ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Labour Judiciary in Crisis

Labour Judiciary in Crisis Radha Iyer To the working class of this country, an independent labour judiciary has been a mirage and `this has played no small part in the trade union movement losing faith in traditional processes of collective bargaining and veering round to the notion that might is right THE ex-chief justice of India has warned that the judicial system in the country would collapse if urgent remedial steps were not taken. In case of the labour judiciary in the state of Maharashtra it would hardly be an exaggeration to say that it has already collapsed. Take the following facts: Out of the total sanctioned posts of 38 labour courts in the state, over 63 per cent, i e, 24, arc vacant. By the end of March 1990 the figure is likely to rise to 27. Similarly out of 26 sanctioned posts of industrial courts 13 are vacant. By the end of March 1990 this figure is likely to rise to 16. The districts of Kolhapur, Sangli and Nashik have no labour or industrial courts at all. In the premier industrial city of the country, Bombay, out of the sanctioned strength of 11 labour courts only two are functioning. Out of seven industrial courts only two have regular judges. This is apart from the fact that even the sanctioned strength of the labour judiciary is not sufficient to cope with the burgeoning cases before these courts. Frustrated by the state of affairs the labour law practitioner in Bombay and Thane have boycotted courts since December 12, 1989, demanding filling up of vacancies, finalisa- tion of recruitment rules for judges, withdrawal of retired judges, adequate accommodation and adequate staff. At the end of two and half months of the boycott of courts the practitioners are nowhere near achieving their objectives.

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