With independence, the Indian Labour Conference, the Standing Labour Committees and Industrial Committees were set up so that all the groups might be consulted before any policy decision was taken vis-a-vis labour.
Under the influence of Gandhian philosophy the government was inspired to formulate a series of codes to regulate labour-management relations on a voluntary basis. It also began to play a regulatory role by referring matters under dispute for conciliation and adjudication. Finally, the state emerged as one of the largest industrial employers in the country.
The Government now regulates the relationship between labour and management and keeps an eye on both the groups. This relationship was sought to be established with the creation of labour courts, industrial tribunals, wage boards, investigation and enquiry committees, etc. which laid down principles, works, rules and regulations, and made awards which were entered in books and have to be observed by both the parties to a dispute.
Section 10 of the Industrial Act, 1947, empowers the appropriate Government not only to refer the industrial dispute but also to choose the dispute settlement process.
Thus, sub-section (1) thereof provides:
1. Refer the dispute to a Board for promoting a settlement thereof; or
2. Refer any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to, the dispute to a court for inquiry; or
3. Refer the dispute or any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to the dispute, if it relates to any matter specified in the second schedule, to a Labour Court for adjudication; or
4. Refer the dispute or any matter appearing to be connected with, or relevant to the dispute, whether it relates to any matter specified in the Second Schedule or in the Third Schedule, to Tribunal for adjudication.
For Adjudication, Government depends on three tier adjudication machinery, (i) Labour Court (ii) Industrial Tribunals (iii) National Tribunal.