19. Period of operation of settlements and awards.-
A settlement 1[ shall come into operation on such date as is agreed upon by the parties to the dispute, and if no date is agreed upon, on the date on which the memorandum of the settlement is signed by the parties to the dispute.
Such settlement shall be binding for such period as is agreed upon by the parties, and if no such period is agreed upon, for a period of six months 2[ from the date on which the memorandum of settlement is signed by the parties to the dispute], and shall continue to be binding on the parties after the expiry of the period aforesaid, until the expiry of two months from the date on which a notice in writing of an intention to terminate the settlement is given by one of the parties to the other party or parties to the settlement.
3[ An award shall, subject to the provisions of this section, remain in operation for a period of one year 4[ from the date on which the award becomes enforceable under section 17A]: Provided that the appropriate Government may reduce the said period and fix such period as it thinks fit: Provided further that the appropriate Government may, before the expiry of the said period, extend the period of operation by any period not exceeding one year at a time as it thinks fit so, however, that the total period of operation of any award does not exceed three years from the date on which it came into operation.
Where the appropriate Government, whether of its own motion or on the application of any party bound by the award, considers that since the award was made, there has been a material change in the circumstances on which it was based, the appropriate Government may refer the award or a part of it 5[ to a Labour Court, if the award was that of a Labour Court or to a Tribunal, if the award was that of a Tribunal or of a National Tribunal] for decision whether the period of operation should not, by reason of such change, be shortened and the decision of 6[ Labour Court or the Tribunal, as the case may be] on such reference shall, 7[ be final.
Nothing contained in sub- section (3) shall apply to any award which by its nature, terms or other circumstances does not impose, after it has been given effect to, any continuing obligation on the parties bound by the award.
Notwithstanding the expiry of the period of operation under sub- section (3), the award shall continue to be binding on the parties until a period of two months has elapsed from the date on which notice is given by any party bound by the award to the other party or parties intimating its intention to terminate the award.
1[ No notice given under sub- section (2) or sub- section (6) shall have effect, unless it is given by a party representing the majority of persons bound by the settlement or award, as the case may be.]]