The Central Government on Thursday submitted that BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Limited (BATL) is a ‘public limited company and wholly owned subsidiary of BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL)’, which is an Indo-Russian joint venture. A joint venture between the Indian and Russian governments cannot but be a government company fully controlled in India by the Ministry of Defence, the Centre submitted. It also made it clear that since BATL is a subsidiary company set up by BAPL, the appropriate government that can represent BATL could be only the Central Government according to the Industrial Disputes Act.
Assistant Solicitor General of India P Parameswaran Nair made the submission following a directive of the High Court to the Union Government to clarify whether BATL, a subsidiary of Brahmos Aerospace Private Ltd, is a private or government company. The court had issued the directive on a petition filed by BrahMos Staff Association (INTUC) and BrahMos Employees Union (CITU) seeking to quash the notification exempting BATL from the provisions of the Kerala Recognition of Trade Unions Act.
In reply, the Centre said that it is a first-of-its-kind cooperation anywhere in the world between two sovereign countries to develop ballistic missiles and the project is a reflection of the warm and cordial defence ties between India and Russia.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia together formed BrahMos Aerospace. Hence, it is owned by India through DRDO and Russia through NPOM. The state government had also submitted that if trade union activities were allowed at BATL, that would affect the defence preparedness of the nation and would be difficult for the company to survive and progress.