Auction mill property, pay workers: Odisha HC
By Express News Service - SAMBALPUR
08th December 2012 02:16 PM
Workers of the Hirakud Re-rolling Mills (HRM), Hirakud Industrial Works (HIW) and Hira Cables owned by Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have finally got some relief with the Orissa High Court asking the State Labour Directorate to attach and sell the properties and clear the dues of the workers.
The units were divested to Varsha Fabrics Limited (VFL) of Ruia group at a throwaway price in 2006 and renamed Hirakud Industrial Works Limited (HIWL) merging HIW and Hira Cables.
The HIW workers union had filed a writ petition narrating their miserable condition and apathy of VFL besides demanding their dues. On March 14, the High Court issued notices to the State Government besides VFL, but the notice sent to VFL was returned unserved forcing the court to summon VFL by publishing notice.
Subsequently, on November 19, VFL and its sister concerns India Finance Limited and Mudrika Commercial Private Limited, who reportedly also have stake, appeared before the court but did not file any statement. Disposing of the writ plea of the HIW union, who are leading a wretched life in the absence of salary and arrear dues, a bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice B N Mohapatra on November 27 also directed to complete the process in six weeks.
The court asked for a list of properties and land details and expedite tender for auction of the properties and clear the outstanding dues of the workers along with 15 per cent interest.
Though the workers had long been demanding cancellation of sale agreement signed with the VFL and bringing the HIWL under the original holding company, IDC, the State Government had closed its eyes to the problem of the workers forcing them to move the court.
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