Dird Washing Plant Ltd. Vs. Government of Bangladesh and others, 3 LNJ (2014) 491

Case No: Writ Petition No. 5232 of 2009

Judge: Mohammad Ullah,

Court: High Court Division,,

Advocate: Mr. Md. Aminul Haque,Mr. Mansur Habib ,,

Citation: 3 LNJ (2014) 491

Case Year: 2014

Appellant: Dird Washing Plant Ltd.

Respondent: Government of Bangladesh and others

Subject: Labour Law,

Delivery Date: 2014-04-28


HIGH COURT DIVISION
(SPECIAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION)
 
Sheikh Hassan Arif, J
And
Mohammad Ullah, J.


Judgment on
28.04.2014
  Dird Washing Plant Limited, represented by it’s Managing Director, Mr. Itemad Ul Daulah, of village Nagarchar, Rajful Baria, Police Station Savar, District-Dhaka.
---- Petitioner.
-Versus-
Secretary, Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Ramna, Dhaka and others 
---- Respondents
 

Bangladesh Labour Act (XLII of 2006)
Section 220
On a perusal of the aforesaid provision of section 220 of the Act, it is found that the party himself or any person authorized in writing by the party or a lawyer duly appointed by the party can conduct a case in the Labour Court or the Tribunal, as the case may be. Provided that the said representative or lawyer shall not be a representative of the Court concerned. Considering the aforesaid provision of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006, we are inclined to hold that respondent No. 5, the authorized agent or representative of the respondent No. 4, has lawful authority to file and conduct the case before the Labour Court. There is no legal impediment of filing and conducting the BLL Case by the respondent No. 5 authorized agent of the respondent No. 4. . . . (8)

Mr. Md. Aminul Haque, Advocate
---For the Petitioner
 
Mr. Mansur Habib with
Mr. Khairul Alam Advocate
---For the Respondent No. 5
 
Writ Petition No. 5232 of 2009
 
JUDGMENT
Mohammad Ullah, J.

On an application under Article 102(2)(a)(ii) of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh the following Rule was issued-

“Let a Rule Nisi be issued calling upon the Respondent Nos. 1-5 to show cause as to why the order No. 25 dated 25.5.2009 passed in Bangladesh Labour Law Case No. 273 of 2007 by the Respondent No. 3 rejecting the petition of petitioner to dismiss the case for conducting by the agent/representative or the Respondent No. 5 should not be declared to have been passed without lawful authority and is of no legal effect.”

Short facts, for disposal of the Rule, are that the respondent no. 4, Md. Kamal Uddin, as first party filed BLL Case No. 273 of 2007 before the 1st Labour Court, Dhaka under section 132 (1) of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 for getting termination and others benefits amounting to Tk. 1,19,000/- against the petitioner employer. The respondent no. 5, Ruhul Amin, who is the General Secretary of Bangladesh Sramik Songhati Federation has been authorized by the 1st party- respondent no. 4 to file and conduct the case on his behalf. The petitioner, being the employer of the respondent no. 4, entered appearance and contested the BLL case by filing written statement denying the material allegations made in the case. The petitioner filed an application before the 1st Labour Court, Dhaka stating, inter alia, that the conducting person being the respondent no. 5 Ruhul Amin is not a lawyer and as such he cannot appear before any Court including the Labour Court to conduct the case. The respondent no. 3, 1st Labour Court, Dhaka, on 14.9.2008, heard the said application filed by the petitioner and kept the same with the record holding that this issue has to be considered at the time of final hearing of the case. Subsequently, on 9.3.2009, the petitioner filed another application before the 1st Labour Court, Dhaka for dismissing the case stating, inter alia, that engaged representative of the 1st party, the respondent no.  5 has no right to file the case, conduct the same on behalf of the 1st party- respondent no. 4. Then the respondent no. 5, being the authorized person of the 1st party-respondent no. 4, filed written objection denying the material allegation of the petition contending, inter alia, that the self-same application earlier on 14.9.2008 was disposed of by the 1st Labour Court   and as such the Labour Court now has become functious officio particularly to dispose of the same application. The Labour Court, upon hearing the parties and on consideration of materials on record and the relevant Labour Law, rejected the said application filed by the petitioner. This Rule, at the instance of the 2nd party petitioner, is directed against the said impugned order dated 25.5.2009 passed by the 1st Labour Court, Dhaka.

