Chennai: The State Industrial Tribunal, Chennai, has prevented the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) from collecting penalty from workers for the shortage of rice during processing of paddy. The corporation had recovered penalty even from family members of deceased employees.
In the petition, Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation Employees Union represented by its general secretary submitted that TNCSC has been entrusted with the distribution of essential commodities to consumers through the public distribution system after procurement and processing them.
Procurement and processing of paddy, especially during samba and kuruvai season, has been an important task of the corporation.
Paddy had been processed and converted into rice in 23 modern rice mills
owned by the corporation. A large number of workers is engaged in the network.
However, the corporation had arbitrarily imposed a penalty on workers for the loss of rice during the process and recovers some amount from their salary.
Recovery orders issued to all the workers on the basis of unilateral assessment taking into account of the state average.
This was a violation of natural justice and the union sought suitable direction to set aside the recovery order.
In its reply, the corporation represented by its CMD submitted that the union has no locusstandi to raise the dispute especially on behalf of supervisors.
The workers are jointly responsible for the loss and shortage of rice during the process. The 418th board meeting ordered to recover losses from the workers.
Presiding officer, Industrial Tribunal A. Kanthakumar, said no enquiry was conducted as to both quantum shortage and the cost for the same. And, straight away recovery orders are issued on the basis of unilateral assessment based on state average.
The board adopted committee’s unscientific report is incorrect and irrational and arbitrary and violation of Article 4 of the Constitution.
The recovery order violative of the principles of natural justice as per the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation Service rules book.
The judge said in the result, the award is passed holding that the demand of the Union is justified.