Court of enquiry

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Court of enquiry

Court of enquiry
AuthorAnushree Sharma
Published on14/09/2018
Last Updates14/09/2018

• In case the conciliation fail to resolve a dispute , a court of enquiry is constituted by the government to investigate the dispute and submit the report within six months .

• This body basically is fact finding agency , constituted just to reveal the causes of the dispute and doesn't care much about the settlement .

• The report of the court shall be published by the govt within 30 days of its receipt

• Sec 6 of the industrial disputes act defines

• (1) the appropriate govt may as occasion arises by notification in the official gazette , constitute a court of enquiry for enquiring into any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to an industrial dispute .

• (2) a court may consist of one independent person or of such number of independent persons as the appropriate govt may think fit and where a court consist of two or more members , one of them shall be appointed as the chairman .

• (3) a court having the prescribed quorum , may act notwithstanding the absence of the chairman

• (4) the court shall not act untill a new chairman has been appointed .

DIFFERENCE between court of inquiry and conciliation

• Court of inquiry is available for existing as well as for the future disputes but conciliation is only applicable to existing disputes .

• There is no need for a prior agreement for resorting to this method where's in case of conciliation the prior agreement for arbitration between the parties is required .

• The court of inquiry does not merely assist the parties but he also actively arbitrators and resolves the disputes by making an arbitral award whereas role of conciliation officers is to help and assist the parties to settle the disputes .

• The pre-agreement in arbitration is must be in writing whereas in conciliation no pre-agreements are there .


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.

EFFECTS of proceeding

• 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. • 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 Sec 3 of ID .