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Section 28 – The Trade Unions Act, 1926

The Trade Unions Act, 1926

 

28. Returns.—

 

(1) There shall be sent annually to the Registrar, on or before such date as may be prescribed, a general statement, audited in the prescribed manner, of all receipts and expenditure of every registered Trade Union during the year ending on the 31st day of 1[December] next preceding such prescribed date, and of the assets and liabilities of the Trade Union existing on such 31st day of 1[December]. The statement shall be prepared in such form and shall comprise such particulars as may be prescribed.

 

(2) Together with the general statement there shall be sent to the Registrar a statement showing changes of 2[office-bearers] made by the Trade Union during the year to which the general statement refers together also with a copy of the rules of the Trade Union corrected upto the date of the despatch thereof to the Registrar.

 

(3) A copy of every alteration made in the rules of a registered Trade Union shall be sent to the Registrar within fifteen days of the making of the alteration.

 

3[(4) For the purpose of examining the documents referred to in sub-sections (1), (2) and (3), the Registrar, or any officer authorised by him by general or special order, may at all reasonable times inspect the certificate of registration, account books, registers, and other documents, relating to a Trade Union, at its registered office or may require their production at such place as he may specify in this behalf, but no such place shall be at a distance of more than ten miles from the registered office of a Trade Union.]

 

State Amendments

 

Madhya Pradesh.—After Chapter III, insert the following new Chapter, namely:—

 

“Chapter IIIA Approved Unions

28A. Maintenance of list of approved unions.—It shall be the duty of the Registrar to maintain in such form as may be prescribed a list of approved unions.

 

28B. Certain unions deemed to be approved unions.—A union entered on the approved list maintained under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1947 as adopted in Madhya Bharat by the Madhya Bharat Industrial Relations (Adaptation) Act, Samvat 2006 (Madhya Bharat 31 of 1949), before the commencement of the Indian Trade Unions (Madhya Pradesh Amendment) Act, 1960 (Madhya Pradesh Act 28 of 1960), shall be deemed to be an approved union under this Act.

 

28C. Application for and entry in the approved list.—(1) Any representative union or where there is no representative union any registered Trade Union in any industry other than an industry for which the Central Government is the appropriate Government within the meaning of sub-clause (i) of clause (a) of section 2 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947), may apply in the prescribed form for being entered in the approved list.

 

(2) On receipt of such application the Registrar shall hold such enquiry as is prescribed and if he is satisfied that such union fulfils the conditions necessary for its being entered in the approved list, he shall enter the name of such union in the approved list and shall issue a certificate of its entry in such form as may be prescribed:

 

Provided that—

(i) where two or more unions fulfilling the conditions necessary for registration specified in section 28D apply for their entry in the approved list, the Union which has the largest membership of the employees employed in the industry, shall alone be entered in the approved list;

 

(ii) the Registrar shall not enter any union in the approved list, if he is satisfied for reasons to be recorded in writing that the application for entry is not made bona fide in the interests of employees but is made in the interests of the employer.

 

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, the expression “Representative Union” shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Madhya Pradesh Industrial Relations Act, 1960 (Madhya Pradesh Act 27 of 1960).

 

28D. Conditions of entry in the approved list.—(1) No union shall be entered in the approved list under this Act, unless—

 

(i) the union has for the whole of the period of three months next preceding the date of application under section 28C a membership of not less than fifteen per cent. of the employees employed in the industry in that local area;

 

(ii) the constitution of the union shall be such as may be provided by or under this Act, and in particular, shall require that—

 

(a) the subscription payable for membership shall be not less than four annas a month or such other sum as may be fixed by the State Government under sub-section (2) and that the accounts of the union shall be audited at least once in each financial year by an auditor appointed or approved by the State Government.

 

(b) the executive of the union shall meet at least once in three months and that all resolutions passed by the executive or general body shall be recorded in a minute book; and

 

(c) the union shall not sanction a strike as long as conciliation and arbitration are available and shall not declare a strike until a ballot is taken and the majority of the members of the union vote in favour of the strike.

 

(2) The State Government may, by notification, direct that in the case of any registered trade union of workmen or employees engaged in any employment specified in the Schedule to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the membership subscription may be less than four annas for such period as may be specified therein.

