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Section 10b – Industrial Disputes (Central) Rules, 1957

10B. Proceeding before the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal

(1) While referring an industrial dispute for adjudication to a Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, the Central Government shall direct the party raising the dispute to file a statement of claim complete with relevant documents, list of reliance and witnesses with the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal within fifteen days of the receipt of the order of reference and also forward a copy of such statement to each one of the opposite parties involved in the dispute.

(2) The Labor Court ,Tribunal or National Tribunal after ascertaining that copies of statement of claim are furnished to the other side by party raising the dispute shall fix the first hearing on a date not beyond one month from the date of receipt of the order of reference and the opposite party or parties shall file their written statement together with documents, list of reliance and witnesses within a period of 15 days from the date of first hearing and simultaneously forward a copy thereof to the other party.

(3) Where the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, finds that the party raising the dispute though directed did not forward the copy of the statement of claim to the opposite party or parties, it shall give direction to the concerned party to furnish the copy of the statement to the opposite party or parties and for the said purpose or for any other sufficient cause, extend the time limit for filing the statement under sub-rule (1) or written statement under sub-rule (2) by an additional period of 15 days.

(4) The party raising a dispute may submit a rejoinder if it chooses to do so, to the written statement(s) by the appropriate party or parties within a period of fifteen days from the filing of written statement by the latter.

(5) The Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, shall fix a date for evidence within one month from the date of receipt of the statements, documents, list of witnesses, etc. which shall be ordinarily within sixty days of the date on which the dispute was referred for adjudication.

(6) Evidence shall be recorded either in court or on affidavit but in the case of affidavit the opposite party shall have the right to cross-examine each of the deponents filing the affidavit. As the oral examination of each witness proceeds, the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal shall make a memorandum of the substance of what is being deposed. While recording the evidence the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal shall follow the procedure laid down in rule 5 of Order XVIII of the First Schedule to the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

(7) On completion of evidence either arguments shall be heard immediately or a date shall be fixed for arguments / oral hearing which shall not be beyond a period of fifteen days from the close of evidence.

(8) The Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, shall not ordinarily grant an adjournment for a period exceeding a week at a time but in any case not more than three adjournments in all at the instance of the parties to the dispute :

PROVIDED that the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, for reasons to be recorded in writing, grant an adjournment exceeding a week at a time but in any case not more than three adjournments at the instance of any one of the parties to the dispute.

(9) In case any party defaults or fails to appear at any stage the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, may proceed with the reference ex parte and decide the reference application in the absence of the defaulting party:

PROVIDED that the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, may on the application of either party filed be
fore the submission of the award revoke this order that the case shall proceed ex parte, if it is satisfied that the absence of the party was on justifiable grounds.

(10) The Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, as the case may be, shall submit its award to the Central Government within one month from the date of arguments/oral hearing or within the period mentioned in the order of reference whichever is earlier.

(11) In respect of reference under section 2A, the Labor Court or Tribunal, National Tribunal, as the case maybe, shall ordinarily submit its awards within a period of three months:

PROVIDED that the Labor Court, Tribunal or National Tribunal, may, as and when necessary, extend the period of three months and shall record its reasons in writing to extend the time for submission of the award for another specified period.]

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