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Tamil Nadu Medical Services … vs State Of Tamil Nadu And Ors. on 21 July, 2000

Madras High Court
Tamil Nadu Medical Services … vs State Of Tamil Nadu And Ors. on 21 July, 2000
Equivalent citations: (2000) IIILLJ 889 Mad
Author: P Sathasivam
Bench: P Sathasivam


ORDER

P. Sathasivam, J.

1. The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Employees’ Welfare Union is the petitioner in both the above writ petitions. In W.P. No. 15236 of 1998, the said Union through its President prays for issuance of a writ of Mandamus directing the respondents, namely, the State of Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Limited to regularise the services of the petitioner Association members from the date of their joining service and to pay back wages and other attendant benefits.

2. In Writ Petition No. 17147 of 1998, the very same Corporation has prayed for similar direction directing the second respondent-Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Limited to give employment on Saturdays to the petitioner Association members and to pay back wages for the previous four Saturdays and other attendant benefits.

3. The case of the petitioner Union is briefly stated hereunder:

According to the Union Secretary Ms. C. Sumathi, the Association is registered under the Societies Act and the same was formed for the welfare of the members of the Union. The second respondent-Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Limited is a company registered under the Indian Companies Act on July 1, 1994. The main object of the Corporation is to buy or otherwise acquire all kinds and varieties of generic and patent medicines, drugs, etc., and to sell or supply to various hospitals and other health centres; to purchase, distribute, assemble, instal, maintain all types of capital equipments and instruments required to hospitals; to undertake designing and construction of Hospitals and or other buildings for Government, or for any other person including local authorities, corporation, trusts, companies, firms and individuals; to establish modern warehouses and engineering workshops to manufacture, assemble, repair or otherwise maintain various medical equipments, surgical instruments, diagnostic equipments etc.; and to establish research and development centres and Institutes for medical and paramedical personnel for imparting training in various Techno-Managerial fields. Thus, the second respondent company is an industrial establishment under the control of Health Department of Government of Tamil Nadu, first respondent herein.

4. The annual turnover is approximately more than Rs. 80 crores and the respondent Corporation supplies medicines and surgical instruments to all the primary Health Centres and Medical Institutions in the State of Tamil Nadu. The second respondent is having Ware House in Madras City and also 23 Ware houses in the 23 District headquarters, for storing of medicine and drugs. So, according to her, the employees of the Corporation are discharging tremendous work in procuring medicine from all leading companies and disbursing the medicines and surgical instruments to all the institutions in a fast and quick manner. In order to achieve the objects adumbrated in Article of Association, the second respondent company employed the union members for their various works purely on temporary basis continuously without any break. There was no standing order. There is no service law governing the employees. At the end of the month they have been paid salaries to the days they are working. At present 101 members of the union are working in different departments of the second respondent company. Many of them are Graduates, Post Graduates and Technical persons and they come to office and report for duty at 9-30 a.m. and leave the office in the late evening in order to finish the pending works. Since it is a medical service, several times they worked on Sundays also. The daily salaries were revised from time to time. It is further stated that from 1995 onwards till date, the petitioner members were continuously employed by the second respondent. Even though the members of the Union have completed and worked more than 480 days in a period of 24 calendar months in an industrial establishment, the second respondent has not taken any steps to regularise their services. They submitted several representations to the respondents to regularise their services. Representation was made to the second respondent on April 20, 1997. On January 13, 1998 another representation was made to the Health Secretary for regularisation of their services. In May, 1998 another representation was made to the second respondent. On June 10, 1998 the petitioner association has given representation to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to regularise their services. Instead of regularising their services, the respondents are taking steps to terminate the services of the members and to employ new persons in their place. In such circumstances, having no other effective remedy, the Union has approached this Court by way of the present writ petition No. 15236/1998.

5. In W.P. No. 17147/1998 the case of the petitioner Union is that from the inception of the 2nd respondent Corporation Saturday was working day for the past four years from the date of filing of the writ petition. Because the petitioner Association has filed writ petition, the second respondent for the first time on October 10, 1998 did not allow the petitioner Association members to work on Saturday. But the second respondent permit the permanent employees to work on October 10, 1998. The second respondent also did not allow the members of the petitioners Association to work on the subsequent Saturdays, namely, on October 17, 1998 and October 24, 1998. But all other permanent employees were permitted to work on those days. The act of the second respondent to deny the work on Saturdays for the members of the petitioner Association even though the Saturday is working day is illegal and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. It is further submitted that not giving employment on Saturdays without giving notice is a clear violation of Section 9-A of the Industrial Disputes Act.

