Sunday, February 3, 2008

Registration of Trade Unions


3. Appointment of Registrars.-1[(1)] 2[The appropriate Government] shall appoint a person to be the Registrar of Trade Unions for 3[each state].
4[(2) The appropriate Government may appoint as many Additional and Deputy Registrars of Trade Unions as it thinks fit for the purpose of exercising and discharging, under the superintendence and direction of the Registrar, such powers and functions of the Registrar under this Act as it may, by order, specify and define the local limits within which any such Additional or Deputy Registrar shall exercise and discharge the powers and functions so specified.
1, Section 3 re-numbered as sub-section (1) thereof by Act 42 of 1960, Sec.4.
2. Subs. by the A. 0. 1937, for "Each L.G."
3. Subs. by the A.O. 1937, for "the Province".
4. Ins. by Act 42 of 1960, sec.4.
(3) Subject to the provisions of any order under sub-section (2), where an Additional or Deputy Registrar exercises and discharges the powers and functions of a Registrar in an area within which the registered office of a Trade Union is situated, the Additional or Deputy Registrar shall be deemed to be the Registrar in relation to the Trade Union for the purposes of this Act.]

The Registrar has power to enquire about the legality of the new election of the office-bearers of a Trade Union; Mohan Lal v. Registrar of Trade Unions, 1983 Lab IC 1883.

4. Mode of registration.-1[(1) Any seven or more members of a Trade Union may, by subscribing their names to the rules of the Trade Union and by otherwise complying with the provisions of this Act with respect to registration, apply for registration of the Trade Union under this Act.

2[(2) Where an application has been made under sub-section (1) for the registration of a Trade Union, such application shall not be deemed to have become invalid merely by reason of the tact that, at any time after the date of the application, but before the registration of the Trade Union, some of the applicants, but not exceeding half of the total number of persons who made the application, have ceased to be members of the Trade Union or have given notice in writing to the Registrar dissociating themselves from the application.]

5. Application for registration.-(1) Every application for registration of a Trade Union shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied by a copy of the rules of the Trade Union and a statement of the following particulars, namely:-
(a) the names, occupations and address of the members making application;
(b) the name of the Trade Union and the address of its head office; and
(c) the titles, names, ages, addresses and occupations of the 3[office-bearers] of the Trade Union.

2) Where a Trade Union has been in existence for more than one year before the making of an application for its registration, there shall be delivered to the Registrar, together with the application, a general statement of the assets and liabilities of the Trade Union prepared in such form and containing such particulars as may be prescribed.
6. Provisions to be contained in the rules of a Trade Union.-A Trade Union shall not be entitled to registration under this Act, unless the executive thereof is constituted in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the rules thereof provide for the following matters, namely:-

(a) the name of the Trade Union;
(b) the whole of the objects for which the Trade Union has been established;
(c) the whole of the purposes for which the general funds of the Trade Union shall be applicable, all of which purposes shall be purposes to which such funds are lawfully applicable under this Act;
(d) the maintenance of a list of the members of the Trade Union and adequate facilities for the inspection thereof by the 1[office-bearers] and members of Trade Union;
(e) the admission of ordinary members who shall be persons actually engaged or employed in an industry with which the Trade Union is connected, and also the admission of the number of honorary or temporary members as 1[office-bearers] required under section 22 to form the executive of the Trade Union;

2[(ee) the payment of a subscription by members of the Trade Union which shall be not less than twenty-five naye paise per month per member;]

(f) the conditions under which any member shall be entitled to any benefit assured by the rules and under which any fine or forfeiture may be imposed on the members:
(g) the manner in which the rules shall be amended, varied or rescinded;
(h) the manner in which the members of the executive and the other 1[office-bearers] of the Trade union shall be appointed and removed;
(i) the safe custody of the funds of the Trade Union, an annual audit, in such manner as may be prescribed, of the accounts thereof, and adequate facilities for the inspection of the account books by the 1[office-bearers ] and members of the Trade Union; and
(j) the manner in which the Trade Union may be dissolved.
7. Power to call for further particulars and to require alterations of names.-
(1) The Registrar may call for further information for the purpose of satisfying himself that any application complies with the provisions of section 5, or that the Trade Union is entitled to registration under section 6, and may refuse to register the Trade Union until such information is supplied.

(2) If the name under which a Trade Union is proposed to be registered is identical with that by which any other existing Trade Union has been registered or, in the opinion of the Registrar, so nearly resembles such name as to be likely to deceive the public or the members of either Trade Union, the Registrar shall require the persons applying for registration to alter the name of the Trade Union stated in the application, and shall refuse to register tile Union until such alteration has been made.

8. Registration.- The Registrar, on being satisfied that the Trade Union has complied with all the requirements of this Act in regard to registration, shall register the Trade Union by entering in a register, to be maintained in such form as may be prescribed the particulars relating to the Trade Union contained in the statement accompanying the application for registration.

