Calcutta High Court today stayed acquisition process by the Centre of six ailing tea gardens in north Bengal owned by Duncans Industries Ltd to alleviate sufferings of its workers and directed the company to deposit Rs 4 crore in a nationalised bank by February 22.
Justice Sanjib Banerjee directed the company, which challenged the central government’s move to take management control of the six tea gardens, to open a separate account in a public sector bank and deposit Rs 4 crore by February 22.
Passing an interim stay till February 29 on the Centre’s notification to acquire the tea gardens in the Dooars area, Justice Banerjee directed that out of the Rs 4 crore Rs 2.19 crore would have to be set aside for payment of wage and other dues of workers.
The court also directed that the interim stay would remain effective only if the company deposited the amount within three days.
Justice Banerjee appointed Director, Tea Board as special officer in carrying out the court’s order.
The court also directed Duncans to file an affidavit in support of its claims in running of the gardens by February 25.
Union Commerce Ministry had issued notification to acquire the gardens on the basis of reports submitted by Tea Board and West Bengal government over alleged malnutrition- related deaths of workers and their family members there.
The matter would be heard again by the court on March one
( Source – PTI ).