Friday, August 19, 2022

Kerala High Court disposes of pleas against illegal strike of KSEB employees

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The Kerala High Court disposed of two petitions filed seeking a direction against the illegal strike of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) employees.

A division bench of the High Court, by order dated April 26, 2022 directed the State of Kerala, represented by its Principal Secretary, Department of Power, Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram, to initiate conciliation talks between the Board and the members of the KSEB officers association and try and arrive at an amicable settlement.

It was further directed that if the KSEB employees go ahead and indulge in any conduct falling within the purview of Section 2 of the Kerala Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1994, under any banner or nomenclature, in violation of the rules of the Board, which disrupts the generation, distribution and supply of electricity in the State of Kerala, the State of Kerala shall immediately issue appropriate orders under the Kerala Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1994, and prohibit such conduct. The Board was given liberty to take appropriate action against the erring employees in accordance with law.

K.M. Sathyanatha Menon, Standing Counsel appearing for the KSEB, submitted that pursuant to the same, action has been taken, and he has also filed a statement dated 30.05.2022 for and on behalf of Chairman and Managing Director of KSEB detailing the action taken by the Board and the settlement stated to have been made between the parties.

It is submitted by the counsel for the KSEB officers association that the averments contained in the affidavit dated 27.07.2022 filed by KSEB officers association with respect to the bona fides of the petitioner of and also as to how the petitioner had obtained certain documents, are not to be taken seriously and that they are not relevant for the disposal of the petition.

In view of the above, the Division Bench of Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly held that adjudication of the issues raised in the petition on merits is not required. Accordingly, these petitions are disposed of by the High Court placing on record the statement of the Board dated 30.05.2022 that action has already been initiated against the erring employees.

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