Madras HC rejects plea to reinstate workers, asks Labour Court to decide quickly

By an order dated January 9 this year, Chemplast Sanmar had disengaged the services of 77 workers.

Published: 22nd May 2019 03:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2019 03:56 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has rejected a plea from Mettur Chemicals and Plastic Workers’ Union and one N Surendhiran to reinstate 77 workers, who were disengaged by the management of Chemplast Sanmar Limited. Justice V Parthiban, however, directed the Labour department, where the dispute is pending, to hear the matter and decide the issue within six months.

By an order dated January 9 this year, Chemplast Sanmar had disengaged the services of 77 workers. The writ petition from the union sought to quash the same and consequently order their reinstatement in service. Petitioner union’s senior counsel NGR Prasad contended that the action of Chemplast Sanmar is illegal, arbitrary and unjustified. The workers were victimised for their union activities and claimed absorption, he added.

Chemplast senior counsel S Raveendran submitted that the writ petition itself is not maintainable, as his client is a private establishment and not amenable to writ jurisdiction. In any event, the union had chosen to approach the authorities constituted under the Industrial Disputes Act. Therefore, the proper course open to them is only to pursue the remedy under that law. The grounds/reasons do not disclose any public element or duty cast on the management and in such an event, the writ petition, as it is, cannot be maintained. As the dispute is already before the Labour Court, let the petitioner union pursue the course before it, he said. 

Conceding the contention of Raveendran, the judge said that he is of the view that the prayer in the writ petition is not maintainable under Article 226 of the Constitution. As the petitioner union itself had chosen to approach the Labour Court to pursue their dispute, it is well within their right to pursue such a remedy. This court, in the circumstances of the case, does not think that any order for payment of stipend could be considered since that would be beyond the pale of any statutory backing.

It is open to the union to pursue the dispute before the authority, the judge said and following a request from Prasad, directed the Labour Court to conclude the dispute quickly. It should dispose of the dispute as expeditiously as possible, not later than six months, the judge said and disposed of the petition.

8 edible oil firms restrained from using ‘Gold Winner’ trademark

The Madras High Court has restrained eight edible oil manufacturing companies in the State from using/infringing the trademark right of Kaleesuwari Refinery Private Limited in Mylapore over the name ‘Gold Winner’. Justice S Vaidyanathan granted the injunction while passing interim orders on the batch of applications arising out of a civil suit from Kaleesuwari, recently.

According to Kaleesuwari counsel Vijayan Subramanian, his client had also obtained copyright registration for the artistic work used along with the label of ‘Gold Winner’, a Kaleesuwari brand, for the RSO and also obtained various other copyright registrations for its products and these registrations are also valid and subsisting as on date.

While so, other respondent companies started using similar artistic work under various brands such as Gold Star, Winner Gold, Gold Minister and 22 other brands, by which the plaintiff company’s business, name and reputation it had earned over the decades, were affected. The firms so restrained from using the trademark are Golden Refineries Private Limited, Vellakoil, Sri Ram Traders, Dindigul, RG Agencies, Theni, Kalasakthi Agro Private Limited in Arcot and four others.


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