MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court recently directed the inspector of labour of Kanniyakumari to maintain 'physical attendance registers' in all branches of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Tirunelveli Ltd) as per the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishment Rules.
Justice Battu Devanand passed the order on a petition filed by a transport corporation labour association - Tamil Nadu Arasu Pokkuvarathu Kalaga Kamaraj Nadar Tholilalar Sangam from Kanniyakumari- in 2016. The association had sought the above relief on charges that taking advantage of the non-availability of attendance register, the authorities of the TNSTC division in the Kanniyakumari district mark absent drivers and conductors, who take part in trade union activities, despite them performing their duty.
Nearly 5,000 staff work in the 12 branches functioning under the TNSTC-Tirunelveli division in the Nagercoil region and except conductors and drivers, all other staff have attendance registers, the association claimed.
It also pointed out Rule 6 of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishments (Conferment of Permanent Status to Workmen) Rules, 1981, which states that every employer of an industrial establishment shall maintain a register of workmen in formal.
Hearing the plea, Justice Devanand noted that as per Section 5 of the 1981 Act, it is the duty of the labour inspectors to examine if industrial establishments maintain such registers and records as required under the Act.
Though the counsel appearing for the corporation informed that the biometric attendance system is being followed from 2019 onwards, the judge opined that the authorities should also have physical registers by following Rule 6 of the 1981 Rules as not having them might lead to deprivation of rights of the members of the petitioner association.