The book under review contains excerpts of some Supreme Court judgements delivered by the former Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, an eminent jurist and an erudite scholar. He was known for his penchant for the weaker sections of the society and gave labour jurisprudence nay industrial jurisprudence an orientation which tilted in favour of workers. His philosophy found its logical end in the famous Bangalore Water Supply case [(1978) 2 SCC 213] in which almost everything under the sun was brought within the fold of the definition of `industry' under the Industrial Disputes Act. Every court in the land from the Labour Court, Industrial Tribunal to the High Courts in the country sailed with the wind for nearly three decades. The Supreme Court also unhesitatingly followed the worker-oriented approach to give the workers more than their due in a system in which both the workers and management were supposed to be equal partners. Since the employer was considered a stronger partner capable of exploiting the worker, who was considered a weaker partner, such adjudication was perhaps necessary during the initial years of the industrial evolution/development. But, with the passage of time, the situation in the industry rapidly changed calling for a change of outlook in industrial jurisprudence. With the one-sided worker-oriented approach in industrial jurisprudence and the workers, with the politically affiliated and politically controlled unions on their side, adopting an obstructionist attitude, paralysing the industry and impeding industrial progress and acting contrary to the much needed, sought after and legislated cooperation required for the sustained industrial growth, the atmosphere was getting surcharged with illegal, unjust and unwarranted strikes, bandhs, dharnas, gheraos, etc.
The other sectors in the industry, and economy as well the general public did not approve the endless disruptions and frequent strikes even on flimsy grounds. To stem the deteriorating situation, the Supreme Court had to put its foot down by declaring that there was neither any fundamental right nor any legal or statutory right to go on strike (See T. K. Rangarajan v. Govt. of T. N., AIR 2003 SC 3032). The Supreme Court held on a number of occasions that such strikes, bandhs, etc., were illegal and that there cannot be any right which would interfere with the exercise of fundamental freedoms of other citizens apart from the fact that it is causing national loss in many ways and no party or organisation can claim any right to paralyse the industry and commerce of the nation (See Communist Party of India (M) v. Bharat Kumar, AIR 1998 SC 184).