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Thursday, July 26, 2018

The respondents claiming to be the workmen of the appellants filed applications under Section 33­C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 before the Labour Court No. 2, Bombay (for short, “the Labour Court”) against the appellants claiming overtime wages for the work claimed to have been done by them in discharge of their duties for the period 1986 to 1990.

      REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5152 OF 2017
Currency Note Press & Anr.     .. Appellant(s)
Versus
N.N. Sardesai & Ors.            .. Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
1. This appeal is filed against the final judgment
and order dated 21.10.2011 passed by the High Court
of Judicature at Bombay in Writ Petition No. 534 of
1997   whereby   the   Single   Judge   of   the   High   Court
allowed   the   writ   petition   filed   by   the   respondents
herein   and   set   aside   the   order   dated   16.02.1995
passed   by   the   Labour   Court   and   allowed   the
applications of the respondents.
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2. It may not be necessary to set out the facts in
detail except to the extent necessary to appreciate the
short issue involved in the appeal.
3. The question involved in the appeal is whether
the   High   Court   was   justified   in   allowing   the
respondents’   (employees)   writ   petition   and   was,
therefore, justified in setting aside the order passed by
the Labour Court.
4. The appellants herein are body Corporate wholly
owned by and working under the control of Ministry of
Finance,   Government   of   India   and   had   been
specifically   incorporated   to   take   on   the   work   of
printing currency notes and minting of coins along
with   7   other   units.   Their   printing   press   is   at
Nashik(Maharashtra). The respondents (total 17) at all
relevant times were the employees of the appellants’
printing   press   on   different   posts   such   as   Junior
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Accounts   Officer/Head   Accountants   and   Section
Officers.
5. The respondents claiming to be the workmen of
the appellants filed applications under Section 33­C(2)
of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947  before the Labour
Court No. 2, Bombay (for short, “the Labour Court”)
against the appellants claiming overtime wages for the
work claimed to have been done by them in discharge
of   their   duties   for   the   period   1986   to   1990.   The
appellants   on   facts   and   law   contested   these
applications.
6. By   order   dated   16.02.1995,   the   Labour   Court
dismissed   the   applications.   The   respondents   felt
aggrieved and filed writ petition before the High Court
of Judicature at Bombay challenging the order of the
Labour Court.
7. By impugned order, the Single Judge allowed the
respondents’ writ petition and while setting aside the
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order of the Labour Court allowed the respondents’
applications   and   granted   them   the   monetary   relief
claimed therein. It is against this order, the appellants
(employers) have felt aggrieved and filed this appeal by
way of special leave before this Court.
8.  Having heard the learned counsel for the parties
and   on   perusal   of   the   record   of   the   case,   we   are
inclined   to   dismiss   the   appeal   on   more   than   one
reason mentioned hereinbelow.
9. First, all the respondents (total 17) are now no
longer   in   service   and   have   either   retired   from   the
service   or   died;   Second,   the   amount   involved   and
awarded to the respondents is not very sizable; Third,
it relates to the period from 1986­1990; Fourth, the
amount, pursuant to the impugned order, was already
paid long back to the  respondents;   and lastly, as
mentioned   above,   it   relates   to   the   overtime   work
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admittedly   done   by   these   respondents   (employees)
while on duty.
10. In view of these five factual reasons, we are not
inclined to interfere in the impugned order of the High
Court. 
11. Learned counsel for the appellants (employers),
however, argued several legal issues which, according
to him, arise in the case. These submissions relate to
interpretation   of   certain   provisions   of   the   Bombay
Shops and Establishment Act, 1948 and the Factories
Act, 1948.
12. Keeping in view the five factual reasons set out
above which admittedly emerge from the record of the
case,   we   are   not   inclined   to   examine   the   legal
questions   urged   by   the   learned   counsel   for   the
appellants   and   consider   it   proper   to   leave   these
questions   open   for   our   decision   on   their   merits   in
some other case.
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13. In view of the foregoing discussion, the appeal
fails and is accordingly dismissed.
            …..………………………………J.
     (ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE)
.………………………………..J
(S. ABDUL NAZEER)
New Delhi,
July 20, 2018
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