The Trade Unions Act, 1926

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The Trade Unions Act, 1926 being Act no. 16 of the year 1926 was enacted during British rule in India has received assent on 25th day of March, 1926. The object of the Act deals with registration of Trade Unions and in certain relations the provisions have been provided to define the law connected with such registered Trade Unions. It was adopted by independent India also and the provisions thereof remained under force after such adoption. The provisions of this Act were extended to the entire Indian territories, however, earlier the State of Jammu and Kashmir were exempted from its extension, but by the amendment Act of 1970 being Act no. 51, the exemption was taken off and now it is extended to whole of India. On 1st of June, 1927 the Act became operative. Earlier the Act was named as ‘India Trade Unions Act, 1926’ however, by the Amending Act of 1964 being Act no. 38, the word ‘Indian’ was taken off from 1st day of April, 1965. Similarly, the provisions of the Act was amended many times including recent amendments in the year 2001 and 2005.

Second Chapter under this Act being important talks about registration of Trade Unions. Section 3 thereof provides for appointment of Registrar for the same purpose by the concerned Government either Central or State as applicable. Such registrars are required to be appointed at every States. There can also be appointed additional or deputies of such Registrars as per necessity. Now the next section provides for registration’s mode in which it is required that any 7 or more than which, Members of concerned Trade Union can apply for registration of that Trade Union, by subscribing their names to the rules of that Trade Union and also by complying the provisions of this Act. All such applications are required to be tabled before the Registrar concerned and should also be accompanied with a copy of Rules of Trade Union concerned and also a Statement showing names, occupations, etc. of the makers of application, name of Trade Union and its Head office’s address, etc. Such rules of Trade union are to be provided for name of Union, its objects and purposes, maintenance of list of members thereof, admission of member thereof, etc. for getting registered under this Act. Section 8 of the Act finally requires the Registrar to register the Trade Union after being satisfied that the said has complied all legal requirements contemplated under this Act. While registering such Trade Union the Registrar is required to enter its name in the Register which is maintained by him and issue the Certificate of registration. Section 10 provides for situations in which such registration can be cancelled, including if any application as to same was received from the Trade Union or if the registration is found to have obtained by fraud or mistake. There are also other situations in which such cancellation can be made. An appealing provisions is given in case of persons feeling aggrieved by the decision of refusal to grant or cancellation as aforesaid the registration of Trade Union. An appeal can be preferred before, the Civil Court not below the rank of Additional or Assistant Judge of Principle Civil Court. Further, section 13 of the Act requires incorporation of such Trade Union which are registered under this Act.

The next chapter deals with rights and liabilities of such registered Trade Unions. Section 15 wherein specified certain objects in respect of which, the General funds of such registered Union should be spent by it. Including salaries, allowances, administrative expenses, prosecuting or defending the legal actions, etc. are some of those objects and the list is inclusive. Section 16 requires the registered Union to constitute a separate fund for the political purposes, which are to be spent on the given objects. There is an immunity provided to the registered Trade Union, Office Bearer, Members thereof against the Civil actions in respect of any act in furtherance of a Trade dispute wherein a member of the Trade Union is a party, due to only reason that it is done to induce some other person to break down the employment contract of employment, or otherwise. Section 19 says that the agreements entered into between members of a registered Trade Union in order to restrain the trade, should not be void or voidable. The Office bearers are entitled to inspect the account books of the registered to Trade Union. Besides all these rights there are also several rights provided under subsequent provisions of this Act.

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Further, Chapter IV of the Act makes provisions as to Regulations, and section 29 empowers the concerned Government to make such Regulations for the purpose of this Act and on the matters enlisted thereunder, the list inclusive. Such Regulations are to be previously published by such Government.

Lastly, Chapter V of the Act makes penal provision under the Act and also prescribes the procedure in relation thereto. Section 31 and 32 describes certain offences, including providing false information, committing default in giving notices, documents, etc. which are required under this Act to be given by registered Trade Union. The punishment is provided in the form of fine. Section 33 provides for taking cognizance of Offence by the Court which should not be below to the rank of Presidency Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class. And for taking cognizance, a previous complaint is necessary.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.