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21st World Congress 2017 Vs. Retrograde Labour Policies in India

In the context of a few unscrupulous bureaucrats of the Ministry of Labour venturing to bring out a Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare, in connivance and collaboration with power brokers, it is appropriate to examine the proceedings of the 21st World Congress 2017 that meets at present in Singapore from 3 to 6 September 2017.

It is all the more necessary because the Indian bureaucrats have gone to the extent of projecting their Code having been, in effect, approved by the ILO and the ISSA. This is a clear mischief for which they must be made accountable before the court of law.

Mr. Guy Rider, the Director General of the ILO has said that the failure of various nations to adequately invest in health of the workers, has affected the economy and the impact is equal to the total GDP of the poorest 130 countries in the world.

More from the website of the ILO:

 http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_573118/lang–en/index.htm 

 

 

World Congress EU

 

“The global economic impact of the failure to adequately invest in occupational safety and health is roughly equal to the total GDP of the poorest 130 countries in the world,” International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder told nearly 3,500 participants during the opening ceremony at the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work , in Singapore on 3 September.

The new global estimates on work-related illnesses and injuries represent 3.94 per cent of global GDP per year, or 2.99 trillion US dollars. In human lives that means 2.78 million workers continue to die each year from work-related injuries and illnesses – 2.4 million of these deaths can be attributed to work-related diseases alone. The figures announced today were developed by Finland, Singapore, the EU and the International Commission on Occupational Health, with the support of ILO.

The new figures point to a growing body of evidence demonstrating the global cost of failing to adequately address existing and emerging occupational safety and health (OSH) concerns, and to the importance of OSH to sustainable development. “Clearly there is a recognition that certain OSH challenges are global challenges that require global solutions,” said Ryder.

Mr Ryder noted ILO’s readiness to engage in the development of a global coalition with key partners in meeting these challenges, as proposed by Finnish Minister of Labour Pirkko Mattila, in a forum on the future of work.

As a co-organizer of the 2017 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, ILO is addressing key challenges for the future of work and the implications for the safety and health of workers. During the four-day Congress the ILO will participate in symposia and technical sessions on the need for reliable OSH data, improving occupational safety and health in global supply chains, creating mechanisms for the exchange of OSH data, knowledge and expertise globally, and fostering proactive occupational safety and health compliance strategies at national level. Engagement of youth around the world will be key to addressing these challenges.

How the future of work is forged will, of course, have the greatest impact on this and the next generation and they must have a voice in the process including on OSH,” said Ryder in addressing Congress participants.

Youth and OSH is a key theme at the XXI World Congress and central to ILO’s flagship Occupational Safety and Health-Global Action for Prevention Programme. “Forty million youth are entering the labour market this year and they are the best-educated generation the world has ever seen. We must take advantage of this demographic dividend and unleash the potential and creativity of these young people,” said the head of the ILO.

As part of ILO’s SafeYouth@Work project , some 125 Youth Champions from more than 29 countries are participating in a Youth Congress parallel to the World Congress. The SafeYouth@Work Congress  seeks to build a corps of Youth Champions on OSH to address the significant workplace safety and health challenges faced by young workers. The Youth Congress will conclude with the development of prototype models for targeted tripartite efforts at country and regional level, for improving working conditions for young people.  

The XXI World Congress, being held 2-6 September, is a tri-annual event jointly organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA), and is hosted this year by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower.

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Labour Code on Social Security: Unlawful, unjust and improper !

 

For a powerpoint presentation on the Labour Code on Social Security click on the following link;

 

Labour Code for Flourishing ESIC

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DACP Mechanism Vs. Recruitment Regulations

(Traditional literature permitted historical fictions both as stories or plays. But, the modern literature permits stories and plays based on contemporary history. The present one is an imaginary play based on contemporary history with the intention of clearing many a doubt on the part of various persons working in various organisations where the DACP is implemented).

 Act I : Scene I

Scene: Office of a busy lawyer at 7’O clock in the morning.

Cast: Mr. A, Mr. B, Mr. C and Ms. D, working as Assistant Professors in an ESIC PGMSR and a lawyer.

  

(The lawyer is going through the sheaf of papers presented by the Assistant Professors. Sullen silence prevails after a long discussion. The lawyer breaks the ice.)

Lawyer: (Placing the papers on his table) Yes. I went through your papers last night. Your grievance is genuine. I shall take up your case. My fee is about twenty per cent of your estimated arrears. You must know that I always charge very reasonably.

(The Assistant Professors are shocked and have been rendered speechless for  a moment. Dr. A then recovers from the jolt first.)

Dr. A: Sir, the fee seems to be very huge.

Lawyer: Huge? You know what huge means? Conduct a survey. You will know yourself. My charge is very moderate. That is what I feel.

Dr. A: OK Sir, we have to discuss the issue among ourselves and other colleagues. Let us come back in a few minutes.

Lawyer: Yeah, that is fair. (The Assistant Professors leave the room. When they are about to be out of sight, the Lawyer shouts). Hello,  keep in view the fact that I have not charged you the Consultation Fee. If you decide on  engaging me, the consultation is free. (Ms. D, who leaves last nods her head).

 

Act I Scene II.

Scene: Garden in front of the office of the lawyer.

Cast: All the four Assistant Professors.

 

 (The Assistant Professors discuss in a low hush-hush voice among themselves)

Dr. A: Friends, the lawyer wants 20% of our estimated arrears. Is it not a huge fee? Can we afford it?

Dr. B: It is huge, indeed. But, how will he calculate our arrears? We ourselves do not know.

Dr. C: Did you hear him right. He did not say 20%. He said that his fee was “about” 20 %. It seems he would make some calculation, arrive at an imaginary figure and ask us to pay it in advance.

Dr. B: Why not we go and meet some other lawyer who would charge less?

Dr. D: Of course, there are some lawyers who do it for free too.

Dr. C: But, they are not useful to us.

(Mr. A talks to some of his colleagues over mobile. Folds it up and looks at his friends)

Dr. A: Our friends say that we may engage this lawyer himself. Shall we move in?

(They move inside the chamber of the lawyer)

Act II: Scene I

Scene: Office of the lawyer.

Cast: The Assistant Professors and the lawyer.