 

(3) Any registered Trade Union complying with the conditions specified in sub-section (1), and having a larger membership in an industry in a local area than an approved union for such industry shall on an application in that behalf be entered in the approved list in place of such approved union by the Registrar after holding such enquiry as he deems fit.

 

28E. Approved union to continue to be so far altered local area for sometime.—Notwithstanding anything contained in section 28D, if there is any alteration in the local area or areas—

 

(a) an approved union in an industry in the altered local area or areas; or

(b) where two or more approved unions exist in an industry in the altered local area or areas, the union having the largest membership, whether by agreement of the other approved unions or as determined by the Registrar after such inquiry as he deems fit;

 

shall be deemed to be the approved union for the altered local area or areas, as the case may be, for a period of six months from the date on which such alteration is effected or where such approved union or any other union in the altered local area or areas makes an application under section 28C within such period until the disposal of such application by the Registrar.

 

28F. Removal from approved list.—The Registrar shall remove a union from the approved list if its certificate of registration is cancelled under section 10, and may also so remove a union if after holding such enquiry, as he deems fit, he is satisfied that it—

 

(i) was entered in the list under mistake, misrepresentation or fraud; or

 

(ii) has, since being included in the approved list, ceased to fulfil the conditions specified in section 28D.

 

28G. Appeal.—(1) Any person aggrieved by the order of the Registrar—

(a) refusing to enter any registered trade union in the approved list; or

 

(b) removing a registered trade union from the approved list;may, within thirty days from the communication of such order to the trade union concerned, appeal to the Industrial Court whose decision shall be final:

 

Provided that in computing the period of thirty days the period requisite for obtaining a copy of the order shall be excluded.

 

(2) The Registrar shall comply with any order passed by the Industrial Court under sub-section (1).

 

28H. Rights of officer of approved unions.—Such officers and members of an approved union as may be authorized by or under rules made in this behalf by the State Government, shall in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, have a right—

 

(a) to collect sums payable by members to the union on the premises where wages are paid to them;

 

(b) to put up or cause to be put up a notice board on the premises of the undertaking in which its members are employed and affix or caused to be affixed notices thereon;

 

(c) for the purpose of the prevention or settlement of a trade dispute—

 

(i) to hold discussions on the premises of the undertaking with the employees concerned who are the members of the union;

 

(ii) to meet and discuss with an employer or any person appointed by him for the purpose of removing the grievances of its members employed in his undertaking;

 

(iii) to inspect, if necessary, in any undertaking, any place where any member of the union is employed.

 

[Vide Madhya Pradesh Act 28 of 1960, sec. 4 (w.e.f. 31-12-1960); Madhya Pradesh Act 16 of 1968, sec. 3.]

 

“28HH. Definitions.— In this Chapter,—

 

(a) “industry” shall have the meaning assigned to that expression in the Madhya Pradesh Industrial Relations Act, 1960 (27 of 1960).

 

(b) “local area” means any area, notified by the Registrar as a local area for any or all Industries for the purpose of this Chapter.”

 

[Vide Madhya Pradesh Act 26 of 1981, sec. 4 (w.e.f. 23-5-1981).]

 

Madhya Pradesh.—In Chapter IV, for the heading “Regulations” substitute the heading “Miscellaneous” and before section 29 insert the following sections, namely:—

 

“Chapter IV

Miscellaneous

 

“28-I. Other powers of Registrar.—(1) For the purposes of discharging his duties generally under the Act and verifying the correctness of the annual returns submitted under section 28, the Registrar shall have power to inspect the account books, the list of members and the minute book of a registered Trade Union:

 

Provided that an inspection made under this sub-section shall, as far as practicable, be done at the office of the registered Trade Union or at the place within a reasonable distance therefrom and after giving reasonable notice.

 

(2) For the purposes of discharging his duties under Chapter IIIA, the Registrar shall, in addition to the powers mentioned in sub-section (1) have—

 

(a) the following powers of a Court of civil jurisdiction under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, namely:—

 

(i) power to require or accept the proof of facts by affidavits;

 

(ii) power to summon and enforce the attendance of any person and to examine him on oath;

 

(iii) power to compel the production of documents; and

 

(iv) power to issue commission for the examination of witnesses;

 

(b) power to enter and inspect any place used by a registered Trade Union as office after giving reasonable notice; and

 

(c) such other powers as may be prescribed.

