Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court has directed the GHMC to appeal before the Employees’ Insurance Court challenging the demand of damages claimed by the ESI Corporation under Section 85B of the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948.
Justice S.V. Bhatt was disposing a petition by the GHMC commissioner (finance) seeking to declare that the GHMC was not an establishment under the purview of the ESI Act and that the ESI Corporation had no jurisdiction to levy damages under Section 85B and Section 39 (5) of the ESI Act.
The recovery officer of the ESI Corporation had issued an order under Section 45G of the ESI Act on the ground that the GHMC had failed to pay arrears/damages on account of delayed contribution of Employees State Insurance.
The GHMC challenged the order under Section 45G to transfer the amount demanded through the notice to the credit of the recovery officer.
The ESI contended that the court ought not to entertain a consequential order under Section 45G and determine the obligation to contribute under the Act, for the petitioner had an effective remedy under Section 75 of the ESI Act.
While considering the argument of the ESI, Justice Bhatt granted liberty to the GHMC to file appeals against determination of ESI contribution, interest and damages before the Employees’ Insurance Court within four weeks.
The judge ruled that if the appeals are filed within the time granted by the court and if the Employees’ Insurance Court considers them to be otherwise in order, it will hear the appeals on merits and dispose of the appeals within eight weeks from the date of filing. The judge made it clear that the interim order will be continued for three months.
ONGC told to regularise staff
Upholding an order of a single judge, a division bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday directed the management of ONGC to regularise the services of field operators who had completed 240 days of service in a period of 12 months.
A single judge in December 2016 had directed the ONGC to regularise services of employees working at Rajahmundry from the states of AP and Telangana for 20 years.
The judge directed that all petitioners who have completed 240 days in a period of 12 months after their respective appointment on term basis in 2008 shall be regularised by the ONGC in the posts to which they are attached within two months.
Aggrieved by the order, the ONGC had moved a batch of appeals. A few individuals, who were denied relief by the single judge, also filed the appeal.
ONGC contended that the single judge had overlooked the fact that having raised an industrial dispute leading to the initiation of conciliation proceedings, it was not open to workers to invoke the writ jurisdiction of the court.
Reopen Ratnakar case: HC to police
The Hyderabad High Court has directed the additional director general of police, CID of AP, to re-investigate the case against Mr Ratnakar, trustee of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, pending at the Puttaparthi police station.
Justice B. Siva Sankar Rao was allowing a petition by Mr M. Ganapathy Raju, nephew of the late Satya Sai Baba, challenging the inaction of the police in probing the case lodged against Mr Ratnakar in 2013.
The court directed the CID chief to call for records from the local police, whether it was pending investigation or if any final report had been filed, and re-investigate the case including any part of investigation that might have been done.
Mr Ratnakar bore a grudge against him as he had exposed the alleged attempts of the trustee to hand over the airport at Puttaparthi, which belongs to the trust, to some private persons and lodging a case. He alleged that the local police had connived with Mr Ratnakar and not investigated the case.
He claimed that the police had lodged a case against him under the SC, STs Prevention of Atrocities Act at the instance of Mr Ratnakar. He also alleged that Mr Ratnakar had created a fake mail ID in his name and sent mails to senior trustees claiming that he was demanding Rs 25 lakh.
Mr Raju moved another petition seeking to quash the case pending against him. The judge refused to quash the case and told the petitioner to raise all the grounds he agitated before this court during the trial before the lower court.
Allowing Mr Raju's petition for handing over the case against Mr Ratnakar to the CID, the judge noted that only a magistrate court or special judge concerned, where the investigation is pending, can ask for any further investigation but has no right to order re-investigation. Re-investigation can be ordered only by constitutional courts either by invoking Section 482 of the Criminial Procedure Code or Article 226 of the Constitution.