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ADJUDICATION MACHINERY UNDER THE INDUSTIRAL DISPUTES ACT: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

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The system of adjudication or compulsory arbitration has come to stay in India as a part of the Industrial Disputes Act. In India this system of adjudication is supposed to fill in the void created by the weak trade union movement historically which was not strong enough to negotiate with the employer on an equal footing. This system however has been criticized for its unfavourable effects on the trade union movement. Undue dependence on the trade union movement has deprived the trade unions of the incentive to organize itself on a strong and effective basis and has rendered the unions mere petitioning and litigant organizations arguing their case before tribunals . This system of adjudication has also been criticized because of long delays involved in the final settlement of dispute, particularly where one of the parties chooses to go in appeal against an award. Such delays are themselves responsible for industrial strife . Another argument against the principle of adjudication is that it leads to an authoritarian imposition of the terms and conditions of employment and suppresses the possible self-government in industries based upon the democratic freedom of the parties to resolve their disputes through collective bargaining.

But inspite of many arguments made against adjudication, it has come to stay in India and there are influential protagonists for it. Supporters of compulsory adjudication contend that adjudication, coercive though it may be, is superior to collective bargaining as collective bargaining settles a dispute on the principle of trial by combat where not the cause but the relative strength of parties actually triumphs. Compulsory arbitration, though imperfect, introduces an element of law and justice in the c...

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...uch a nature that industrial establishments situated in more than one State are likely to be interested in, or affected by, such disputes.

(2) A National Tribunal shall consist of one person only to be appointed by the Central Government.

(3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the presiding officer of a National Tribunal [unless he is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court].

(4) The Central Government may, if it so thinks fit, appoint two persons as assessors to advise the National Tribunal in the proceeding before it.

Supra note 2 at 301.

Supra note 1 at 668.

A.M. Sarma, Industrial Relations: Conception and Legal Framework, (Delhi: Himalaya Publishing House, 1992) at 81.

(1998) 1 LLJ 868.

Supra note 2 at 303.

Section 10 (1), Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

Schedule III, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

Supra note 2 at 304.
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