Mr. Md. Aminul Huq, learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the  petitioner, submits that respondent no. 5, Ruhul Amin, has got no lawful authority to conduct the case on behalf of the respondent no. 4, Md. Kamal Uddin, as he is not an enrolled Advocate under the Bangladesh Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Order, 1972.

Mr. Huq submits further that though the respondent no. 5 as an authorized person on behalf of the respondent no. 4 conducting the case on his behalf under the provision of section 220 of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006, but he is conducting the same like a lawyer which is in contravention with the Bangladesh Legal practitioners  and Bar Council Order, 1972 and hence the impugned order allowing the respondent no.5 to conduct the case on behalf of the respondent no. 4  is liable to be declared to have been passed without lawful authority and is of no legal effect.

This Rule is contested by the respondent no. 5, Md. Ruhul Amin, the authorized person of the respondent no. 4 through Mr. Mansur Habib, learned Advocate, who filed affidavit in opposite on behalf of respondent no. 5. The learned Advocate for the respondent no. 5 drawing our attention to the provision of section 220 of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 submits that the Labour Court did not commit any illegality in allowing the respondent no. 5 to conduct the case on behalf of the respondent no. 4 as the respondent no. 5 is an authorized person to do the same.

The main contention of Mr. Haque, learned Advocate, is that act and conduct of the authorized representative (respondent no.5) of the respondent no.4 is like a lawyer but without being enrolled as an Advocate, he cannot do so which is contravention of the Bangladesh Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Order, 1972. But the petitioner did not challenge the vires of the provision of section 220 of the Bangladesh Labour Law, 2006 wherein the provision of conducting a case by the authorized person has been enacted. In this regard it may not be out of place to note that for the purpose of disposal of this Rule we have to confine ourselves with the terms of Rule only.

Section 220 of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006 has clearly spelt out the provision of conducting case or cases by the authorized person or by an advocate. For better understanding the said provision of Section 220 is quoted below:

২২০ মামলার পক্ষগ­ণর উপস্থিতি (Appearance of parties)- সাক্ষ্য দেওয়ার জন্য উপস্থিতির ক্ষেত্র ব্যতীত অন্য কোন ক্ষে­ত্র আদাল­ত অথবা ট্রাইব্যুনা­ল কোন ব্যক্তির দরখাসস্ত পেশ হাজিরা প্রদান অথবা অন্য কোন কাজ তিনি স্বয়ং অথবা তাহার নিকট হই­ত লিখিত ভা­ব ক্ষমতাপ্রাপ্ত কোন প্রতিনিধি বা আইনজীবী করি­ত পারি­বনঃ
তবে শর্ত থা­কে যে, উক্ত প্রতিনিধি বা আইনজীবী সংশ্লিষ্ট আদাল­তের কোন প্রতিনিধি হই­তে পারি­বেন না।

On a perusal of the aforesaid provision of section 220 of the Act, it is found that the party himself or any person authorized in writing by the party or a lawyer duly appointed by the party can conduct a case in the Labour Court or the Tribunal, as the case may be. Provided that the said representative or lawyer shall not be a representative of the Court concerned. Considering the aforesaid provision of the Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006, we are inclined to hold that respondent no. 5, the authorized agent or representative of the respondent no. 4, has lawful authority to file and conduct the case before the Labour Court. We do not see any legal impediment of filing and conducting the BLL Case by the respondent no. 5, authorized agent of the respondent no. 4.

In view of the fact  and circumstances of the case and the provision of law we are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order dated  25.5.2009 passed by the 1st Labour Court, Dhaka allowing the respondent no. 5 to conduct the B.L.L Case on behalf of the respondent no. 4 now pending in the 1st Labour Court, Dhaka. Accordingly we do not find any merit in the Rule and the Rule is liable to be discharged.

In the result, the Rule is discharged however without any order as to costs.

The order of stay granted at the time of issuance of the Rule is hereby recalled and vacated.

Since the matter is old one, the 1st Labour Court, Dhaka, is directed to proceed with the Bangladesh Labour Law Case No. 273 of 2007 in accordance with law and with utmost expedition.

Communicate the order at once.

Ed.