Who is empowered to prohibit the employment of contract labour in an industry or trade?


As stipulated by section 10 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, it is the discretion of the appropri­ate government to issue or not to issue the prohibition of contract labour in an industry. In a case it has been held that even the Supreme Court is not empowered to issue orders for prohibition of contract labour but it can issue directions to the appropriate govern­ment to consider whether the employment of contract labour should not be prohibited under section 10 of the Act. In another case, the Supreme Court has issued a writ of Mandamus to State Government for appointing committees under section 5 of the Act within three months to enquire into whether the contract labour in the corporation should be abolished. In a recent case, while direct­ing the Central Government to take appropriate action within six weeks, the Supreme Court restrained the Southern Railway from employing contract labour until the decision of the Central Govern­ment. In a case of Air France v. Industrial Tribunal Delhi, the Delhi High Court has held that it is only the appropriate government can prohibit the contract labour. The High Court set aside the findings of the Tribunal that abolition of the post by way of reorganization of business was contrary to the provisions of the Contract Labour (R&A) Act.




1.     Adhir Kumar Chaudhary & others, 1)S. State of West Bengal, 1987 Lab. Ie 1262~ (1986) 2 Cal. EN 207; 1987(81) Cal.WN 212; 1987 Cur, LR 418.


2.     B.H.E.L. Workers Association, Hardware & others vs. Union of India & others, AIR 1985 SC409; 1985(66) FJR229; (1985) I LLJ 428; 1985(65) FLR205; 1985·1 LLN 596; 1985.1 Cir.165.


3.     Catering Cleaners of Southern Railway vs. Union of India and others, AIR 1987 SC 777;1987 Lab. IC 619, 1987 Cur. CC 591.


        4. Food Corporation of India Workers Union VS. Food Corporation of India and others, 1985 Lab,  732; AIR 1985 SC 588; 1985 (2) SCC 294;1985 (66) FJR444;1985 Serv. LR615; 1985 (2) LLN30; 1985 FLR 501.


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