Kerala High Court has sought a clarification from the Union Government on whether Brahmos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram (BATL), a subsidiary of Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd, is a private or government company.
The Centre has been asked by Justice C K Abdul Rehim to file an affidavit in this regard.
The court issued the direction recently on a petition by the INTUC affiliated Brahmos Staff Association and CITU affiliate Brahmos Employees Union challenging a state government notification exempting the company from the provisions of Kerala Recognition of Trade Union Act, 2010.
According to the state government, it was against allowing trade union activities at BATL as it could affect the defence preparedness of the nation and the smooth functioning of the organisation which is involved in the production of components required for missile projects.
The submission in this regard was made in a affidavit by Under Secretary Labour and Rehabilitation Department, P Snehalata when the petitions came up before the court.
The official stated that the notification was not illegal.
The state said the Union Government had control over the BATL through BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd.
BATL is involved in the manufacture of metallic components, launcher containers and airborne launchers for BrahMos missiles.
Some more major orders and missile engine project will also be assigned, she said, adding, their order book has been strengthened with an order for BrahMos missile related jobs worth Rs 150 crore. ISRO, DRDO and Ministry of Defence are among their valued customers.
Kerala Hi-Tech Industries ltd, was been taken over and rechristened BATL, five years ago. The existing trade unions had agreed to cease trade unions functioning in the company during the takeover, the official pointed out.
According to the petitioners, BATL is a private company and exempting it from trade union activities was illegal. They submitted that Union government had only 50.5 per cent of equity shares in the company while the Russian government holds the rest.