(i) The Registrar is not a quasi-judicial authority and cannot, therefore, decide any disputed question of fact or law; O.N.G.C. Workmen's Association v. State of West Bengal, (1988) 57 FLR 522 (Cal).

(ii) Provisions of this section relate to only registration of a trade union, It is only a Civil Court which has jurisdiction to decide that dispute since under the Trade Unions Act.) here is no provision permitting or empowering the Registrar to refer internal disputes relating to office-bearer for adjudication to any other forum: R.N. Singh v. State of Bihar, 1998 LLR 645.
9. Certificate of registration.-The Registrar, on registering a Trade Union under section 8, shall issue a cel1ificate of registration in the prescribed form which shall be conclusive evidence that the Trade Union has been duly registered under this Act.


(i) The certificate of registration continues to hold good until it is cancelled; IFFCO, Phulpur Karamchari Sangh v. Registrar of Trade Unions, (1992) II, LLJ 239 (All).
(ii) The registration gives a stamp of due formation of the Trade Union and assures the mind of the employer that the Trade Union is an authenticated body. The names and occupation of whose office-bearers also become known; Food Corporation of India Staff Union v Food Corporation of India, 1995 LLR 309 (SC) 3 JJ.

10. Cancellation of registration.-A certificate of registration of a Trade Union may be withdrawn or cancelled by the Registrar-

(a) on the application of the Trade Union to be verified in such manner as may be prescribed;
(b) if the Registrar; is satisfied that the certificate has been obtained by fraud or mistake or that the Trade Union has ceased to exist or has wilfully and after notice from the Registrar contravened any provision of this Act or allowed any rule to continue in force which is inconsistent with any such provision or has rescinded any rule providing for any matter provision for which is required by section 6:
Provided that not less than two months previous notice in writing specifying the ground on which it is proposed to withdraw or cancel the certificate shall be given by the Registrar to the Trade Union before the certificate is withdrawn or cancelled otherwise than on the application of the Trade Union.


(i) Registration of a trade union, once registered, cannot be cancelled save and except under section 10; Phillips Workers Union v. Registrar of Trade Unions, (1989) 58 FLR 58 (Cal).
(ii) The Order of cancellation of registration of Trade Union passed by the Registrar without hearing the Union is violative of principles of natural justice and illegal, hence liable to be quashed; Nagda Rashtra Sevak Karamchari Congress v. Industrial Court, 1997 (77) FLR 139.
1[11. Appeal. -(1) Any person aggrieved by any refusal of the Registrar to register a Trade Union or by the withdrawal or cancellation of a certificate of registration may, within such period as may be prescribed, appeal-
(a) where the head office of the Trade Union is situated within the limits of a Presidency town 2[***} to the High Court, or

(b) where the head office is situated in any area, to such Court, not inferior to the Court of an additional or assistant Judge of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction as the 3[Appropriate Government] may appoint in this behalf for that area.

(2) The appellate court may dismiss the appeal, or pass an order directing the Registrar to register the Union and to issue a certificate of registration under the provisions of section 9 or setting aside the order or withdrawal or cancellation of the certificate, as the case may be, and the Registrar shall comply with such order.
(3) For the purpose of an appeal under sub-section (1) an appellate court shall, so far as may be, follow the same procedure and have the same power as it follows and has when trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), and may direct by whom the whole or any part of the costs of the appeal shall be paid, and such costs shall be recovered as if they had been awarded in a suit under the said Code.

(4) In the event of the dismissal of an appeal by any court appointed under clause (b) of sub-section (1) the person aggrieved shall have a right of appeal to the High Court, and the High Court shall, for the purpose of such appeal, have all the powers of an appellate court under sub-sections (2) and (3), and the provisions of those sub-sections shall apply accordingly.)

The order of callcellation of the registration of a trade union cannot be withdrawn or revoked by the Registrar. Only remedy is to go in appeal or apply for re-registration: Rashtriya Mukund Employees Union V. Mukund Iron and Steel Works Ltd. (1987) 55 FLR 507 (Bom)

12. Registered office.-AII communications and notices to a registered Trade Union may be addressed to its registered office. Notice of any change in the address of the head office shall be given within fourteen days of such change to the Registrar in writing and the changed address shall be recorded in the register referred to in section 8,

13. lncorporation of registered Trade Union.-Every registered Trade Union shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered, and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire and hold both movable and immovable property and to contract, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.


“Body corporate” means a succession or collection of persons having in the estimation of the law in existence and rights and duties distinct from those of the individual persons who form it from time to time: Saloman V. Saloman & Co. Ltd. 1897 AC 22.

14. Certain Acts not to apply to registered Trade Unions.- The following Acts namely- .
(a) The Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860)
(b) The Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 (2 of 1912)
1[(C) The Companies Act. 1956 (1 of 1956))

shall not apply to any registered Trade Union, and the registration of any such Trade Union under any such Act shall be void.

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