Observing that speedy disposal is also a right of an aggrieved person more specifically in labour side, the Madras High Court has directed the Centre to conduct a review to identity the problems in speedy disposal of cases before Appellate Tribunals.
“The said exercise of conducting a review or inspection as the case may be to be done by the respondent, within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order,” the judge said, while recording submissions from advocates that adjournments by tribunals are granted in a callous manner and the matters listed in October 2019 are adjourned to May 2020 and therefore, they are unable to get disposal of any case before the Tribunal. Justice Subramaniam passed the direction while passing orders on a plea moved by a shoe upper manufacturing unit in Puducherry challenging the orders of Provident Fund office directing to remit the contributions of Employees Provident Fund, Pension Fund and the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance in respect of trainees enrolled from the date of engagement. Aggrieved by the said order, the petitioner company filed an application for review under Section 7-B of the EPF & MP Act on the ground that the order has been passed without hearing it and the order is not a speaking one. It was contended that remuneration was being paid to the trainees in the form of stipend based on actual attendance and that the person would be receiving a certificate of proficiency which would enable him to secure employment in any similar industry and hence were not eligible for EPF. But, with the case being moved in 2002 and with the counsel appearing for the company seeking an alternate relief to condone the delay and enable them file an appeal at the appellate tribunal regards this, Justice Subramaniam said, “The High Court’s cannot condone the un-condonable delay and therefore, such a relief also cannot be granted. The only option would be that the petitioner is bound to pay the contribution as per the claim set out in the impugned orders and accordingly, proceed to pay as per the provisions of the Act and Rules.”
However, Justice Subramaniam on recording the submissions by the members of the bar that large number of cases are pending and the rights of the parties are also affected at the tribunals, said, “This Court is of the considered opinion that the welfare legislations, more specifically, in Labour Laws are meant for speedy disposal of cases as the employees or Managements cannot afford to wait for long years in respect of disposal of the cases, as it would affect both the parties.”