations Act (X of 2012)---

Preamble and vires of IRA,2012--

Preamble--Punjab Industrial Relations Act (XIX of 2010)

Constitution of Pakistan, Art. 17 and Fourth Sched, Pt. I, Entry Nos. 27, 31, 58 and 59 and Fourth Sched, Pt. II, Entry Nos.3, 13 and 18

Industrial Relations Act, 2012 was intra vires of the Constitution, its enactment was within the legislative competence of the Parliament and the same was a valid piece of legislation. Both Punjab...

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