6. Second respondent-Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation filed a counter affidavit in W.P. No. 15236 of 1998 wherein it is stated that the second respondent is a Nodal agency set up by the Government of Tamil Nadu to procure essential drugs, other medical equipments/items for the Government sector. The second respondent has brought about sweeping changes in the tender system to make it more transparent and has also appointed expert committee consisting of experts drawn from various medical fields to go into the quality of the samples submitted by the tenderers. The second respondent has also set up godowns in all the District headquarters which is a point of drug distribution in the district. The drug manufacturers are required to supply drugs to the district godowns. The respective hospitals are given allocation of funds through passbook for drawal of drugs from the 2nd respondent. Each Institution is given a pass book indicating its annual entitlement in monetary terms within which it can draw any drug from the District Drug Warehouses (DWH). The entire operation of the second respondent has been computerised. Each district DWH has a computer linked to the central computer in the second respondent’s head office at Madras through NICNET Receipts and issues of drugs have been computerised resulting in instantaneous adjustments in stock position. The second respondent had appointed certain individuals temporarily on daily wages. Those who were approved Data Entry Operators were paid consolidated salary every month. Appointments were made only on the basis of norms and qualifications fixed by the Government for all purposes. The 2nd respondent is adopting the rules framed by the State Government only. Service Rules are now under preparation. The actual man power requirement for this Corporation has yet to be worked out. The 2nd respondent has made radical developments in ensuring total computerisation of its tender, procurement distribution, supply etc. Apart from the above factual information, it is also stated that the petitioner Union is not registered under the Trade Unions Act. The Writ Petition has been filed against the Managing Director of the second respondent and not against the Corporation. There is an effective alternative remedy by approaching the Commissioner of Labour and raising industrial disputes. Disputed question of fact may not be gone into by this Court and on this ground itself the writ petition is liable to be dismissed. The prayer for mandamus to regularise services is not maintainable.

7. The second respondent has also filed an additional affidavit wherein they denied the averment that there are about 100 and odd members of the petitioner’s association in the services of their Corporation. At present only about 62 of them are employed in their Corporation. The designation of various persons mentioned therein are incorrect. The chart filed by the union does not reflect the correct factual position. The second respondent has conducted a detailed manpower study which has recommended drastic reduction in manpower requirements. The second respondent does not require so many casual labourers since the entire process has been computerised and this has entailed drastic reduction in the work force. In view of the injunction order by this Court, the second respondent is not in a position to dispense with the casual labourers. One of the casual employees P. Sivanandam has approached the Labour Inspector, Circle II, Chennai who is the statutory authority under the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishment (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Act, 1981 on the same issue regarding confirmation and regularisation of service. They have not appointed any person in the place of casual employees. Only in the area of computer operation, software development and security the services of specialised agencies like Breadline Computers and Ex-Servicemen Welfare Board are used since the 2nd respondent does not have necessary expertise in those areas. It is finally stated that at present only 62 of the alleged members of the petitioner union are working in various offices of the 2nd respondent as given in Annexure-A of the annexed typed set. With these averments, the second respondent prayed for dismissal of the writ petition.

8. The first respondent has filed counter affidavit adopting the counter affidavit of the second respondent insofar as it concerns the first respondent.

9. Since similar details have been furnished by the petitioner Union and the second respondent with regard to their respective claim in W.P.No. 17147/1998, I am not referring the same once again.

10. In the light of the above pleadings, I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner Union as well as respondents.

11. Mr. K. Chandru, learned senior counsel for the Employees’ Welfare Union, after taking me through the service particulars of the members of the union and the relevant provisions from the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishment (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Act, 1981 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”), would contend that the second respondent company being an industrial establishment in terms of the said Act, the respondents are duty bound to regularise the services of the members of the Union from the date of their appointment. He also contended that inasmuch as the members of the petitioner Union satisfied the criteria, namely, continuous service for a period of 480 days in a period of 24 calendar months in an industrial establishment, their services should be made permanent. On the other hand, Mr. R. Krishnamurthy, learned senior counsel for the second respondent Medical Services Corporation, would contend that inasmuch as the applicability of the Act itself is doubtful the writ petition is not maintainable and liable to be dismissed. He also contended that the issue raised herein relates to regularisation of the services of the member of the petitioner Union which requires adjudication in the form of oral and documentary evidence, hence the disputed questions of facts cannot be gone into by this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. In any event, according to him, there is an effective alternative mechanism available. Under the said Act, hence they have to approach the Labour Court to establish their claim. Hence, both the writ petitions are liable to be dismissed.

