Decided on October 17,2003



- (1.) Petitioners who were employed in the Canteen established by The Cochin Port Trust filed this petition for directing the respondents, the Cochin Port Trust to grant all benefits to the petitioners as regular staff of the Port Trust including Scale of Pay and other service benefits and for quashing Ext. P7 issued by the Port Trust on 24.3.2000 and also for other reliefs.
(2.) It was alleged that the petitioners were the employees of the respondent Cochin Port Trust and were working in the Canteen from 8 to 13 years continuously, that the above canteen was providing services to the workers under the Cochin Port Trust and was a statutory canteen established under S.46 of the Factories Act. However, for the convenience, the Cochin Port Trust had entrusted the running of the Canteen with Contractors for some time and the contractors were running canteen with the employees permanently engaged by the Port Trust, with the facilities made available by the Port Trust including the building and was providing food at the rate fixed by the Port Trust. It was further alleged that by the judgment of the Supreme Court dated 26.9.1983 it was declared that the canteen workers of non statutory department / Cooperative Canteens / tiffin rooms located in the Central Government Offices were entitled to the same benefit by treating the employees as Government servants with effect from 1.10.1991 and that the Government had already issued Ext. P2 direction to its departments to treat the canteen employees as Government servants, the petitioners had filed O.P. 7075/92 for directing Cochin Port Trust to treat the petitioners as their employees and to afford all benefits. By Ext. P5 judgment, this Court directed the Port Trust to consider the claim within two months. Though the Port Trust challenged the above judgment, the Writ Appeal was dismissed. Thereafter the Port Trust passed Ext. P7 order in violation of the directions of this Court in Ext. P5 judgment refusing to afford the benefits given to the canteen employees. Hence, the petitioners filed this O.P. for directing the respondents to give all the benefits to the regular staff of the Port Trust including scale of pay to the petitioners.
(3.) Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners and the Standing Counsel for the Cochin Port Trust.;

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