BENGALURU: Not a single hearing has been conducted for the last five months at the only Central Government Industrial Tribunal (CGIT)-cum-Labour Court for the state. With the Centre deciding to permit all Employees Provident Fund (EPF) related cases also to be heard here, justice is getting delayed to both the employers and employees now.
Based at Goraguntepalya inside the Labour Commissioner’s office, the previous incumbent Justice V S Ravi was posted at the Army Tribunal, Mumbai, on October 31, 2017 and relieved with immediate effect. Hence, from November 1, there is no presiding officer at the CGIT, but the presiding officer at the Hyderabad Tribunal has been given additional charge.
Owing to heavy workload there, not a single hearing has been held in Bengaluru so far.High Court advocate V S Naik, who also practices at the CJIT, specifies that 580 cases are pending before the tribunal. “In addition, another 40 cases that are waiting to be filed here have not been done,” he says.
The Indian Law Practitioners Forum has filed a writ petition in the High Court calling for the posting of a presiding officer at the CGIT and the hearing is to be held next week, Naik said. Cases pertaining to sectors covered under the Industrial Establishments Act like airlines, and mines, and public sector industries like HMT, BHEL, BEML are heard here. This is also the forum to hear cases pertaining to dismissal or termination of services of employees as well as cases filed by unions of various organisations.
By a notification issued on May 26, 2017, the Centre directed that all cases pertaining to EPF will be heard at the CGIT-cum-labour courts located at 22 places in the country.
“This shifting of PF cases inside each state offered a big relief as the earlier need to travel to New Delhi to attend the hearings by both parties can be avoided now,” the advocate said.Meanwhile, a source inside the State Labour Commission office said steps to fill the vacant post of presiding officer have already commenced. “Advertisement has already been called for. It is a long process and it will take many months before the post is filled.”The Ministry of Labour and Employment on June 1, 2017, issued a notification to the registrar general of all High Courts calling for the vacancy to be filled.