12. I have carefully considered the rival submissions.

13. The second respondent Corporation viz., Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Limited is a company registered under the Indian Companies Act on July 1, 1994. The object of the company as seen from the Memorandum of Articles of Association are as follows:

“(i) To buy or otherwise acquire all kinds and varieties of generic and patent medicines, drugs, mixtures, formulations, tablets, pills, powders, pharmaceutical and medical products, needles, syringes, injuctables, vaccines, sera, immunogens, Phylacogens, chemicals and surgical dressings, kits and instruments and to sell or supply to various hospitals and other health centres.

(ii) To purchase, distribute, assemble, install, maintain or otherwise deal in all types of capital equipments and instruments required in hospitals.

(iii) To undertake designing and construction of Hospitals and or other buildings for Government, or for any other person including local authorities, corporations, societies, trusts, companies, firms and individuals.

(iv) To establish modern Warehouses and Engineering workshops to manufacture, assemble, repair or otherwise maintain various medical equipments, surgical instruments, diagnostic equipments, fire-fighting equipments, furniture and fittings including hospital furniture, and also to undertake civil and other general maintenance of hospitals.

(v) To establish research and development centres and institutes for medical and paramedical personnel for imparting training in various Techno-Managerial fields. Thus, the second respondent company is an industrial establishment under the control of Health Department of Government of Tamil Nadu.”

The Corporation supplies medicines and surgical instruments to all the primary Health Centres and Medical Institutions in the State of Tamil Nadu. It is having Warehouse in Madras City and 23 Warehouses in the 23 District Headquarters, for storing of medicine and drugs. It is the grievance of the petitioner Union that in order to achieve the object enumerated in the Article of Association, the second respondent company employed the Union members for their various works purely on temporary basis continuously without any break. According to them, there is no Standing Order or Service Rules governing the employees. They have been paying salaries for the days they are working at the end of the month. It is also their definite case that at present 101 members of the Union are working in different departments ,of the second respondent company. Many of them are Graduates, Post Graduates and Technical persons and they report for duty at 9-30 a.m. and leave the office in the late evening. Since it is a medical service, several times they work on Sundays also. The petitioner Union has also furnished the details regarding the name of the post and the salary being paid per day. It is also their definite case that from 1995 onwards the members were continuously employed by the 2nd respondent and in spite of several representations to regularise their services, instead of acceding to their request and regularise their services, they are taking steps to terminate the services of the members of the union and employ new persons in their place. Since the learned senior counsel for the second respondent – Corporation raised a doubt regarding applicability of the Act (Tamil Nadu Act 46 of 1981), at the foremost I shall consider whether the Act is applicable to second respondent Corporation. The Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishments (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Act, 1981 (Tamil Nadu Act 46 of 1981) (in short “the Act”) came into force on January 1, 1982. The Statement of Objects and Reasons for the enactment of the said Act would show that many workers in industrial establishments are being kept under temporary rules and on that pretext are being denied of various statutory as well as non-statutory benefits which are given to permanent workers. Mainly, in many establishments non-permanent workers are given consolidated wages which are far below the occupational wages and do not carry the benefit of dearness allowance paid to permanent employees. Similarly they are denied various other benefits like payment of festival, cyclone and marriage advances, payment of ex gratia over and above the statutory bonus, supply of uniforms and tea, preference for the dependants of the employees in the matter of employment, etc. In order to curb various unfair labour practices and following the decision at the 25th meeting of the State Labour Advisory Board the Government have decided to undertake a special legislation to confer permanent status to the workers in various industrial establishments who have put in a service for a period of 480 days in a period of 24 calendar months in such industrial establishments. The said Act applies to several industrial establishments in which not less than 50 workmen were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months. It is also open to the State Government to make the provisions of the Act applicable to any of the industrial establishments employing such number of workmen less than 50 by way of notification. Section 2(3) defines ‘industrial establishment’ as follows:

