Uashccm v. Ekanayake
i971Present: Sirimane, J.
S. M. RASHEEM, Appellant, and Y. B. EKANAYAKE (Labour Officer),
S.C. 643/70—M. C. Kandy, 61325
Industrial Disputes Act [Cap. 131)—Sections 31 D (7), 40 (7) (q), 43 (7), 43 (4)—Ordermade by Labour Tribunal—Failure of employer to comply with it—ProcedureJor punishment of such ojjence.
TVhero an employer who has boon ordered by a Labour Tribunal to deposito sum of money for tho benefit of a workman is prosecuted for failing to complywith the order in contravention of section 40of the Industrial Disputes
Act, there is no burden on the prosecution to prove before the Magistrate,
SLRIMANT3, J.—Rasheem v. Ekanayake
independently of any evidence led before the Labour Tribunal, that the accusedwas in fact the employer of the workman. In such a case, tho status of theparties has already been dotormincd by tho Labour Tribunal and, by virtue ofsection 31 D (1) of the Act, “ shall not bo called in question in any Court
When an employer is sentenced to pay a fine under section 43 (1) of theIndustrial Disputes Act, there is provision at tho same time in section 43 (4) toensure that tho workman gets tho benefit of tho order ho has obtained fromthe Labour Tribunal.
Appeal from a judgment of the Magistrate’s Court, Kandy.
G. Perera, for tho accused-appellant.
Kumar Amarasekera, Crown Counsel, for the Attorney-General.
August 1, 1971. Sekimaxe, J.—
The accused was charged with having committed an offence underthe Industrial Disputes Act, in tluat he, being an employer, failed tocomply with an order made in respect of him by a Labour Tribunal, incontravention of section 40 (1) (q) of the Industrial Disputes Act(Chapter 131).
The accused pleaded not guilty. At the trial certain officers of thoLabour Tribunal, Kandy, produced the order in tho relevant LabourTribunal case (P 1) in which the accused, as the employer of one Jab'ar,had been ordered to deposit a sum of Its. 590 with tho AssistantCommissioner of Labour, Kandy, for tho benefit of the workman.
The accused was served with summons before-the inquiry by the LabourTribunal, although ho chose to ignore it. He was also sent a copy of thoorder (P 1) by registered post.
At the trial, the accused took up the position that he was only a trusteoof the mosque at which tho workman was employed, and that lie was nottho employer.
Counsel for the appellant submits that the prosecution should provebefore the Magistrate independently of any evidence led before the LabourTribunal that tho accused was in fact the employer of the workman.
I do not think tlii3 is necessary. The statu3 of tho parties ha3 alreadybeen determined by the Labour Tribunal. Under section 31 D (1), suchan order i3 “ final and shall not be called in question in any Court Anappeal against such an order to the Supreme Court i3 only on a questionof law. I think the intention of tho legislature when enacting section40 (1) (q) was to ensure that orders of a Labour Tribunal are compliedwith by employers and not flouted with impunit3
The appeal must therefore fail.
Tilaharatne v. Inspector of Police, Ganemulla
The learned Magistrate has imposed a fine of Rs. 500 under section•43 (1) of the Act. Ho had the power to do so, but the order does nothelp t-Iio -workman at all. There is provision in section 43, subsection (4)to ensure that the workman gets the benefit of the order ho has obtainedfrom the Labour Tribunal.
I affirm the conviction, but alter the sentence as follows :—the accusedis sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 50, in default, two (2) weeks’ simpleimprisonment. In.addition to that sentence, I make order that theaccused should pay the sum of Rs. 59G as ordered by the Labour Tribunalin (P 1) within two months of the record reaching the Magistrate’sCourt. I need hardlj' add that if this sum is not paid as ordered, it maybe recovered as a fine.
Conviction affirmed.Sentence altered.
S. M. RASHEEM, Appellant, and Y. B. EKANAYAKE (Labour Officer), Respondent