The Madras High Court has bemoaned the slow pace with which industrial issues are resolved, stating that such cases can take up to a “quarter-century” to reach the High Court on appeal from the Industrial Tribunal.
The statement was made by Justice S Vaidyanathan while making orders on a petition filed on behalf of 14 former State Bank of Mysore workers who had raised a dispute over their regularisation, which the government had incorrectly referred to as one of non-employment.
The court lambasted the government’s strategy as ineffective, noting that the case has been pending since 2016 due to an incorrect citation.
The Court has now directed the concerned authorities/tribunals/labor courts to keep details such as Aadhaar card, mobile number, and date of birth until the dispute is brought to a logical conclusion to minimise practical difficulties encountered in tracing legal heirs when an employee passes away during the long pendency of a labour dispute.
“Employees must provide their date of birth and Aadhaar card to the Tribunal, as well as their mobile numbers, which must be kept until the concerns are resolved logically, even if they are allowed to change providers.” “The authority concerned, the Labour Court, and Tribunals must obtain the above particulars in all pending proceedings, as disputes do not conclude in Lower discussion boards,” the Court stated.
According to the judge, the government should work quickly to provide a corrigendum within the specified time frame, and officials dealing with labour issues should proceed with caution.
Justice Vaidyanathan highlighted that, despite the fact that the labour legislation states that it is intended for rapid disposal, it operates at a snail’s pace, citing his experience with a writ case from 2002 that had been outstanding for more than 28 years. He said that the employees will leave a legacy of litigation to their legal heirs/future generations.