“Section 2(3) “Industrial establishment” means-

(a)to(d)xx xx xx xx xx

(e) an establishment as defined in Clause (6) of Section 2 of the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, 1947 (Tamil Nadu Act XXXVI of 1947); or

(f) and (g) xx xx xx xx

“Section 2(4) “workman” means any person employed in any industrial establishment to do any skilled or unskilled, manual, supervisory, technical or clerical work for hire or reward, whether the terms of employment be express or implied, but does not include any such person,-

(a) who is employed in the police service or as an officer on other employee of a prison; or

(b) who is employed mainly in managerial or administrative capacity; or

(c) who, being employed in a supervisory capacity, draws wages exceeding one thousand rupees per mensem or exercises, either by the nature of the duties attached to the office or by reason of the powers vested in him, functions mainly of a managerial nature.

Section 3: Conferment of permanent status to workmen. – (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force every workman who is in continuous service for a period of four hundred and eighty days in a period of twentyfour calendar months in an industrial establishment shall be made permanent.

(2) A workman shall be said to be in continuous service for a period if he is, for that period, in uninterrupted service, including service which may be interrupted on account of sickness or authorised leave or an accident or a strike, which is not illegal, or a lockout or on account of non-employment or discharge of such workman for a period which does not exceed three months and during which period a substitute has been employed in his place by the employer, or a cessation of work which is not due to any fault on the part of the workman.”

The definition of ‘commercial establishment’ and ‘establishment’ as defined in the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, 1947 (Act 36 of 1947) are as follows:

“Section 2(3) “commercial establishment” means an establishment which is not a shop but which carries on the business of advertising, commission, forwarding or commercial agency, or which is a clerical department of a factory or industrial undertaking or which is an insurance company, joint stock company, bank, broker’s office or exchange and includes such other establishments as the State Government may by notification declare to be a commercial establishment for the purpose of this Act;

   

(4) and (5) xx xx xx xx
 

(6) "Establishment" means a shop, commercial establishment, restaurant, eating house, residential hotel, theatre or any place of public amusement or entertainment    and    includes    such establishment as the State Government may by   notification   declare   to   be   an establishment for the purposes of this Act."  
 

I have already stated that the second respondent-Corporation is a company registered under the Companies Act and wholly owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu. The perusal of the objects and nature of the work from the Articles of Association would show that it is a commercial agency and it conies within the definition of “commercial establishment” under Section 2(3) of the Act 36 of 1947; accordingly I hold that the Tamil Nadu, Industrial Establishments (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen Act, 1981 (Act 46 of 1981) is applicable to the second respondent-Corporation.

14. Now I shall consider the other aspect namely, whether the members of the petitioner Union are to be regularised and made permanent in terms of Tamil Nadu Act 46 of 1981. The petitioner Union has filed a copy of the appointment orders issued by the second respondent in the typed-set of papers. It is clear that the members of the Union were appointed in different categories on daily wages for a period of 89 days. After working for several years from 1995, they sent a representation to the second respondent for regularisation. The representations have been made on April 20, 1997 to the second respondent and on January 13, 1998 to the first respondent. They also made similar representation to the Hon’ble Chief Minister on June 10, 1998. Since there is no response from any of the respondents, the petitioner Union which is registered under the Societies Registration Act, has approached this Court for necessary relief. All the representations find place in the typed-set of papers. The petitioner Union has also filed a list of their members, their designation, academic and technical qualification, date of joining, number of days worked from 1995 to 1998 and the total number of days worked by way of separate chart. Those details find place from pages 23 to 35 in the typed-set of papers. Though it is stated that petitioner Union is not a trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act, it is clear that it is registered under the Societies Act with Registration No. 116 of 1998. It is clear that the association was formed for the welfare of the members of the Union. In such a circumstance, I am of the view that petitioner can espouse for the cause of the members of the Union and the present writ petition is maintainable.

