Industrial Acts and Legislations

In India there are several Acts and legislation enacted by the Government of India for regulation of industries in the country. These enactments play a very important role in the country's overall progress and economic development. These legislation are amended from time to time in accordance with the changing circumstances and environment. The most important Act is the Companies Act,1956 which relates to setting up and operation of companies in India. It empowers the Central Government to regulate the formation, financing, functioning and winding up of companies. It contains the mechanism regarding organisational, financial, managerial and all the relevant aspects of a company.

In order to provide the Central Government with the means to implement its industrial policies, several legislation have been enacted. The most important being the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 (IDRA). The main objectives of the Act is to empower the Government to take necessary steps for the development of industries; to regulate the pattern and direction of industrial development; and to control the activities, performance and results of industrial undertakings in the public interest.

The bulk of the transactions in trade, commerce and industry are based on contracts. In India, the Indian Contract Act,1872 is the governing legislation for contracts, which lays down the general principles relating to formation, performance and enforceability of contracts and the rules relating to certain special types of contracts like Indemnity and Guarantee; Bailment and Pledge; as well as Agency.

Another important aspect of legislation is the industrial relations, which involves various aspects of interactions between the employer and the employees; among the employees as well as between the employers. In such relations whenever there is a clash of interest, it may result in dissatisfaction for either of the parties involved and hence lead to industrial disputes or conflicts. The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 is the main legislation for investigation and settlement of all industrial disputes. The Act enumerates the contingencies when a strike or lock-out can be lawfully resorted to, when they can be declared illegal or unlawful, conditions for laying off, retrenching, discharging or dismissing a workman, circumstances under which an industrial unit can be closed down and several other matters related to industrial employees and employers.

Trade unions are also an important part of an industrial set up. The legislation regulating these trade unions is the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926 . The Act deals with the registration of trade unions, their rights, their liabilities and responsibilities as well as ensures that their funds are utilised properly. It gives legal and corporate status to the registered trade unions. It also seeks to protect them from civil or criminal prosecution so that they could carry on their legitimate activities for the benefit of the working class.

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