 

Dr. A: Yes sir ! We agree to your terms.

(They hand over a wad of currency notes to the lawyer. He keeps the currency bundle in his drawer, feels invigorated, sits up in his chair and looks at them, cheerfully beaming with energy)

Lawyer: Yes, let us go ahead ! Let us analyse the case. You are all working in the ESIC Medical College as Assistant Professors from the year 2011 onwards, and some of you from 2013 onwards.

At the time of inviting applications for the post of the Assistant Professor, the ESIC had, in Para B (v) of its advertisement dated 05.11.2012, held out a categorical, clear and unambiguous promise that the “promotional avenues in the Department are available under DACP guidelines of the Government of India”.

As per Para 2. B of the DACP guidelines of the Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, O.M. F.No. A-45012/2/2008-CHS. V dated 29.10.2008, the first benefit of DACP would be given to those in the Teaching Sub Cadre who have completed two years of regular service in the Grade pay of Rs. 6600 in PB-3.

Accordingly, you should have been promoted as Associate Professors in the pay band of Rs. 15600-39100 with Grade Pay of Rs. 7600, in the years 2013 and 2015 respectively, after completion of two years of regular service as Assistant Professor. But, the ESiC has not given that benefit of Assured Career Progression till date. Right?

Dr. A: Yes sir.

Lawyer: You have given representations also individually seeking such promotion to the post of  Associate Professor. Yet, there is no positive result yet. Right?

Dr. A: Yes sir.

Lawyer: The position of law on the subject is that as per Sec. 17 (2) (a) of the existing ESI Act, 1948, “The method of recruitment, salary and allowances, discipline and other conditions of service of the members of the staff of the Corporation shall be such as may be specified in the regulations made by the Corporation in accordance with the rules and orders applicable to the officers and employees of the Central Government drawing corresponding scales of pay”. Consequently, it is mandatory on the part of the ESIC to enforce in the ESI Corporation, the orders of the Central Government which are applicable to the officers of the Central Government drawing corresponding scales of pay. The rules and orders pertaining to the salary and allowances, method of recruitment and other conditions of service of the employees become applicable to the employees of the ESI Corporation also automatically, by virtue of the aforesaid Sec. 17(2)(a). Right?

Dr. A: Yes sir.

Lawyer: The Proviso to the said Sec. 17 (2) (a) mandates that “where the Corporation is of the opinion that it is necessary to make a departure from the said rules or orders in respect of any of the matters aforesaid, it shall obtain the prior approval of the Central Government”. If at all the ESIC wants to deviate from the directions given in those Rules and Orders of the Government of India, it must obtain the prior approval of the Government, explaining proper reasons which are not arbitrary.

Dr. A: Yes sir.

Lawyer: The Administration says now that the Recruitment Regulations for the Medical Teaching Faculty Posts which had been amended and brought into force w.e.f. 03.07.2015 specified that for promotion to the post of Associate Professor one should have put in five years of regular service in the feeder cadre of Assistant Professor. Citing this, they convince you that you could not be promoted as Associate Professor until you complete five years of service as Assistant Professor. Yes?

Dr. A: Yes sir.

Lawyer: What was the provision in the Recruitment Regulations which were in force when the Advertisement was given on 05.11.2012?

Dr. A: Sir, there existed another set of Recruitment Regulations dated 02.05.2009 for the Medical Teaching Faculty Posts, when the authorities invited applications for the post of Assistant Professor on 05.11.2012. Those Recruitment Regulations provided for time-bound promotion for Assistant Professors to the post of Associate Professors after they put in four years of regular service as Assistant Professors.

Lawyer: But, now you know that the ESIC authorities advertised for the post of Assistant Professors on 05.11.2012 promising time bound promotion to the post of Associate Professor after two years of regular service, knowing full well that the then existing Recruitment Regulations prescribed four years of regular service as the Essential Qualification for promotion to that cadre. Okay?

Dr. A: Yes, sir.

Lawyer: What does it imply? It implies that the officials who dealt with the issues at that time, knew the concept clearly. The officials who deal with the issue now do not understand the concept and make a mess of it.

Dr. A: How?

Lawyer: yes. The fact is the officials who deal with the issue now have, simply, forgotten the fact that the ACPS (Assured Career Progression Scheme), MACPS (Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme) and DACPS (Dynamic Assured Career Progression Scheme) are there only to supplement and improve upon the already existing Recruitment Rules / Recruitment Regulations. The Recruitment Regulations, which provide only for the normal promotional avenues, cannot be invoked to deny and supplant the DACPS or ACPS or MACPS. So, the contents of the MOH&FW order dated 29.10.2008 on DACPS would prevail over the said Recruitment Regulations. But, the officials in the Hqrs. are ignorant of these rudimentary facts.

Dr. A: I see.

Lawyer: So, it is unlawful for the authorities to cite the Recruitment Regulations (either the present one dated 03.07.2015 or the earlier one dated 02.05.2009) to deny the benefit of DACP for which you became entitled to on completion of two years of regular service as Assistant Professor.

Dr. A: Yes.

Lawyer: Moreover, the DACPS benefit is not linked to vacancies but is akin to time-bound promotion, which has to be given with retrospective effect too, if there had been delay in convening the meetings of the DPCs / Review Committees under the DACP Scheme. The authorities cannot, therefore, hold out the later-day Recruitment Regulations of 03.07.2015 to deny the benefit that accrued to all of you already on 22.03.2015 FN. This is only an additional argument, because the RRs do not have the effect of supplanting the DACP guidelines of the Government of India.

Dr. A: I find substance in your argument.

Lawyer:  We must stress on the fact that the authorities had offered through their advertisement dated 05.11.2012, to implement the DACP guidelines in respect those who opt for service in the ESIC Medical Colleges, in spite of their being aware of the contents of those Recruitment Regulations dated 02.05.2009 which were in force as on 05.11.2012.

Dr. A: Yes sir.

Lawyer: Another additional point is that there is no reason for the authorities to deny DACP benefits to those who completed two years of regular service even before the later amendment came into force on 03.07.2015. Seen in the light of this fact, the Speaking Order issued by the Hqrs. in C-18/11/7/16- Med VI dated 03.07.2017 is patently incorrect.

Dr. A: Is it?

Lawyer: Yes. I do not know whether you have seen it. It is a case of Assistant Professors (Dental) in the ESIC Dental College. As per the DACP guidelines for Assistant Professors (Dental), promotion will have to be made without linkage to vacancies, for those who have completed two years of regular service in that cadre. “Other conditions for effecting promotion will be governed by the respective Recruitment Rules as amended from time to time and DOPT instruction in this regard”. The Assistant Professors (Dental) in that case had joined in the year 2011. They had completed two years of service in the year 2013. They had become entitled to the DACP in the year 2013 itself. If the DPC had met in the year 2013 they would have got their benefit under the DACP. But, there had been delay and the RRs had later been amended on 23.12.2014. This RR which came into force on 23.12.2014 cannot deny the benefit that accrued to the Assistant Professors (Dental) in the year 2013, which can be and has to be given with retrospective effect, as the DACP, ACP, MACP are not linked to vacancies. This is only an Assured career progression and not a vacancy-based promotion, which alone can have prospective effect from or after the date of DPC. The speaking order dated 03.072017 is clearly wrong.

Dr. A: I see your point.

Lawyer: There is a possibility that similar unlawful and unjustifiable stand would be taken in your cases also. You have to pre-empt it. Or you must complain against the officials of the Hqrs. Office who misguide the Medical Commissioner to issue such a patently wrong order.

Dr. A: I agree.

Lawyer: Moreover, there is the theory of Promissory Estoppel. The promise made by the authorities in their advertisement dated 05.11.2012 falls very clearly within the definition of the term ‘Promissory Estoppel’. The authorities are, by law, prevented from breaking it, especially when you had acted upon that promise. The promise given by the authorities on 05.11.2012 was an enforceable promise, a clear and definite one at that. There is nothing on record to show that the promise was given only with the intention of breaking it later.

Dr. A: I understand.

Lawyer: That promise made by the authorities on 05.11.2012 prevents them from going back on it, especially after the Applicant had acted on it. It had been made with intent to make you to rely upon that promise. You had not only relied upon it but acted upon it too for a continuous period of two years. You had (i) acted on that promise held out on 05.11.2012, (ii) applied for the post of Assistant Professor, (iii) joined the services of the institute and (iv) rendered service for two years hoping all along that the authorities would fulfil their promise on completion of two years’ service. The authorities ought, therefore, to fulfil that promise. They are estopped from reneging from their earlier stand as communicated, on 05.11.2012, to you as one of the terms and conditions of appointment.

Dr. A: When this being the position of law, how come they issued an order like the one dated 03.07.2017 in the case of Assistant Professors (Dental)?

Lawyer: That was a clear case of negligence on the part of the officials who processed the case. A copy of the filenoting, if obtained under the RTI Act, would show who had misled the Medical Commissioner thus. Depending upon the material evidence available thus, you can proceed against the concerned officials under Sec. 24 of the IPC too, after obtaining permission from the Director General to prosecute them for having caused wrongful loss to you.

Dr. A. Why are they not understanding the concept of DACP then?

Lawyer: It is just unwillingness to read the instructions. The orders of the Central Government on the DACPS (just like the ACP and MACP) are intended to improve upon the normal promotional avenues contemplated under the Recruitment Regulations notified in the Gazette for each cadre. This has been repeatedly made clear by the DOPT also right from the year 1999, when the ACP was introduced.  The order dated 29.10.2008 cannot, therefore, be refused to be enforced in the ESI Corporation by citing the later day Regulations of 03.07.2015.

Dr. A: Are we entitled to the benefits available to those who are under the CHS?

Lawyer: Yes, of course. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research. Puducherry (JIPMER) are also Central Autonomous Bodies like the ESI Corporation. The orders dated 29.10.2008 of the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India regarding DACPS have already been enforced in those Central Autonomous Bodies. There is, therefore, no justification in denying the benefit to the teaching faculty in the Medical institutions of the ESIC, when Sec. 17(2) (a) of the Act mandates such benefit to be conferred on them.

Moreover, the Principal Bench of the Hon’ble Central Administrative Tribunal, Delhi has in the case involving the conditions of service of the Pharmacists of the ESIC, ruled that the ESIC “cannot claim immunity from creating proper cadre structure”, especially when various State Governments and the AIIMS have a well-defined cadre structure. Hon’ble Principal Bench made such an observation in the light of the fact that the “Pharmacy Council of India, the Apex Statutory Body to regulate the Pharmacy in the country has itself recommended that every health delivery agencies should have a well-defined cadre structure for their Pharmacists”. (Udhay Veer Singh Vs. ESIC – 06.05.2015). The same ratio is applicable to the teaching faculty also in the ESIC, whose cadre structure has all along been on the lines of the structure in the CHS. The authorities are, therefore, required to confer the benefit of DACPS on the teaching faculty of the ESIC Medical institutions, as per the orders of the Department of Health & Family Welfare dated 29.10.2008.

Dr. A: I see.

Lawyer: Besides, as per Sec. 17 (2) (a) the pay and allowances and other conditions of service of the employees of the ESI Corporation are to be in accordance with the rules and orders applicable to the corresponding category of central government employees. Any denial of the benefit of the orders dated 29.10.2008 of the Department of Health & Family Welfare on the DACPS would be in clear violation of the provisions of the aforesaid Sec. 17 (2) (a) of the ESI Act, 1948, which is not permissible in law.

To sum up, you are all entitled to the benefit of Dynamic Assured Career Progression Scheme and get promoted to the post of Associate Professor in the pay band of Rs. 15600-39100 with Grade Pay of Rs. 7600 with effect from the date succeeding the day on which you had completed two years of regular service in the cadre of Assistant Professor in the ESIC PGIMSR. (At this moment, the ten-years old daughter of the Lawyer enters into the room. The lawyer looks at the wall clock. It is 7.45 AM. Time for him to go to a nearby town for a family function for which his wife has left already. His ten-years old daughter would not go with mother. She wants to accompany her indulgent father and has, therefore, entered into the office of the lawyer to remind him. The lawyer rises up. The doctors understand that their appointment is over)

Dr. A, B, C & D: Thank you, sir ! (The lawyer reciprocates their gesture. The doctors get up and move outside)

Act III Scene I

 

Scene: Near the exit gate of the house of the lawyer.

Cast: The Assistant Professors and the lawyer and his daughter.

 

(When the Assistant Professors are walking across the garden in front of the house of the lawyer, the car of the lawyer overtakes them. Suddenly, Mr. C, waves at the car to stop it. The car stops near them and the lawyer peeps out with an inquiring glance.)

Dr. C: Sir, when we pay, will you give receipt so that we could account for it before our friends?

Lawyer: Yes, of course ! And, you will have to pay 20% more for that.

(All the Assistant Professors are gasping in unison)

Lawyer: Hey, What happened? Shocked? No. Be happy! I haven’t charged 20% on that 20%, you know. I am, always, reasonable.  Charging only 20 instead of 30%. (The Lawyer drives the car on. But, the car stops at a distance. He peeps out of the car and shouts at the Assistant Professors there). Hey, GST, GST ! Keep that in view too !!

(The car glides away and disappears at a distance. The shell-shocked doctors take some time to recover.)

Dr. Ms. D: I didn’t know, yaar! Had I known, I would also have gone for advocacy.

Act III Scene II.

 

Scene: A highway.

Cast: The lawyer and his daughter in their car.

 

 No traffic rush is there on the highway. Only a few vehicles in sight sporadically. The Lawyer drives the car at slow speed. He switches off the AC and downs the window facilitating his daughter enjoy the cool morning breeze. His daughter prefers travelling in open car, always.

ACPS and DACP are different from normal promotions. It is for the normal vacany-based promotions or normal time-bound promotions, the provisions of the RRs have to  be invoked and the condition regarding the period of residency mentioned in the RRs required to be fulfilled. Introduction of ACP or DACP schemes was in addition to the avenues of promotion prescribed in the RRs. These schemes  are not to affect normal promotional avenue. While elaborating these facts pertaining to the ACP in its O. M. dated 09.08.1999, the DOPT had said, “The Fifth Central Pay Commission in paragraph 52.15 of its Report has also separately recommended a “Dynamic Assured Career Progression Mechanism” for different streams of doctors. It has been decided that the said recommendation may be considered separately by the administrative Ministry concerned in consultation with the Department of Personnel and Training and the Department of Expenditure.” The Press Information Bureau of the Government of India has also said, in its bulletin dated 07.08.2013,  

 

 “Central Health Service (CHS) Officers in Central Government are governed by the Dynamic Assured Career Progression (DACP) Scheme, which was implemented by Government of India based on the recommendations of Vth Central Pay Commission providing promotion to the CHS officers without linkage to vacancies upto the level of Chief Medical Officer – Non-Functional Selection Grade (CMO-NFSG)/ Specialist Grade I/ Professor w.e.f. 5.4.2002. The benefit of promotion under DACP Scheme was extended to Dental Officers under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare without linkage to vacancies upto the level of Staff Surgeon (Dental) (NFSG)/ Professor/ Maxillofacial Surgeon w.e.f. 25.8.2006.

 

Based on the acceptance of VIth Central Pay Commission’s the Government of India further extended the Dynamic Assured Career Progression (DACP) Scheme upto the Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) level without linkage to vacancies in respect of Medical and Dental Doctors in the Central Government, whether belonging to Organised Service or holding isolated posts w.e.f. 29.10.2008 .All Ministries/ Departments of the Central Government are required to implement the DACP Scheme accordingly in respect of Medical/ Dental Doctors under their control. This benefit of promotion upto the level of SAG without linkage to vacancies under DACP Scheme was also extended to the officers of various sub-cadres of Central Health Service (CHS) and Dental Doctors under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare w.e.f. 29.10.2008.” (http://pib.nic.in/newsite/mbErel.aspx?relid=98744)

 

The lawyer is lost in thoughts: “Unless the DACP Mechanism has been done away with, the authorities cannot deny the Assured Career Progression to his clients. They knew that and that was why they made this promise in the advertisement and in the offer of appointment to his clients in the year 2012. They knew that the earlier RR of 2009 had specified four years as the period of residency. And, yet, if the promise of DACP had been made in the year 2012, it implies that the Administration was aware of the fact that the DACP was an additional feature taking the promotional avenues beyond the provisions of the RRs”. The lawyer is not able to comprehend how the officers dealing with the case, at present, arrived at a different and strange conclusion that the RRs amended in 2014 would supersede the provisions of the DACP. How did they do it? How did they issue an order like the one dated 03.07.1017 in the case of Assistant Professors (Dental)? The lawyer is puzzled. 

Parrots

The chain of thoughts of the lawyer gets disrupted by his daughter who prods him to look at the parrots sitting on a roadside tree.  ‘Hm, that was a good case’, the ruminating lawyer throws a beaming smile at his daughter sitting near him. The kid responds with a smile too.

sparrow-flock-in-flight

She does not know that that beaming smile of her father is the outward expression of his inner joy at the erroneous notes submitted by the officials to mislead the Medical Commissioner of the Hqrs Office. She also does not know that her father wishes the officials to commit more such blunders. She is fascinated by the pandemonium of parakeets and  the flutter of sparrows flying in the sky. 

 

Parrot-flying

Images: Courtesy: net.

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Slave Labour Code: Unlimited rights to the Drafting Team !

Another reply from the Ministry of Labour is available. The reply received from the Ministry in their letter No. M. 13014 / 01/ 2017 – LRC dated 12.05.2017 is in reply to the application dated 19.04.2017 sent under the RTI Act which is available in the following link:

https://flourishingesic.info/2017/04/13/labour-code-whittling-down-accidents-covered-by-the-esi-act-1948-providing-subsidy-to-employers/

RTI reply MOLE 12 05 2017 copy

If the contents of this letter are true, it would imply that the entire draft Labour Code is the handy work of some bureaucrats who had taken unlimited liberty with the time-tested labour laws and have made a mincemeat of them through the draft Labour Code.

What is more, they do not know what their ultimate aim is but have attempted to write something as Labour Code and create unnecessary social unrest in the nation.

The earlier reply is available in the following link:

https://flourishingesic.info/2017/04/29/labour-code-premature-one-bizarre-method-of-law-making-draftsmen-ignorant-of-destinations/

 

 

 

 

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Do not amend Sec. 44 and wreck the safety-net ! Save ESIC and Save the nation !!

 

2012

In the year 2012, President Obama claimed that insurance premiums would go down (The Washington Post 10.08.2012).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/president-obamas-claim-that-insurance-premiums-will-go-down/2012/08/09/424048f2-e245-11e1-a25e-15067bb31849_blog.html

2016

The cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is expected to rise an average of 22 percent in 2017, according to information released by the Obama administration Monday afternoon.

Still, federal subsidies will also rise, meaning that few people are likely to have to pay the full cost after the rate increases to get insurance coverage.

“We think they will ultimately be surprised by the affordability of the premiums, because the tax credits track with the increases in premiums,” said Kevin Griffis, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The 22 percent rise reflects the average for all insurance marketplaces, both federal and state-based exchanges for which data are available. For insurance purchased through the federal HealthCare.gov exchange the rise will average 25 percent.

During a media briefing Monday, Griffis said the 2017 rates are roughly at the level the Congressional Budget Office forecast when the law was proposed. “The initial marketplace rates came in below costs,” he said. “Many companies set prices that turned out to be too low.”

Enrollment opens Nov. 1. For coverage effective Jan. 1, people need to pick a plan by Dec. 15. With a few exceptions, the last day to sign up for Obamacare is Jan. 31, 2017. Plans are available on HealthCare.gov and state-run exchanges.

While the average premiums on the benchmark health plans are increasing, the government says more than 70 percent of people buying insurance on the marketplaces created by the law could get a health plan for less than $75 a month for 2017. To get the best deal, people would have to pick a low-cost plan with limited benefits and take advantage of all the subsidies available.

People who already have coverage through the exchanges can often save money by switching plans, the administration said. More than three-quarters of people could save money by switching to the lowest-cost plan within the level of coverage, such as bronze or silver, that they’ve previously selected.

The Obamacare insurance exchanges are under strain after three major insurers pulled back from offering coverage in markets across the U.S. The administration says about 1 in 5 people buying insurance through the marketplaces will have only one company offering coverage.

It’s in places like that where consumers will feel the most pain. “Where it really matters is where a big insurance company has exited and where that’s going to leave just one company remaining,” said Cynthia Cox, associate director of health reform and private insurance at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “For those people who live in that area, many people may have to switch plans. And they won’t have much choice if they want to receive financial assistance and purchase through the exchanges.”

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/10/24/499190020/rates-rise-again-for-obamacare-health-plans-but-so-do-subsidies

 

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Time spent traveling to and from work is “work”- European Court of Justice !

 

” European Court of Justice said its ruling was made to uphold the health and safety of workers, which is protected by the EU’s working time directive. This legislation mandates that no employee should be forced to work more than 48 hours per week.”

For more:

A court has ruled that time spent traveling to and from work is “work”

Opposite is in India, run by businessmen-controlled-politicians, notwithstanding Sec. 51-E, which was a definite progress, in spite of procedural difficulties.

 

Here, increase in the Over time limit, meant actually to facilitate exploitation by the employers, is projected as a labour welfare measure:

 

picture1

 

 

Safety and Health – Polls apart 

“Requiring them to bear the burden of their employer’s choice would be contrary to the objective of protecting the safety and health of workers pursued by the directive, which includes the necessity of guaranteeing workers a minimum rest period.” – says the European Court of Justice.

 

Increasing the spread-over period to 12 hours is shown as the a safety and health measure in India.

There is no necessity to guarantee the workers any “minimum rest period”.

Mayday revolution resulted in 8+8+8 hours, i.e., 8 hours for work, 8 hours for forest, recreation with family and 8 hours to sleep. But, already the official 8 hours work has become 12 hours including the time taken for commuting to and fro workspot, in India. When the spread-over period is 12 hours, and the journey between the residence and workspot takes another 4 hours, where is the time for rest, family and sleep?

We are creating a society that would be poor in health and would need more medical attendance resulting in more expenditure on medical side by the ESIC and the State.

We do not care for any respectable slot in the Human Development Index or Global Prosperity Index.

Those who can change things, do not do their bit. But, they work for extricating themselves from that situation personally.

When are we going to usher in a civilised society free from exploitation?

 

 

 

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Ms. Bedford and Mr. Mallya ! Methods of Corruption Control in Public Offices !

The best method advocated by governments all over the world to control corruption among public servants is that the person who is harassed must report the matter beforehand to the authorities of the vigilance wing of the government which would help trap the corrupt.

But, the method used by clever employers of factories and establishments is something different. They pay the corrupt officers whatever they demand. Get it video recorded without the knowledge of the concerned officers and keep it documented. Thereafter, they get whatever report they want from those officers. Once the inspection is over, they invite the inspecting officer back to a room and replay the recorded video, which shows (1) the demand and (2) the receipt of illegal gratification. They recover the entire amount of bribe or the excess amount of bribe, as per their assessment, from the corrupt officer who pays back the money and runs away. The inspecting officers remain, thereafter, at the control of those corrupt employers.

Now, the entire nation knows that an agriculturist Mr. Balan, was severely beaten by the police at Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu for not having repaid two instalments of loan that he had bought for buying a tractor. The Hindu 11.03.2016 reports: “Balan had borrowed Rs.3,80,430 in 2011 from the Thanjavur Branch of the Kotak Mahindra Bank. He has so far repaid in six half yearly instalments of Rs. 68,543 each, a sum of Rs. 4,11,200 and needed to pay only two instalments when crop failure in successive seasons hit him like other delta farmers, forcing him to default on repayment …. Meanwhile, taking a stern look at the incident, the NHRC has issued notices to the State Chief Secretary and the DGP. Stating that such form of forcible recovery by itself amounted to human rights violation and compounded the nature of the offence committed by those who assaulted the defaulting farmer. The officials have been asked to file their report in two weeks time.” (For more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/assault-of-farmer-nhrc-notice-to-chief-secretary-dgp/article8338865.ece )

The same nation saw the rulers allowing Mr. Vijay Mallya, who had to pay about Rs. 9000 crores, to flee and escape, because, Mr. Mallya knew how to deal with the corrupt. But, the talent of this businessman does not end with the corrupt officers and political leaders. He had also been bribing the media men all along and recording the events.

Now, he is threatening them openly, which is another crime. This criminal must be booked for this crime of blackmail also and the documents seized and made public to enlighten the public about the ‘great’ media souls who corrupt the public opinion day in and day out.

When Ms. Bedford, the sex-worker, threatened that she would reveal the names of her customers, it worked.

Bedford and Mallya

As Mr. Mallya has threatened the media thus, his blackmail must already be working. The media would hereafter ‘behave’. And, Mr. Mallya who was fond of wine and women could continue to invent ways, with the help of the political leaders in his pockets, to borrow the remaining money from the banks and loot the nation.

The corrupt officers, political leaders and media men, who sold their souls and fell victims to the methods of seduction of Mr.Mallya would veer around now to protect him.

Truth must come out, in spite of these pests.

This incident must also warn, at least, the other officials of what is going on in the corporate world.

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CAG in December 2015 on ESIC Medical institutions !

I. 

Submission in the W.P. 12953 of 2015 filed in April 2015 and in the W.P. 18773 of 2015 filed in June 2015 before the Hon’ble High Court of Madras at Chennai:

“In the circumstances, the decision taken by the Respondent-2 (Director General) on 05.01.2015 to quit medical education and not to admit new batch of students is a correct one and it was intended to salvage whatever is left of the ESI Scheme and to prevent it from getting drowned”.

Findings of the CAG as per the Press Release in December 2015:

“Corporation decided to exit from the field of medical education in its 163rd meeting held on 4th December 2014 as it was not one of its core functions. The decision to exit from this endeavour was only an exercise to limit the liability” (Para 2.12).

II. 

Submission in the W.P. 12953 of 2015 filed in April 2015 and in the W.P. 18773 of 2015 filed in June 2015 before the Hon’ble High Court of Madras at Chennai:

“But, the decision taken all of a sudden on 14.07.2007 during the meeting of the ESI Corporation to establish 43 medical educational institutions in 17 states of India commenced the era of impedance in the functioning of the ESI Scheme. All of a sudden the ESIC started to enter into the field of medical education. And that too on a large scale at the initial stage itself without even testing waters through Pilot Project.”

Findings of the CAG as per the Press Release in December 2015:

“Due diligence, if any, carried out to ascertain the number of colleges required to be opened, to fulfill the future requirement of doctors and other paramedical staff was not available”. (Para 2.6).

“The organisation also did not have any concept paper or project report to assess the viability of opening medical colleges or alternatives to cope up with the shortage of medical personnel in the ESIC hospitals, the CAG said.” – Business Standard 18.12.2015.

For more:

and

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Imphal Free Press Editorial on societal death wish !

Silappadhihaaram, an illustrious Tamil literature of the days of yore, explains the real-life incident of a 22 year old woman fighting for justice and exposing, with evidence,  the corrupt bureaucracy and the defective decision-making-process of the competent authority (the King). Her fight was a lone battle. She asks, after having established the facts, why others did not come forward to question the wrong committed by the Palace Goldsmith and the King. She asks, to the eternal shame of the so called intellectuals,  whether there were learned men at all in the country (Saandrorum Unduhol?).

This literary work addresses the imperative for the consciousness among the people not just to be narrow-minded to look after their individual needs but to actively involve themselves in public issues and work for ensuring justice to the affected and thereby keep the society free from corruption and injustice. Kannahi the Great, is admired and adored by the posterity for her courage, talent and valour that she demonstrated at that tender age.

The statue of Kannahi on the Marina Beach

The statue of Kannahi on the Marina Beach

“The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil: but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”- said Albert Einstein.

Now, here is an excellent editorial from the newspaper, the “Imphal Free Press”. It is consoling to find a newspaper that sets the standard for journalism in an era in which many other major newspapers have gone for paid news and sectarian views. The editorial titled, “Future Imperfect” published by the newspaper on 23.10.2015 is reproduced below for the benefit of the readers:

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Future Imperfect

 The need to be remembered as men of integrity, and as someone who has contributed his little to society and humanity must have to be behind so much human valour, inventions, ingenuity, courage, philanthropy, generosity…. the list of virtues can go on. This need must be a basic instinct, although it has the tendency of showing up in varying degrees in different peoples and communities. Some are sensitive to it, others not so much. And this must also be what in the long run distinguished societies that have emerged at the top and those condemned to backwardness and subordinate position in the hierarchy of nations. In a way, the instinct must be also linked to man’s craving for immortality in an irredeemably transient world that has led many a philosopher to discover only absurdity in life. With death as the grim leveller of all life, men like French existential philosopher and literature Nobel Prize winner, Albert Camus, were led to believe that all philosophies are a matter of a desperate grapple with the absurdities of life to give meaning to what are essentially meaningless.

This absurdity is profoundly evident in existential questions that ask for an explanation how even the most powerful men and women, such as Ronald Regan, President of the US for two terms and Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of Britain who ruled with an iron hand once, and many others like them can also be reduced by Alzheimer disease to a vegetable like any other geriatric anywhere in the world before he met his end. What profound meaning can there be too in the fact that the greatest conqueror of the earth, Alexander of the Great should have died of the bite of a tiny and insignificant insect like mosquito in the prime of his life.

There is no escape from this overwhelming meaninglessness and hence the appeal and indeed relevance of the “existential despair” in everybody’s life. In the beginning and in the end, is the unavoidable void. A realization so well encapsulated in the Meitei cosmology symbolized by the various postures of the serpentine god, Pakhangba, with his tail in the mouth – in the beginning is the end and in the end the beginning.

Still the quest for permanence in the transience that is life must continue. This thirst is in fact as inevitable and compulsive as the existential despair itself.

This must be also what led many to resist a resignation, and not end up only as someone who live only for the present. Captivating as the picture of life portrayed by existentialism, even existentialist themselves have shown their longing for meaning. In Albert Camus’ much quoted essay “Myth of Sisyphus” for instance, the meaning and salvation of Sisyphus’ struggle, becomes the struggle itself. In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was punished by the gods to roll a massive rock up a summit-less hill. His whole purpose and mission in life thus became the prospect of toiling to push the rock up or be crushed under its weight. His endless and futile toil has today become an image of life, at once captivating, heroic and tragic, from the existentialist’s viewpoint. The toil itself becomes the meaning, for beyond it, there is nothing else. What exactly is there beyond our own individual struggles in life, and when can this struggle ever come to a conclusion, except in death.

The only way to ensure one’s legacy lives on is to leave footprints in time. And this is where the need to leave behind a memory of integrity and courage becomes an essential quality of winners, not just as individuals but also as a society. The two are closely interrelated, for indeed the achievement of the society is but the accumulative result of the achievements of individuals. The essential attribute of a society with a survival instinct in terms of this quest for permanence is a capability to leave enough space and concern for the future.

The urgent question that we are all called upon to ask at this tumultuous junction of the history of our society is, do we bother to contribute our share to the future or do we live just for the present. In the face of all the corruption, bribery, sycophancy, siphoning money from development projects, dishonest contract works, unfair trade practices, which have all become rampant today, we cannot at all be optimistic that there is such a concern for the future beyond myopic individual concerns and insecurities. Embedded in this unconcern for the common future, disturbing as the thought may be, there may be a societal death wish. Should we not make the move now to exorcise ourselves of this demon.

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The link; http://ifp.co.in/page/items/28904/future-imperfect

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When the E.I. Courts grant stay…

(1) The E I Court is not the appropriate forum to challenge the action taken for recovery under the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961. If a defaulter is aggrieved over the action of the Recovery Officer, he must, first of all, seek remedy as per the provisions contained in the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961 and not resort to Chapter VI of the ESI Act, 1948.

(2) The employers who did not approach the E.I. Courts, in time, to challenge the decisions of the Insurance Branch officers should not be allowed to cite the recovery action as the cause of action for the purposes of Sec. 77 of the ESI Act, 1948.

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One finds that the Employees’ Insurance Courts are approached by the employers not only against the decision regarding coverage, assessment of contribution or levy of damages but also against the action taken by the Recovery Officer under the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961.

There are employers who cite the recovery action as the cause of action to challenge the assessment under Sec.45-A of the said Act although they had failed to appeal, in time, to the E.I. Courts as per Sec. 77 of the ESI Act, 1948. There is a vital difference between the “appeal against assessment” and the “appeal against recovery action”. Any mix- up of the two would result in misrepresentation of facts and misinterpretation of law. But, such misrepresentations are entertained in the E.I. Courts and, consequently, the orders of the Insurance Branch Officer could not be enforced in time and action taken by the Recovery Officer gets affected.

The powers of the Recovery Officer to recover arrears from the defaulters and the procedure for recovery are codified in (1) the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961 and (2) the Income Tax (Certificate Proceedings) Rules, 1962. The Recovery Officer of the ESI Corporation is able to enforce these provisions by virtue of Section 45- H of the E. S. I. Act, 1948.

The Recovery Team spends a lot of man- days collecting information regarding the source of income of the defaulter, details of property, etc., by taking various actions like measuring the land and building, contacting the revenue authorities for information regarding survey numbers, patta details , etc., approaching the police authorities more than once for each and every case of attachment, attaching the business by sealing the premises for appointment of Receiver, freezing the bank accounts under Rule 26(1) of the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961 and Section 45-G of the ESI Act, 1948, etc.,

It is only when the employers ultimately realise that they cannot escape the coercive process anymore, they go to court and obtain stay. There are many cases in which stay orders had been served on the Recovery Officer exactly on the day notified for public auction. Thus, the sustained efforts taken by the Recovery Team to recover the dues are brought to naught at the last moment, by the stay orders issued by the Courts.

The Supreme Court has observed that “normally, the High Court should not, as a rule, in proceeding under Article 226, grant stay of recovery of tax, save under very exceptional circumstances. The grant of stay in such matters should be an exception and not the rule [Siliguri Municipality Vs. Amalendu Das – 1984 – 146 – ITR – 624-626 (SC) ]. Also, R. Laxmichand & Co. Vs. Union of India [1990 – ITR – 376 – (Guj.)].

The Chennai High Court is also of the view that the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be invoked for the sole purpose of obtaining an interlocutory order to stay the sale of properties in proceedings for realisation of Income Tax. {S. Km. Sathappa Chettiar Vs. ITO {1960 – 40 – ITR – 338 (Madras)}.

Thus, the Supreme Court and the High Courts have been averse to interfere with the acts and actions of the statutory authorities unless their actions are beyond jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction. But, even while the Supreme Court and the High Courts have, thus, been and are wary of staying the actions of the Recovery Officer except for some specific reasons as mentioned earlier, many of the E.I Courts are not found to exercise any such restraint in granting stay.

E I courts and Recovery Officers

Under Rule 83, the Recovery officer has all the powers of the Civil Court while trying a suit, for the purpose of

(1) receiving evidence,
(2) administering oaths,
(3) enforcing attendance of witnesses and

(4) compelling production of documents.

The Recovery Officer, in the discharge of his functions under the aforesaid provisions, is deemed to be “acting judicially” within the meaning of the Judicial Officers Protection Act, 1850 (18 of 1850), as specifically mentioned in Rule 82 of the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961. The Judicial Officers Protection Act seeks to confer protection to persons performing judicial functions. “By a layman, it may be taken as denoting only persons belonging to the lower judicial cadre of the State, but the Act is not confined to them. It extends to all persons who act judicially – broadly speaking ‘Judges”. (Para 4.1 – 104th Report of the Law Commission of India). The term “Judge” has been defined in Sec. 19 of the Indian Penal Code. The concept of “acting judicially” has been expressed more comprehensively under Sec. 77 of the Indian Penal Code.

Sec. 82 of the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961 is a special provision intended to provide statutory protection to Recovery Officers. All the elements, which are essential for a judicial tribunal to adjudicate on a subject matter which is brought before it, are present in a proceeding before the Recovery Officer.

“The tribunal as distinguished from the court, exercises judicial power and decides matters brought before it judicially or quasi-judicially, but does not constitute a court in the technical sense.”( Engineering Mazdoor Sabha Vs. Hind Cycles Ltd. -AIR 1963 SC 874, 978 ). Tribunals can, thus, be quasi- judicial ones too.

“According to the doctrines of constitutional and administrative law, these (quasi-judicial) authorities are regarded as bound by the rules of natural justice” (Para 5. 5 – 104th Report of the Law Commission of India -1984). “Natural justice is based upon the innate moral feeling of mankind”. “Particular form of legal procedure may not be necessary”. But, the “decision must be in accordance with the principles of substantial justice”. (Rulings under Sec. 10 (1), Industrial Disputes Act, 1947). The Recovery Officer must ensure that his action falls within these parameters.

The recovery procedure enunciated in (a) the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961 and (b) the Income Tax (Certificate Proceedings) Rules, 1962 is complete enough and comprehensive in itself. These provisions clearly specify the fora for the defaulters to seek remedy against the actions taken by the Recovery Officer. The Rule 9, Rule 11 (6) and Rule 16 (1) are relevant in the context.

Specific appellate provisions to seek remedy against the actions taken by the Recovery Officers under the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961 are incorporated in the same Schedule under Rule 86 read with Rule 55-A and 55-B of the Income Tax (Certificate Proceedings) Rules, 1962. “When a statute gives a special and particular remedy to the aggrieved party, the remedy provided by that statute must be followed”. (Page 709 – Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 – K.D. Srivastava – Fifth Edition) These appellate provisions can neither be ignored nor be made redundant by projecting only Sec. 74 – 83 of the ESI Act, 1948.

The issue whether the E.I. Courts, which are “domestic Tribunals” (ESIC Vs. Ram Lakhan, AIR 1960 Punjab 559) constituted under Section 74 of the E.S.I. Act, can stay the action taken by the Recovery Officer is not dealt with here. Nor is the fact that the E I Courts are not civil courts but have only a trapping of civil courts elaborated here. But, the E.I. Courts are not made aware of these appellate provisions. Nor are they informed that the jurisdiction of even the Civil Courts must be

deemed to have been excluded to the extent indicated in Rule 9, Rule 11(6), Rule 16(1) of the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961 and also in Rule 47 of the I.T. (Certificate proceedings) Rules, 1962. [Malabar Produce and Rubber Co. Ltd. Vs. TRO [1990 – 184 – ITR – 275, 282, (Ker.)].

Bar on civil courts

Rule 9 of the Second Schedule to the I.T. Act makes it very clear that every question arising between the Recovery Officer and the defaulter relating to

(a)  theexecutionofacertificate;

(b)  thedischargeofacertificate;

©  the satisfaction of a certificate;

(d)  the confirmation of a sale held in the execution of such certificates; and

(e)  setting aside a sale held in the execution of such certificates

shall be determined not by suit, but by order of the Recovery officer before whom such question arises.

The provision, does not, however, preclude a Civil Court in respect of any such question upon the ground of fraud. It implies that the Civil Court is not expected to interfere in the recovery of ESI dues, when there is no allegation of fraud. A suit can be filed in a Civil Court only if fraud is alleged. [Hari Prasad Vs. TRO (1984) 145-ITR-48, 54 (All.); Ayesha Khatoon Vs. Union of India (1980) 126 – ITR 489 (Cal.); Shamboo Prasad Bajraria Vs. Union of India (1979) 120 ITR 782 (Cal.); Milan Kumar Mukherjee Vs. Union of India (1984) 149 ITR 730 (Cal.)]. The word ‘suit’ means a proceeding instituted in a civil court by the presentation of a plaint.

In Radha Kishan Vs. Ludhiana Municipal Council, the Supreme Court observed: “Under Sec. 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the court shall have jurisdiction to try all suits of civil nature excepting suits of which cognizance is expressly or impliedly barred” (AIR – 1963 –SC- 1547). “Where there is an express bar of jurisdiction of the court, an examination of the scheme of the particular Act to find the adequacy of the sufficiency of the remedies provided may be relevant but is not decisive to sustain the jurisdiction of civil court” (Dhulabhai Vs. State – AIR-1969-SC -78)

In spite of the existence of the bar under Rule 9 in the Second Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1961 and in spite of the abovementioned rulings by the higher Courts, the E.I. Courts grant ex-parte stay in an indiscriminate manner. As a result the recovery process gets scuttled.

Stay orders for the mere asking

The Supreme Court has, in Assistant Collector of Central Excise Vs. Dunlop India Ltd., and others (SLP (Civil) No.s – 12312-13, dated 30.11.1984) observed thus: “It is indeed a great pity and, we wish we did not have to say it but we are afraid we will be signally failing in our duty if we do not do so. Some courts, of late, appear to have developed an unwarranted tendency to grant interim orders – interim orders with a great potential for public mischief – for mere asking. We feel greatly disturbed. We find it more distressing that such interim orders, often ex-parte and non-speaking, are made even by the High Courts while entertaining writ petitions under Art. 226 of the Constitution and in the Calcutta High Court, on oral application too. In several cases, Siliguri Municipalilty Vs. Amalendu Dass, Paper Mills Co. Ltd. Vs. State of Orissa, Union of India Vs. Oswal Woollen Mills Ltd., Union of India Vs. Jain Shudh Vanaspathi Ltd., this Court was forced to point out how wrong it was to make interim orders as soon as an application was presented……. We have come across cases where the collection of public revenue has been seriously jeopardised and budgets of Governments, and Local Authorities affirmatively prejudiced to the point of precariousness consequent upon interim orders made by Courts”.

In this case, the learned single judge of the High Court had taken the view that a prima facie case had been made out in favour of the company and, therefore, by an interim order, allowed the benefit of the exemption and directed the goods to be released on the Bank Guarantee being furnished. The Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court had also confirmed the order of the learned single judge. But, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal with costs saying, “ We do not have the slightest doubt that the orders of the learned single judge as well as Division Bench are wholly unsustainable and should never have been made”.

Take these facts to the notice of the courts

These facts must be brought to the notice of the relevant courts, in an appropriate manner, by the Recovery Officers or the Insurance Branch Officers, as the case may be, whenever the defaulters seek the intercession of the Courts, especially the E. I. Courts and obtain stay.

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