15. I have already referred to the factual particulars of the members of the petitioner Union such as their educational qualification, initial appointment and number of days worked. In the counter affidavit filed by the second respondent, except certain general denial, no other material has been placed to dislodge the claim made by the petitioner. In the counter affidavit dated December 18, 1998 without furnishing any kind of details or controverting the information given by the petitioner Union in the typed-set of papers, it is merely stated that the writ petition is liable to be dismissed on the ground that petitioner is not registered under the Trade Unions Act, that the same is filed against the Managing Director of the second respondent and not against the Corporation, that there is no cause of action, that there is an effective alternative remedy for approaching the Commissioner of Labour by raising an industrial dispute and that the disputed questions of fact may not be gone into by this Court etc. No doubt, on the last day of the hearing, namely, July 3, 2000 that too at the time of closing of the argument, the Managing Director of the second respondent has filed an additional affidavit stating that the list furnished by the petitioner Union is not correct and that at present only about 62 of them are employed in their company. By saying so, the second respondent has also furnished a typed-set containing Annexure A to F. Annexures A to C contain list of persons under various categories working in the second respondent Corporation. Annexure ‘D’ refers to letters said to have been made by two workmen informing the company that they are not interested in continuing in the second respondent company. Annexure ‘E’ refers to representation made by one P. Sivanandham, casual labourer, to the Labour Inspector, Chennai-6 requesting him to issue direction to the second respondent company for regularising his service. Annexure ‘F’ shows that on the basis of the complaint made by the very same person, namely, Sivanandham, notice has been issued by the Labour Officer for enquiry under Section 2-A of the Industrial Disputes Act. It is not clear why the second respondent has not furnished those details in the earlier counter affidavit dated December 18, 1998. In such a circumstance, I am of the view that furnishing certain details on the last date of the argument is an after-thought.

16. On the other hand, in the light of my conclusion, namely, applicability of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishments (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Act, 1981 to the second respondent Corporation and in the light of the information furnished by the Union regarding the educational qualification and number of days worked by their members and in the absence of any specific denial supported by facts and figures, it would be possible for this Court, to issue necessary direction for conferment of permanent status to the persons concerned. Mr. R. Krishnamurthy, learned senior counsel for the second respondent by pointing out that now the entire process has been computerised and this has entailed drastic reduction in the work force; hence in the absence of any sanctioned post and manual work by the labourers are being dispensed with, the second respondent is not in a position to absorb the members of the petitioner Union. He very much relied on a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Madhyamik Siksha Parishad, U.P. v. Anil Kumar Mishra, . Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in that case have held that in the absence of sanctioned post, direction for regularisation of casual workmen cannot be issued. The learned senior counsel very much relied on the following passage in the said decision 1994-II-LLJ-977 at 978:

“4. We are unable to uphold the order of the High Court. There were no sanctioned posts in existence to which they could be said to have been appointed. The assignment was an ad hoc one which anticipatedly spent itself out. It is difficult to envisage for them, the status of workmen on the analogy of the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, importing the incidents of completion of 240 days work. The legal consequences that flow from work for that duration under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 are entirely different from what, by way of implication, is attributed to the present situation by way of analogy. The completion of 240 days’ work does not, under that law import the right to regularisation. It merely imposes certain obligations on the employer at the time of termination of the service. It is not appropriate to import and apply that analogy, in an extended or enlarged form here.”

The other decision referred to is in the case of State of Haryana v. Piara Singh , wherein Their Lordships have held that the Court must act with due care and caution, while issuing direction for regularisation of casuals. He also relied on another decision in the case of Basant Kumar v. Eagle Rolling Mills, , in which it has been held that although the powers conferred on the High Court under Article 226 are very wide they could not take in within their sweep industrial dispute of the kind which the contention of the workmen sought to raise. It has also been held that the proper remedy which was available to the workmen to ventilate their grievances in respect of the notices and circulars regarding withdrawal of certain medical benefits was to take recourse to Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act or seek relief, if possible, under Sections 74 and 75 of the Employees’ State Insurance Act. By pointing out a decision in Tamil Nadu Electricity Board v. Sumathi, , learned senior counsel for the second respondent, would contend that disputed questions of fact cannot be considered under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. With regard to the legal position, it is not the case of the second respondent that neither their workload is reduced nor their activities restricted to certain areas. On the other hand, it is seen from the counter affidavit of the second respondent dated December 18, 1998 and July 3, 2000 that since they made radical developments in ensuring total computerisation of its tender process, procurement, distribution, supply etc., the manual handling is likely to be reduced, hence they are not in a position to regularise all these persons. Such contention cannot be accepted in view of the provisions of the special enactment, namely, The Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishments (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Act, 1981. As per Section 3 of the said Act, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force every workman who is in continuous service for a period of four hundred and eighty days in a period of twenty-four calendar months in an industrial establishment shall be made permanent. Continuous service has been explained in Sub-section (2) of Section 3. I have already held that the second respondent company is an establishment and it is a commercial agency in terms of Section 2(3) of the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, 1947 and they cannot escape from the clutches of the statutory mandate and wriggle out from its responsibility. In the case of T.N.C.S.C. Modern Rice Mill Engineering Section Employees Union v. T.N.C.S.C. ILR 1998 (2) Madras 723, P.D. DINAKARAN, J., in a similar circumstance in respect of casual employees working in Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation, by interpreting Section 3 of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishment (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Act, 1981 directed the management – Civil Supplies Corporation to confer permanent status to individual workman from the day when they satisfy the condition namely completing the continuous service for period of 480 days in a period of 24 calendar months in their establishment. Similar direction has been issued by me in A. Palanival v. T. Khadi and Village Industries Board, 1997 Lab IC 2524. In , Their Lordships have held that employees who are serving in the establishment for long spells and have the requisite qualifications should not be thrown out, but their services have to be regularised as far as possible. I have already stated that the petitioner Union has established that their members in various posts have worked at the respective posts for reasonably long spells, accordingly, they are entitled to regularisation in service.

