WORKMEN THROUGH THE CONVENER FCI LABOUR FEDERATION Vs. RAVUTHAR DAWOOD NASEEM
LAWS(SC)-2020-5-17
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on May 19,2020

Workmen Through The Convener Fci Labour Federation Appellant
VERSUS
Ravuthar Dawood Naseem Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

S SUNDARAM PILLAI KOUSALAYA DEVT MURUGESA MUDALIAR N S DHANALAKSHMI AMMAL THAHIRA BEEVI M BALAKRISHNAN K R KRISHNAN VS. V R PATTABIRAMAN:P LAKSHMINARAYANA CHARYA:SELVARAJ CHETTIAR:B S RAMACHARI:R A MUTHIAH NADAR:FATHIMA BAI:P BHANUMATT [REFERRED TO]
WORKMEN OF THE FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA VS. FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
RAKAPALU RAJA RAMA GOPALA RAO VS. NARAGANI GOVINDA SEHARARAO [REFERRED TO]
V G NIGAM VS. KEDAR NATH GUPTA [REFERRED TO]
NIAZ MOHAMMAD VS. STATE OF HARYANA [REFERRED TO]
CHORDIA AUTOMOBILES VS. S MOOSA [REFERRED TO]
CHHOTU RAM VS. URVASHI GULATI [REFERRED TO]
STEEL AUTHORITY OF INDIA LIMITED VS. NATIONAL UNION WATER FRONT WORKERS [REFERRED TO]
ANIL RATAN SARKAR VS. HIRAK GHOSH [REFERRED TO]
ASHOK PAPER KAMGAR UNION VS. DHARAM GODHA [REFERRED TO]
BANK OF BARODA VS. SADRUDDIN HASAN DAYA [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF ORISSA VS. MD ILLIYAS [REFERRED TO]
SUSHILA RAJE HOLKAR VS. ANIL KAK [REFERRED TO]
THREE CHEERS ENTERTAINMENT P LTD VS. C E S C [REFERRED TO]
SAHDEO ALIAS SAHDEO SINGH VS. STATE OF U P [REFERRED TO]
DINESH KUMAR GUPTA VS. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE CO LTD [REFERRED TO]
UNIWORTH TEXTILES LTD VS. COMMISSIONER OF CENTRAL EXCISE [REFERRED TO]
NATIONAL FERTILIZERS LTD VS. TUNCAY ALANKUS [REFERRED TO]
RAM KISHAN VS. TARUN BAJAJ [REFERRED TO]
K.K. DINESHAN VS. R.K. SINGH [REFERRED TO]
BIHAR STATE GOVT. SEC. SCL. TEACHERS ASSN. VS. ASHOK KUMAR SINHA [REFERRED TO]
FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA AND ORS. VS. WEST BENGAL FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA WORKMEN'S UNION [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF BIHAR & ORS VS. BIHAR SECONDARY TEACHERS STRUGGLE COMMITTEE, MUNGER & ORS [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

A.M.KHANWILKAR, J. - (1.)I.A. for permission to file the contempt petition(s) is allowed.
(2.)These contempt petitions except Contempt Petition (Civil) No. 754/2019 emanate from the common judgment and order of this Court dated 20.8.2018 in Civil Appeal Nos. 10499/2011 and 10511/2011. Contempt Petition (Civil) No. 754/2019, however, arises from a separate judgment and order of this Court on the same subject matter and date (i.e. 20.8.2018) in Civil Appeal No. 7961/2014.
(3.)The grievance in these petitions is about non-compliance of direction given to the respondent-Food Corporation of India[1] to regularise and departmentalise the concerned workers who had initiated industrial disputes bearing I.D. No. 39/1992 and I.D. No. 55/1993 before the Industrial Tribunal[2], Tamil Nadu, Chennai under Section 10(1) (d) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947[3]. The concerned employees were employed at Depots of the Corporation in the Southern Zone of India including the States of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, as daily-rated labour or casual labour through contract labour cooperative societies or private contractors. They were working in that capacity for quite some time and in some cases, for around 15 to 20 years, and were performing similar work as the regular employees of the Corporation. In I.D. No. 39/1992, following issue was referred to for adjudication:-
[1] For short, "the Corporation"

