Section 16. Constitution of a separate fund for political purposes
(1) A registered trade union may constitute a separate fund, from contributions separately levied for or made to that fund, from which payments may be made, for the promotion of the civic and political interests of its members, in furtherance of any of the objects specified in sub-section (2).
(2) The objects referred to in sub-section (1) are:
(a) the payment of any expenses incurred, either directly or indirectly, by a candidate or prospective candidate for election as a member of any legislative body constituted under 19[* * *] 20[the Constitution] or of any local authority, before, during or after the election in connection with his candidature or election; or
(b) the holding of any meeting or the distribution of any literature or documents in support of any such candidate; or
(c) the maintenance of any person who is a member of any legislative body constituted under 19[***] 20[the Constitution] or for any local authority; or
(d) the registration of electors or the selection of a candidate for any legislative body constituted under 19[***] 20[the Constitution] or for any local authority ; or
(e) the holding of political meetings of any kind, or the distribution of political literature or political documents of any kind.
21[(2A) In its application to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, references in sub-section (2) to any legislative body constituted shall be construed as including references to the Legislature of that State].
(3) No member shall be compelled to contribute to the fund constituted under sub-section (1); and a member who does not contribute to the said fund shall not be excluded from any benefits of the trade union, or placed in any respect either directly or indirectly under any disability or at any disadvantage as compared with other members of the trade union (except in relation to the control or management of the said fund) by reason of his not contributing to the said fund; and contribution to the said fund shall not be made a condition for admission to the trade union.
Section 17. Criminal conspiracy in trade disputes
No 8[office-bearer] or member of a registered trade union shall be liable to punishment under sub-section (2) of section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860) in respect of any agreement made between the members for the purpose of furthering any such object of the trade union as is specified in section 15, unless the agreement is an agreement to commit an offence
Section 18. Immunity from civil suit in certain cases
(1) No suit or other legal proceeding shall be maintainable in any civil court against any registered trade union or any 8[office-bearer] or member thereof in respect of any act done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute to which a member of the trade union is a party on the ground only that such act induces some other person to break a contract of employment, or that it is in interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person or with the right of some other person to dispose of his capital or of his labor as he wills.
(2) A registered trade union shall not be liable in any suit or other legal proceeding in any civil court in respect of any tortious act done in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute by an agent of the trade union if it is proved that such person acted without the knowledge of, or contrary to express instructions given by, the executive of the trade union.
Section 19. Enforceability of agreements
Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, an agreement between the members of a registered trade union shall not be void or voidable merely by reason of the fact that any of the objects of the agreement are in restraint of trade:
PROVIDED that nothing in this section shall enable any civil court to entertain any legal proceeding instituted for the express purpose of enforcing or recovering damages for the breach of any agreement concerning the conditions on which any members of a trade union shall or shall not sell their goods transact business, work, employ or be employed.
Section 20. Right to inspect books of trade unions
The account books of a registered trade union and the list of members thereof shall be open to inspection by an 8[office-bearer] or member of the trade union at such times as may be provided for in the rules of the trade union.