 

28J. Dispute as to officer of registered Trade Union.—(1) If there is any dispute as to who is the lawful officer of a registered Trade Union, any person claiming to be such an officer or the Registrar may refer the dispute to the Industrial Court in such manner *[and on payment of such fee not exceeding ten rupees] as may be prescribed:

 

*[Provided that no fee shall be payable by the Registrar.]

 

(2) On a reference being made under sub-section (1), the Industrial Court shall, after hearing the parties to such dispute and recording such evidence as it may consider necessary, decide the dispute and declare who is the lawful officer. The decision of the Industrial Court shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court of law.

 

*[(2a) The costs of and incidental to the provisions of this section shall be in the discretion of the Industrial Court and the Industrial Court shall have full power to determine by whom the whole or any part of such costs shall be paid.

 

(2b) If any proceeding under this section the Industrial Court is, after hearing the person making the reference, satisfied that the ground on which the claim has been preferred is false or vexatious, the Court may after recording its reasons for holding such claim to be false or vexatious, make an order for the payment of costs by way of compensation which shall not be less than fifty rupees and not exceeding two hundred rupees to such person or persons, as it may specify in the order.]

 

(3) No Civil Court shall entertain any suit or other proceedings in respect of any dispute which has been referred to the Industrial Court under sub-section (1) and is pending before such Court and if any such suit or proceeding is pending in a Civil Court on the date of the reference the Civil Court shall, on receipt of a notice from the Industrial Court, cease to exercise jurisdiction in respect thereof and shall forthwith transfer the record of such suit or proceeding to the Industrial Court.”

 

[Vide Madhya Pradesh Act 28 of 1960, sec. 5 (w.e.f. 31-12-1960); *Madhya Pradesh Act 11 of 1963, sec. 2.]

 

28K. Certain officers to be public servants.—The Registrar, Additional Registrar and Deputy Registrar of Trade Unions appointed under section 3 and members of the staff of the offices of the aforesaid officers shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

 

28L. Protection of action under the Act.—No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or purported to be done under this Act.

 

[Vide Madhya Pradesh Act 16 of 1968, sec. 4.]

 

Maharashtra.—After section 28, insert the following section, namely:—

 

28-1A. Power of Industrial Court to decide certain disputes.—(1) Where there is a dispute as respects whether or not any person is an office-bearer or a member of a registered Trade Union (including any dispute relating to wrongful expulsion of any such office-bearer or member), or where there is any dispute relating to the property (including the account books) of any registered Trade Union, any member of such registered Trade Union for a period of not less than six months may, with the consent of the Registrar, and in such manner as may be prescribed, refer the dispute to the Industrial Court constituted under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, for decision.

 

(2) The Industrial Court shall, after hearing the parties to the dispute, decide the dispute; and may require an office-bearer or member of the Registered Trade Union to be appointed whether by election or otherwise under the supervision of such person as the Industrial Court may appoint in this behalf or removed, in accordance with the rules of the Trade Union:

 

Provided that the Industrial Court may, pending the decision of the dispute, make an interim order specifying or appointing any person or appointing a Committee of Administration for any purpose under the Act including the purpose of taking possession or control of the property in dispute and managing it for the purposes of the Union pending the decision.

 

(3) The decision of the Industrial Court shall be final and binding on the parties and shall not be called in question in any Civil Court.

 

(4) No Civil Court shall entertain any suit or other proceedings in relation to the dispute referred to the Industrial Court as aforesaid, and if any suit or proceeding is pending in any such Court, the Civil Court shall, on receipt of an intimation from the Industrial Court that it is seized of the question, cease to exercise jurisdiction in respect thereof.

 

(5) Save as aforesaid, the Industrial Court may, in deciding disputes under this section, exercise the same powers and follow the same procedure as it exercises or follows for the purpose of deciding industrial disputes under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946.”

 

[Vide Maharashtra Act 3 of 1968, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 1-10-1968).]

 

——————–

1. Subs. by Act 38 of 1964, sec. 6, for “March” (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

 

2. Subs. by Act 38 of 1964, sec. 2, for “officer” (w.e.f. 1-4-1965).

 

3. Ins. by Act 42 of 1960, sec. 9 (w.e.f. 21-9-1960).

 

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The Trade Unions Act, 1926

 

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