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Delhi High Court dismisses petition of PTI employees filed against retrenchment; to be handled by Industrial Disputes Act

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New Delhi: Justice J R Midha of the Delhi High Court has dismissed writ petitions filed by the PTI Employees Union and the Federation of PTI Employees Unions against the retrenchment of 297 employees by Press Trust of India by a notice of September 29, 2018.

The judge said in his order:

“Both the writ petitions are dismissed on the ground that the retrenched employees have statutory remedy under the Industrial Disputes Act and no ‘exceptional circumstances’ have been made out by the petitioners. The retrenched employees are at liberty to avail appropriate remedies available to them under the Industrial Disputes Act.”

It was also held in paragraphs 63, 64 and 64 of the judgment that “In view of the well settled law by the Supreme Court that the writ petition relating to an industrial dispute can be entertained only if there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. It is mandatory for the writ petitioner to disclose those ‘exceptional circumstances’ in the synopsis as well as in the opening paragraphs of the writ petition.” In this case the petitioners do not disclose any such ‘exceptional circumstances’ in the writ petitions.

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The contention of the petitioners is that the PTI is amenable to writ jurisdiction as it satisfies the public function test; all the retrenched employees are “workmen‟ within the meaning of Section 2(s) of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and PTI is a “factory‟ within the meaning of Section 2(m) of the Factories Act, 1948 as PTI engages in “manufacturing process‟ of news, articles, publications, photographs etc. within the meaning of Section 2(k)(i) & Section 2(k)(iv) of the Factories Act, 1948. All the 37 centers of PTI in the country constitute a single establishment under Section 2(d) read with the Schedule of the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955. Further contended that all centres/establishments of PTI are industrial establishments within the meaning of Section 25-L of Industrial Disputes Act and permanent and regular workmen have been retrenched while contractual workers have been retained.

Read the order here;

JRM18092020CW105962018_203009

-India Legal Bureau

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