During the 20th century a new branch of jurisprudence known as Industrial Jurisprudence developed in India. Industrial jurisprudence, is a development of mainly post-independence period although its birth may be traced back to the industrial revolution. Before independence it was limited to basic principles in our country. The growth of industrial jurisprudence started with increase in labour and industrial legislations and also from large number of industrial matters decided by the Supreme Court and High Courts of the country. Various policies and postulates were also laid down as welfare schemes. It directly affects considerable amount of our population consisting of industrialists, workmen and their families as they are dependent upon industries to a large extent. Infact the population who is indirectly affected is also bulk in number. Grocius gave the concept of “social contract” whereas Dugit took it to “social solidarity”. Indusrtial Jurisprudence also modified the traditional law relating to master and servant and had cut down the old theory of laissez faire based upon the ‘freedom of contract’ in the larger interest of the society because that theory was found wanting for the development of harmonious and amicable relations between the employers and employees. It also upgraded the position of workmens by making a person into specific position. Individuals contracts have been in many respects substituted by a standard form of statutory contract through judicial interpretations and legislations. Earlier the approach of employers was totally of hire and fire which now has certain restrictions. Now, it doesn’t matter whether the employer is ready for the new contract or not as it is binding on him as Industrial Tribunal by their award can make a contract which is binding both employer as well as employee which further creates certain new rights ann also imposes new obligations. There may arise a situation where any contract is not acceptable to any of the parties but still it binds both. This can be justified by “Where there is a law, there is a contract”.
The interests of the employees is protected in many ways by the legislation as the concept of master and servant is no more active now. The earlier definition of one who invests is master and one who puts in labour is servant is no longer applicable because they are now known as employer and employees. Now the employer can hire the employees but he can’t fire them as per his own free will. Both the employer and employee are considered on similar footing as parties to an enterprise without differentiating in their status. The industrial society all over the world has been moving during the present century from contract to status and this status is a politico-socio-economic juristic status.
Industrialisation in India also brought with it new socio-economic problems. Due to this the rich became more richer and poor became more poorer as the gap between the rich and poor increases tremendously. This happened because those who were able to control the industry earned huge wealth. This led to development of two distinct classes named as ‘Haves’ and ‘Haves nots’ where ‘Have nots’ were exploited. So, workmen realised the need to get united which led to lock-outs and strikes by the labours.
Therefore to overcome this certain principles were developed which are considered as fundamental in almost all developed countries of the world. These principles are:
- The right of workmen to combine and form associations or unions.
- The right of workmen to bargain collectively for the betterment of their conditions of service.
- The realisation that economic struggle is inevitable because it is but natural that labour would agitate for better conditions. (Workmen would raise their voice against inhumane conditions)
- A shift from concept of “laissez fairre” to “welfare state”. (From “exploitation of workers” to “safeguard interest”)
- Minimum standards (working conditions) shall be laid down by the competent legislation.
- The State (government) cannot be a mute spectator but must interfere as the “protector of the social good”.
- Tripartile consultaions i.e., solution of the industrial or labour disputes through the participation of workers, employers and most importantly the Government. Industrial jurisprudence is of great importance to all developed or developing countries of the world because it is concerned with the study of problems relating to human relations arising out of a large scale development of factory system which has emerged in consequence of industrial revolution. Proper regulation of employer-employee relationship is a condition precedent for planned, progressive and purposeful development of any society. As an instrumental of society policy in the present day body-politic the role of industrial jurisprudence has still gained importance. Industrial workers and their families are directly concerned with it. By-Anshika Agrawal Topic- Industrial Jurisprudence