1) Introduction 


         The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 has provided some authorities for the prevention and settlement of Industrial Disputes such as The Works Committee, Conciliation Officer, Board of Conciliation, Court of Inquiry Labour Court, Industrial Tribunal and National Tribunal... 
         The appropriate Government may constitute a Court of Inquiry for inquiring any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to an Industrial Dispute. The Institution of Court of Inquiry is taken from the British Industrial Courts Act, 1919. 



2) Court of Inquiry 



                   According to Section 6(1) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947,  the appropriate Government may as occasion arises by notification in the Official Gazette constitute a Court of Inquiry for inquiring into any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to an industrial dispute.

3) Constitution of Court of Inquiry 


                A Court of Inquiry may consist of one independent person or of such number of independent persons as the appropriate Government may think fit and where a Court consists of two or more members, one of them shall be appointed as the chairman.


Quorum 

               A Court, having the prescribed quorum, the quorum is one if the number of members is not more than two. The quorum is two if the number of members is two, but less than five. The quorum is three if the number of members is more than five.


4) Duties of the Court of Inquiry



Section 14 of the Industrial Act 1947 prescribes duties of the Court of inquiry are as follows -

(i)  The court of inquiry is to inquire into the matters referred to it under section 10(1) of the said Act by the appropriate government. It is only those matters which are appearing to be or connected with the industrial dispute that can be referred to it under section 10(1) or under Section 12(5) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.

(ii) The court of inquiry is to make a report to the appropriate government on the basis of an inquiry held by it on the matters referred to it, ordinary leave within 6 months from the date of commencement of the inquiry. The inquiry made beyond the period of 6 months will not be illegal as the provision is directory in nature.



6) Effects of Proceedings Before Court of Inquiry 


               Unlike the proceedings in the nature of conciliation when there is a legal bar regarding the worker's right to go on strike, the employer's right to declare Lockout and dismiss or otherwise punish the workmen under Section 33 of the said Act. The provision of this section 22, 23 and 33 provide that during the pendency of the preceding before the Court, the following rights remain unaffected.

1) The workmen's right to go on strike;

2) The Employer's right to declare Lockout; and


3) The employer's right to dismiss or otherwise punish the workmen under Section 33 of the Act


7) See also...





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