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JUDGMENT DATED 28-03-2018 OF S.C. SUI SOUTHERN GAS COMPANY LTD V/S FEDERATION OF PAKISTAN
The Supreme Court of Pakistan constituting 3 Judges by order dated 28-03-2018 dismissed the appeals and petitions filed by various companies against the orders of Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi High Courts and held, inter alia, as under:
Industrial Relations Act, 2012 is a valid piece of legislation, validly enacted by the Parliament and is intra vires of the Constitution and the National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC) has jurisdiction to decide the labour disputes, etc., relating to the employees/workers of companies /establishments functioning in more than one Province (trans-provincial establishments).
Since Industrial Relations Act, 2012 being a procedural law, it would be applicable retrospectively w.e.f. 01.05.2010, when the IRO 2008 ceased to exist in case of trans-provincial establishments.
As per the Constitution of Pakistan, Federal Legislature has extra-territorial authority but no such extra-territorial authority has been given to the Provincial Legislature in respect of establishments doing business in more than one province known as trans-provincial establishments.
Provincial Legislature does not have legislative competence to legislate to regulate the trade unions functioning in trans-provincial establishments.
Workers of the establishments/industries functioning in the Islamabad Capital Territory or carrying on business in more than one province shall be governed by the Federal legislation; whereas, the workers of establishments/industries functioning or carrying on business only within the territorial limits of a province shall be governed by the concerned provincial legislations.
The decision is very clear and specific but its result would be serious for the trade unions. Now a provincial trade union functioning in establishments carrying on business in more than one province (trans-provincial establishments) ceased to exist w.e.f. 01.05.2010 unless and until the local union has its member ship in more than one province and has registration by the registrar of industry-wise trade union RITU and not provincial registrar of trade unions.
The Judgment constitutes 54 pages and its conclusive portion is from pages 52 to 54 which may be carefully perused and noted.
For M/s S. M. Yaqoob