Monday, December 11, 2023

Jharkhand HC directs Industrial Tribunal to complete hearing in Telco Canteen Employees Union case in six months

Jamshedpur, Jan 12: Jharkhand High Court has directed the industrial tribunal to complete hearing in the pending case of Telco Canteen Employees Union versus Jharkhand state within six months and issue a valid directive.

The directive was issued by the bench of justice Dr S. N Pathak  while hearing a writ petition in the case on Tuesday during which the legal counsel for Telco Canteen Employees Union workers, Akhilesh Srivastava and Vikash Singh informed the High Court that since 1970 nearly 400 workers were working in the canteen of now Tata Motors since 1970 and payment of this workers was done by Tata Motors.

However, Tata Motors never accepted itself as the principal employer of the canteen workers. The legal counsel also claimed that to suppress workers demand Tata Motors had removed the workers in an illegal manner in 1986 without paying them proper compensation.

The advocates duo also informed the High Court that the aggrieved workers first approached deputy labour commissioner (DLC) and put up the case under Industrial Dispute which was then sent by DLC to labour commissioner.

Labour commissioner rejected the petition of the canteen workers stating that the case does not merit to come under Industrial Dispute section.

The workers then approached Patna High Court and the High Court then directed the Bihar government to list the matter to the industrial tribunal in 1993. However, the industrial tribunal did not pass any order for a long time. The Jharkhand government in 2005 through a notification issued by Governor directed the industrial tribunal to complete hearing in the case within six months.  However, Industrial Tribunal still refused to take up the case.

The advocates duo further said that due to the delay in hearing at the Industrial Tribunal, the employees union were compelled  to file a writ petition in 2009. However, hearing was also delayed in the writ petition.

The advocates pleaded before the chief justice that since 10 per cent of the workers have died so far and majority of the employees have crossed retirement age the Industrial Tribunal should be directed to complete hearing in the case within two months and issue a verdict.

However, Tata Motors advocate objected at Tata Motors not being made a party to the case. At this Akhilesh Srivastava, the worker’s legal counsel argued that Tata Motors could have been made a party in the case had it agreed to become principal employer. At this the Tata Motors lawyers stayed silent.

After hearing to both sides, the High Court directed the industrial Tribunal to complete the pending hearings within six months and issue a judgement.

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