17. Among the above mentioned decisions, it is useful to refer the recent Division Bench decision of this Court in Mamundiraj, N. v. BHEL, Tricky, 1999-I-LLJ-622 (Mad-DB). The issue before the Division Bench was with reference to conferment of permanent status to casual labourers working in Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Trichy who have completed 480 days of continuous service. Their Lordships after accepting the case pleaded by the workmen, directed the 2nd respondent therein to determine whether the appellants (workmen) had worked for 480 days in preceding 24 calendar months and whether the interrupted period of service, if any or cessation of work if any, brought about is an unfair labour practice. They further observed that in view of the observations made in the earlier part of their Judgment, if the answer is in affirmative, the worker would be entitled to the conferment of the status of permanent employee with effect from the date of termination of service with all other consequential reliefs flowing from such a declaration. The Bench has also directed the 2nd respondent therein to determine the above referred questions within 3 months from the date of receipt of a copy of that judgment, after affording an opportunity of being heard to both the parties. Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Act 46 of 1981 enables the Government to appoint Inspectors for the purpose of implementing the provisions of the Act. As a matter of fact, the Government have appointed Inspectors. The powers of Inspectors have been enumerated in Rule 3 of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishments. (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Rules, 1981. As per Rule 4, it is incumbent on the employer of an industrial establishment to furnish all the required information to the Inspector. As per Rule 6, every employer of an industrial establishment has to maintain a register of workmen in Form I and produce the same whenever it is required by the Inspector having jurisdiction over the industrial establishment. Sub-Rule (4) of Rule 6 envisages the employer to make a representation to the Inspector and the latter can examine the representation after making enquiries and issue suitable directions to the employer for rectification of the register in Form I or issue orders conferring permanent status to the workman concerned. In the light of the powers conferred on the Inspector by the statute and in view of the factual information furnished by the petitioner Union, it would be appropriate for this Court to issue direction to the concerned Inspector to verify the registers of the second respondent Corporation with reference to the claim made by the petitioner Union and pass appropriate orders conferring permanent status to the eligible workmen.

18. With regard to the claim made by the very same Union in W. P. No. 17147 of 1998 regarding providing employment on Saturdays to the members of the petitioner Union and to pay back wages for the previous four Saturdays, I am of the view that the same may also be considered by the Inspector while conducting enquiry with regard to permanent status of the members of the petitioner Union.

19. Under these circumstances, I pass the following orders:

1.    The    Tamil    Nadu   Industrial Establishments (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Act, 1981 (Tamil Nadu Act 46 of 1981) is applicable to the second respondent Corporation;
 

2. The 'Inspector' having jurisdiction over the second respondent is directed to inspect and verify the records of the second respondent Corporation and pass appropriate orders under Section 3 of the said Act with regard to the claim made by the members of the petitioner Union;
 

3. The 'Inspector' is also directed to consider the claim made by the petitioner Union regarding employment on Saturdays to the members of the petitioner Union;
 

4. The 'Inspector' is further directed to determine the above referred questions within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this Order after affording an opportunity of being heard to both parties; and
 

5. Till an order is passed by the 'Inspector' as stated above, status quo as on date shall be maintained by both parties.
 

6. Writ petitions are allowed to the extent mentioned above. No costs. All the miscellaneous petitions are closed.

 

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