[2] For short, "the Tribunal"

[3] For short, "the 1947 Act"

"Whether the action of the management of Food Corporation of India, in denying to regularise 955 contract labourers engaged by management of Food Corporation of India Godown, Avadi through TVK Cooperative Society in respect of names as given in the Annexure is justified? If not to what relief they are entitled to?" (emphasis supplied)

In I.D. No. 55/1993, reference was made for adjudication of the following issue:-

"Whether the services of workmen employed in different Food Storage depots in Food Corporation of India in the South where notifications have been issued prohibiting engagement of contract labourers under Section 10(1) of CL (R and A) Act are entitled to be regularised and if so, from which date?" (emphasis supplied)

During the pendency of these References, an understanding was arrived at between the parties, as recorded in the Minutes of Meeting dated 12.4.1996, the relevant extract whereof is as under:-

"The Charter of demand submitted by the FCI Workers Union vide their letter dated 12.2.96 was taken do for discussions and decision taken on each of their demands are recorded as under: -

1. Department allegation of workers and payment of documental wages to the workers in all FCI depots as recommended upto [sic] the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, and especially in South Sons where the Central Government have notified prohibiting employment of contract labour long before considering the food handling work as perennial in nature (both the food-handling work is still being done in all South Depots) by Labour Cooperative Society as Contractors as well as the Hon'ble High Courts of Kerala and Karnataka have also directed for departmentisation of FCI workers in F.S. Depots.

The Union demanded departmentalization of labour in all the notified depots on the plea that there are other notified depots where departmentalisation has already been done since 1991. As such, these depots may also be extended the benefit of departmentalisation. After having protracted discussions, keeping in view the orders of the Hon'ble Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court and the scheme submitted for decision between the Karnataka High Court, following decisions were taken: -

(i) It was decided that in all remaining, notified FCIs own Depots which were running under the Labour Cooperative Societies, or otherwise may be brought under Direct [sic] Payment System with all the benefits under the Direct Payment Scheme w.e.f. 1st May, 1996.

(ii) It was also decided that proposal for departmentalization will be sent to the government by 31st July, 1996 and till decision from the Government or from the concerned courts Direct payment System will continue.

(iii) It was agreed that in the other notified depots of FCI where labour Cooperative Societies are not functioning, the labour strength will be assessed on the basis of the formula to be evolved in consultation with FCI Workers Union as the Union had mentioned that the formula of assessment of labour being adopted by diving the workload i.e. receipt and issue by 365 is not realistic. The Union suggested that the workload of receipt and issue as well as all operations performed in the depot should be taken into account and the same should be divided by 240 days instead of 365. As regards labour Cooperative Societies, it was decided that the workers already working there during last 3 years and who had worked for nine out of 12 months in the last year and whose PF deductions are being made will be extended benefit of Direct Payment System workers. However the actual requirement of labour for these depots will be assessed as per the norms agreed to with the Union and utilisation of surplus labour including employment elsewhere will be resorted to by the management in consultation with the Union. Regarding norms, the Union expressed resentment about adopting 365 days a year which management agreed to look into and take a final view.

(iv) As regards notified depots under CWC, separate discussions will be held for a final decision.

(Action Manager (IR-L)

2. Immediate departmentalisation of all the workers of FCI Depots under Direct Payment System, Guaranteed Wages System, No work no pay System and B-Category system. It was agreed that the system as in existence will continue [sic]." (emphasis supplied)

A list of Depots having Departmental Labour System in March, 2000 is annexed as annexure P-3 in the reply affidavit filed by the petitioner to the counter affidavit of the respondent in Contempt Petition (Civil) No. 404/2019.

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