Telangana High Court. (DC Image)
HYDERABAD: A two-judge bench of the Telangana High Court on Friday directed the Department of Heritage to file a proper status report with photographs of the work being carried out in the Women's College campus and Hashmatgunj Gate. The bench comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N. Tukaramji took up a suo motu writ petition based on a letter addressed to the bench, which alleged that the structures were in poor condition and questioned the government’s inaction in maintaining them. Counsel for the director, of the heritage department, filed a memo along with documents. The bench opined that it could not be considered a status report and adjourned the matter to July 11.
HC raps official for not filing counter
Justice M. Sudheer Kumar of the Telangana High Court on Friday reprimanded M. Ramchandar, assistant director, of survey and land records, Medchal-Malkajgiri district, for not filing an additional counter affidavit even after the court had directed him to do so. The judge was dealing with a contempt petition filed by T. Purushotham Rao for wilful non-compliance with court orders. Earlier, the court had directed the official to conduct a survey of a land parcel in Alwal village belonging to the petitioner. The court had also directed the respondent to file the additional counter to report compliance with the order by June 1. When the official failed to do so, the court summoned him. The official was present in court on Friday and the judge granted him a week to comply.
HC stays order on waste disposal
A two-judge bench of Telangana High Court on Friday granted interim stay on an order of a single judge on waste disposal. The bench comprising Justice T. Vinod Kumar and Justice Pulla Karthik was dealing with a writ plea filed by Gopi Transport, a bio-waste transport contractor. The petitioner said the GHMC had granted them permission to lift mutton, chicken and fish waste. But, Pioneer Feed Industries was lifting the waste by entering into a private agreement with the outlets, which it was not entitled to do. The appellant said that according to the provisions of the Act either the municipality or anyone authorised by the municipality was supposed to perform the duty of lifting the waste, and the trade licence granted to Pioneer Feed did not permit it to do so. The bench granted interim stay and directed the respondents to file their counters and additional documents if needed. The bench will hear the matter on June 21.
Court dismisses firm’s plea against EPFO
Justice K. Lakshman of Telangana High Court dismissed a writ petition filed by KS Pharmaceuticals challenging the proceedings of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for recovery of amounts from the petitioner. The petitioner had purchased a bulk drug company, Vinay Chem Pharma, in an auction. The EPFO made a demand for PF dues from the petitioner on the ground that Vinay Chem was due over 7 lakhs. The petitioner stated that it was not liable to inherit and pay the liabilities of the company. The EPFO contended that the petitioner ought to have moved an appeal before the appellate authority. Justice Lakshman pointed to the provisions of the Employees Provident Fund Act which provides that the transferor and transferee companies "shall jointly and severally be liable to pay the amount due in respect of any contribution or any other amount payable under this Act…" Justice Lakshman also pointed to the priority that PF authorities have over other debts, after referring to various judgments of the apex court and said: "Workers and other employees provide services of a different kind and ensure continuous production of goods which are made available to society at large. Therefore, legislation made for their benefit must receive a liberal and purposive interpretation, keeping in view the Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Articles 38 and 43 of the Constitution of India." The judge pointed out that mere participation in an open auction would not defeat the statutory provisions. The judge also said that if the petitioner was aggrieved by the original orders, they could file an appeal before the statutory authority.
HC not to intervene in ESIC order
Justice K. Lakshman of the Telangana High Court refused to intervene in an order of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) seeking to collect ESI dues from Auto Cast Hyderabad Pvt Ltd, the purchaser of a company, Aishu Castings Ltd. The ESI had made demands from 2009 to 2011. The petitioner had purchased Aishu Castings in a sale effected by the State Finance Corporation in 2004. Under the order challenged, a sum of 3,36,400 was due under the ESI Act. The authorities contended that Auto Cast Hyderabad, the vendor institution, owed the amount. The petitioner contended that it had purchased the company in an auction and was not liable. It also claimed a refund of the demanded and paid amount. Justice Lakshman in his order referred to provisions of the ESI Act which are similar to the provision of the EPF Act and analysed the issue of recovery of amount jointly or severally from the erstwhile and current managements and held in favour of the ESIC. The judge noted that the Act "is a social welfare legislation intended to protect the interest of a weaker section of society i.e., the workers employed in factories and other establishments". He referred to the Directive Principles of State Policy under the Constitution while upholding the ESIC demand. "Before participating in an open auction, the petitioner should have conducted due diligence including statutory payments" and refused to interdict the demand of the amount.
HC dismisses similar PIL filed by petitioner
A two-judge bench of the Telangana High Court upheld the objections raised by the PIL committee. The bench comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N. Tukaramji was dealing with a petition filed by Pakala Srihari Rao in the guise of a public interest litigation. The petitioner contended that ‘Mudra loans’ of the Central government, meant for small scale industries, were not being sanctioned. The bench after perusing the records and objections raised by the committee said that petitioners should refrain from filing such bogus litigations. The bench dismissed the PIL by upholding the objection of the committee that the petitioner had earlier filed a similar PIL seeking the same relief and was returned with the objection that no public interest was. It was stated at that time if any person was affected by the order, they could approach the appropriate authority individually.