The respondents claiming to be the workmen of the appellants filed applications under Section 33­C(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 before the Labour Court No. 2, Bombay (for short, “the Labour Court”) against the appellants claiming overtime wages for the work claimed to have been done by them in discharge of their duties for the period 1986 to 1990.

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5152 OF 2017

Currency Note Press & Anr. .. Appellant(s)

Versus

N.N. Sardesai & Ors. .. Respondent(s)

J U D G M E N T

Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.

1. This appeal is filed against the final judgment

and order dated 21.10.2011 passed by the High Court

of Judicature at Bombay in Writ Petition No. 534 of

1997 whereby the Single Judge of the High Court

allowed the writ petition filed by the respondents

herein and set aside the order dated 16.02.1995

passed by the Labour Court and allowed the

applications of the respondents.

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2. It may not be necessary to set out the facts in

detail except to the extent necessary to appreciate the

short issue involved in the appeal.

3. The question involved in the appeal is whether

the High Court was justified in allowing the

respondents’ (employees) writ petition and was,

therefore, justified in setting aside the order passed by

the Labour Court.

4. The appellants herein are body Corporate wholly

owned by and working under the control of Ministry of

Finance, Government of India and had been

specifically incorporated to take on the work of

printing currency notes and minting of coins along

with 7 other units. Their printing press is at

Nashik(Maharashtra). The respondents (total 17) at all

relevant times were the employees of the appellants’

printing press on different posts such as Junior

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Accounts Officer/Head Accountants and Section

Officers.

5. The respondents claiming to be the workmen of

the appellants filed applications under Section 33­C(2)

of the Industrial Disputes Act,1947 before the Labour

Court No. 2, Bombay (for short, “the Labour Court”)

against the appellants claiming overtime wages for the

work claimed to have been done by them in discharge

of their duties for the period 1986 to 1990. The

appellants on facts and law contested these

applications.

6. By order dated 16.02.1995, the Labour Court

dismissed the applications. The respondents felt

aggrieved and filed writ petition before the High Court

of Judicature at Bombay challenging the order of the

Labour Court.

7. By impugned order, the Single Judge allowed the

respondents’ writ petition and while setting aside the

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order of the Labour Court allowed the respondents’

applications and granted them the monetary relief

claimed therein. It is against this order, the appellants

(employers) have felt aggrieved and filed this appeal by

way of special leave before this Court.

8. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties

and on perusal of the record of the case, we are

inclined to dismiss the appeal on more than one

reason mentioned hereinbelow.

9. First, all the respondents (total 17) are now no

longer in service and have either retired from the

service or died; Second, the amount involved and

awarded to the respondents is not very sizable; Third,

it relates to the period from 1986­1990; Fourth, the

amount, pursuant to the impugned order, was already

paid long back to the respondents; and lastly, as

mentioned above, it relates to the overtime work

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admittedly done by these respondents (employees)

while on duty.

10. In view of these five factual reasons, we are not

inclined to interfere in the impugned order of the High

Court.

11. Learned counsel for the appellants (employers),

however, argued several legal issues which, according

to him, arise in the case. These submissions relate to

interpretation of certain provisions of the Bombay

Shops and Establishment Act, 1948 and the Factories

Act, 1948.

12. Keeping in view the five factual reasons set out

above which admittedly emerge from the record of the

case, we are not inclined to examine the legal

questions urged by the learned counsel for the

appellants and consider it proper to leave these

questions open for our decision on their merits in

some other case.

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13. In view of the foregoing discussion, the appeal

fails and is accordingly dismissed.

…..………………………………J.

(ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE)

.………………………………..J

(S. ABDUL NAZEER)

New Delhi,

July 20, 2018

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