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Development Officer Working in LIC Not ‘Workmen’ Says Supreme Court

The appellants who moved appeal against the Industrial Tribunal and High Court judgment got set back from the Supreme Court. The appellants are the Development Officers of the LIC who filed petition before the Industrial Tribunal against the State run Insurance Company for reducing their salaries and incentives.

The company argued the maintainability of the petition of the Development Officers as they do not come under the purview of Work men defined in Section 2 of Industrial Disputes Act. They also pointed out before the Tribunal that the petitioners have claimed inflated incentives they are not entitled as per the definition of workmen in the act. The company further submitted that the reduction in the salaries of the Development Officers were made only after conducting enquiry of their false claim of inflated incentives they were not entitled to.

 The Tribunal passed orders that the petitioners cannot be regarded as workmen under the Act. Though the maintainability was rejected by the Tribunal, it took favorable stand to the Development officers directing the company to issue payment of arrears and restitution of pay scale.

Against the Tribunal’s order the petitioners moved appeal in the Allahabad High Court. The High Court also observed that the appellants cannot be considered as work men pertaining to the relevant section of the Act and Labor Court has no jurisdiction to hear the dispute. The High Court upheld the finding of the Industrial Tribunal. The appellants challenged the order of Tribunal and High Court and moved appeal before the Honorable Supreme court.

The Supreme Court Bench presided over by Justice Dipak Misra and Parafulla C Pant upheld the findings of Tribunal and High Court observing that the appellants cannot be treated as workmen under the Industrial Disputes act. The Supreme Court stated in the verdict that they do not find any flaw in the Lower Courts findings as the Development officers of LIC cannot be treated as workmen defined in the Industrial Disputes Act.

According to the Honorable Supreme Court’s conclusion the Development Officers are not subject to the provisions of Industrial Dispute Act and the labor court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition.