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ED Summons to District Collectors A ‘Fishing Expedition’ Without Showing Existence Of Proceeds Of Crime: Madras High Court.

ED Summons to District Collectors A ‘Fishing Expedition’ Without Showing Existence Of Proceeds Of Crime: Madras High Court.

Title : State of Tamil Nadu v Enforcement Directorate

Case No. : W.P.Nos.33459 to 33468 of 2023

Decided on : 30.11.2023.

CORAM : HONBLE JUSTICE S.S.SUNDAR, J. AND SUNDER MOHAN, J

Introduction

All the above writ petitions are filed by the State Government along with the Additional Chief Secretary to Government, Water Resources Department and the District Collectors concerned. Writ Petition Nos.33459, 33460, 33461, 33462 & 33467 of 2023 are filed by the State Government and two others to quash the respective impugned summon issued to the District Collector of Vellore District, Trichy District, Karur District, Thanjavur District and Ariyalur District, requiring the appearance of the respective District Collectors to give evidence and produce records as indicated in the annexure, in connection with the investigation/proceedings under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 .

Fact of the Case

The respondent, namely, the Assistant Director, Directorate of Enforcement has filed an objection affidavit. The learned Additional Solicitor General raised a preliminary objection stating that the writ petitions are not maintainable by the State Government, as the State is not an aggrieved person to challenge the process of investigation. The learned Additional Solicitor General also relied upon a few complaints registered in different parts of the State. Referring to the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the learned Additional Solicitor General submitted that as per the First Information Report mentioned in the ECIR, prima facie, it is observed that the activities of illegal mining are happening in the State of Tamil Nadu in collusion with officials and local mafia, hand in glove.

Case Analysis and Judgment

Court sincerely appreciates the way in which the respondent had responded to these writ petitions within a short time. A detailed affidavit of objection is filed by the respondent raising several issues. The learned Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioners requested time to file reply in response to the objection in the form of affidavit. The learned Additional Solicitor General also submitted that they may be permitted to file a detailed counter affidavit.

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Madras High Court Asks Centre to Reconsider Enhancing Retirement Age Of Coast Guard Staff To 60 Years For All Ranks.

Madras High Court Asks Centre to Reconsider Enhancing Retirement Age Of Coast Guard Staff To 60 Years For All Ranks.

Title : Lakshmichandra Harishchandra Sharma v. Union of India

Case No. : W.P.No.415 of 2021

Decided on : 23.11.2023.

CORAM : THE HON’BLE MR. SANJAY V. GANGAPURWALA, CHIEF JUSTICE AND THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE D.BHARATHA CHAKRAVARTHY

Introduction

Writ Petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying to issue a Writ of Declaration to declare Rule 20(1) of the Coast Guard (General) Rule 1986, relevant SRO 76 dated 19 April 1999 and the impugned decision of the 1 st respondent in No.14(14)2020-D(CG) communicated to the 2 nd respondent dated 21.07.2020 fixing the retirement age as 57 for Commandant as null and void and non est in law and consequently direct the respondents to fix the retirement age of the petitioner as 60 years at par with Deputy Inspector General of Indian Coast Guard instead of 57 years with all consequential service and other attendant benefits.

Fact of the Case

These writ petitions are filed by the petitioners, who were members of the Coast Guard with two limbs of prayers. Firstly, they challenge the constitutional validity of Rule 20(1) of Indian Coast Guard Rules, 1986. Secondly, they challenge the order passed by the Government of India, Ministry of Defense, dated 21.07.2020, refusing to enhance the age of retirement of the members of the Coast Guard up to the level of commandant also to be 60 years from 57 years.

Case Analysis and Judgment

In the result we dispose of the writ petitions with the following directions:

  • The impugned order of the first respondent bearing reference No.14 (14/2020 – DCG), dated 21.07.2020 shall stand set aside and the matter shall be reconsidered by the first respondent in view of the reasonings contained supra in the Judgment;
  • It would also be open for the petitioners to make such representation in detail and bringing forth such material before the first respondent within a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order and thereafter, the first respondent shall reconsider the issue in accordance with law, within a period of four months therefrom;
  • No costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous Petitions are closed.

https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/lakshmichandra-harishchandra-sharma-v-union-of-india-506797.pdf

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“Apex Court Overturns Labour Court Decision: Upholds Employer’s Position on Workman’s Engagement and Onus of Proof.”

Title: Shambhu Lal vs Union Of India

Citation: D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 14655/2022

Coram: HON’BLE THE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE MR. MANINDRA MOHAN SHRIVASTAVA

Decided on: 17/05/23

Introduction:

The writ petition challenges the judgment dated 12.07.2022 from the Central Administrative Tribunal, Jaipur Bench. In this judgment, the Tribunal dismissed the Original Applications (‘OAs’) filed by the petitioners. The OAs contested the verbal termination orders dated 30.06.1992/01.07.1992.

Facts:

The writ petition challenges a judgment from the Central Administrative Tribunal, Jaipur Bench, dated 12.07.2022, which dismissed Original Applications (‘OAs’) filed by the petitioners contesting their verbal termination orders dated 30.06.1992/01.07.1992. The petitioners argue that the Tribunal erred in fact and law, asserting that the termination was malicious. They claim that the recruitment advertisement issued on 23.03.1991 was for short-term positions on sanctioned posts, not contractual employment. The petitioners allege no prior notice before termination, having worked more than 240 days in the twelve preceding months. They argue that since posts were available until 31.12.1993, terminating their services before this date is illegal.

The case history involves previous litigations, including a writ petition in 1992, an industrial dispute leading to a negative award in 2012, and subsequent writ petitions dismissed in 2017. The Division Bench granted liberty to the petitioners to challenge the termination order, leading to the filing of OAs before the Tribunal, ultimately dismissed on 22.07.2022.

Judgement analysis:

In this case, the Labour Court found a violation of Section 25-F of the Industrial Disputes Act, directing the reinstatement of the workman with 50% back wages. The employer’s writ petition challenging this decision was dismissed by the High Court, which upheld the award. The employer appealed to the Apex Court, arguing that both the Labour Court and the High Court erred in relying on factually and legally erroneous premises. The employer contended that the workman was engaged on a casual basis with daily wages for specific work and a specified period, falling under Section 2(oo) (bb) of the Act. The employer claimed that the details in this regard were undisputedly filed. The Apex Court, referencing precedents, held that the relief granted by the Labour Court and the High Court cannot be maintained.

Additionally, the Apex Court emphasized that the onus regarding working for more than 240 days rests on the workman, citing precedent. The Court allowed the appeal filed by the management, overturning the decisions of the Labour Court and the High Court.

The judgment concludes by stating that, based on the discussions, there is no case favoring the petitioners. The writ petition is dismissed as devoid of merit. This analysis highlights the Apex Court’s scrutiny of factual and legal aspects, emphasizing the employer’s position regarding the nature of the workman’s engagement and the onus of proof on the workman.

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Written By: Gauri Joshi

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“Equitable Jurisprudence Prevails: Court Upholds Fairness and Consistency in Granting Employee Benefits”

Title: Secretary Administration Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam

 Limited vs Rashtriya Bijali Karmachari Union (INTUC) Rajasthan

Citation: S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.8015/2017

Coram: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ASHOK KUMAR GAUR

Decided on: 24-01-23

Introduction:

In this case, the petitioner, who is the employer, has filed a writ petition challenging the award dated 02.12.2016 issued by the Industrial Tribunal in Jaipur. The petitioner’s counsel argues that the Industrial Tribunal was tasked with adjudicating the claim of the respondent-workman concerning his entitlement to a basic salary of Rs.595 on 19.04.1985. The central question is whether the employee is entitled to relief if the specified salary was not paid.

Facts:

In this case, the petitioner-employer challenges an award issued by the Industrial Tribunal, Jaipur, dated 02.12.2016. The petitioner argues that there is a jurisdictional error by the Industrial Tribunal in granting relief to the petitioner by holding him entitled to a basic salary of Rs.580/- per month, as no such reference was made for this specific relief. The petitioner contends that the Industrial Tribunal exceeded the scope of the reference, and such an act is impermissible in the eyes of the law. It is emphasized that the respondent-workman did not pray for the relief of a basic salary of Rs.580/- per month, and there were no pleadings supporting such a claim. The petitioner relies on the Bombay Gas Company Ltd. V. Gopal Bhiva case, stating that the Industrial Tribunal lacks the competence to go beyond the terms of the reference.

However, the respondent-workman argues that the Industrial Tribunal’s award does not warrant interference under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. It is asserted that the relief granted is incidental, permissible under Section 10(4) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The respondent contends that the Industrial Tribunal rightly considered the principle of equal pay for equal work concerning similarly situated employees and molded the relief accordingly.

The court, after hearing both parties, finds that the respondent-workman’s claim for a basic salary of Rs.595/- per month was rejected, and the Industrial Tribunal, after analyzing evidence, justified the grant of a basic salary of Rs.580/- per month based on the salaries of similarly situated employees. The court concludes that the Industrial Tribunal did not exceed its jurisdiction, and the relief granted was within the scope of the reference. The petitioner’s arguments regarding jurisdictional error and lack of pleadings are rejected, and the court upholds the Industrial Tribunal’s award.

Judgement analysis:

In this judgment, the court rejects the submissions of the petitioner’s counsel, emphasizing that if the court has already settled a controversy regarding entitlement to a particular pay scale for similarly situated employees, it would be unfair to deprive the respondent-workman of the benefit simply because he was not a party in the earlier litigation before the High Court.

The court acknowledges that the Industrial Tribunal considered relevant factors, including pleadings and evidence, in reaching the conclusion that the respondent-workman was entitled to the granted relief. It emphasizes that the award took into account the settled issue regarding the pay scale in question. The court distinguishes a cited judgment (Suresh Chandra vs. General Manager, Raj. State Bridge & Construction Corporation) where the Labour Court’s jurisdiction was deemed to be exceeded. In the present case, the court finds that if the respondent-workman raised a dispute, and the Labour Court, after reference by the State Government, found the relief justified based on the treatment of similarly situated employees, it did not exceed its jurisdiction.

As a result, the court dismisses the writ petition, and no costs are awarded. The judgment underscores the principle of fairness and consistency in granting benefits to employees based on settled issues and comparable cases.

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Written By: Gauri Joshi

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Madras High Court regarding the issue Person in Unauthorised Occupation Of Land Cannot Claim Protection Under Article 19, 21 If Eviction As Per Law.

Madras High Court regarding the issue Person in Unauthorised Occupation Of Land Cannot Claim Protection Under Article 19, 21 If Eviction As Per Law.

Title : Gunasekaran v. State of Tamil Nadu

Case No. : W.P.No.3002 of 2018

CORAM : THE HON’BLE MR.SANJAY V.GANGAPURWALA, CHIEF JUSTICE AND     THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE D.BHARATHA CHAKRAVARTHY

Decided on : 23.11.2023.

Introduction

The petitioner seeks declaration that Section 6 of the Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment Act, 1905 [for brevity, “the Act of 1905”] is void and violates Articles 14, 19(1)(e) and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Fact of the Case

Mr.M.Elango, learned counsel for the petitioner, submits that Section 6 of the Act of 1905 is arbitrary, discriminatory and unreasonable. Right to shelter is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The impugned Section 6 of the Act of 1905 takes away the right of residence of the petitioner and other persons. Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that by virtue of the operation of Article 13 of the Constitution of India, the impugned Section 6 of the Act of 1905 is deemed to be void. The Act of 1905 is a pre-constitutional Act and is not in conformity with the fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India. The Governor has not granted any approval to the Act of 1905 after the Constitution came into force.

Case Analysis and Judgment

Once the Constitution Bench of the Apex Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the Act of 1905, and more particularly the same provision assailed by the petitioner, it will not be permissible to again consider the challenge to the same. The petitioner could not remotely show a semblance of right over the subject writ property. The procedure has been followed while evicting the petitioner. In the light of the above, the writ petition deserves to be dismissed and is hereby dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. Consequently, W.M.P.No.3670 of 2018 is closed.

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Written  by Nimisha Sunny

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