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Court directive for takeover of estates

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, JAN. 8. The Kerala High Court has directed the Central Government to take over the nine sick estates of the R.B.T. Private Limited in Peerumedu after invoking Chapter 3 A of the Tea Act if there was no scope for revival of the estates.

Justice R. Rajendra Babu issued the directive while disposing of a writ petition filed by the High Range Estate Labour Union. According to the union, 5,000 employees were working in the nine tea estates. The mismanagement of the estates had thrown them into the red.

The judge said that the Central Government should take up the matter and do the needful to save the employees. If there was no scope for revival, the Central Government should take over the estates within six months as contemplated under the Act.

Judgment stayed

A Division Bench today stayed the operation of a single judge's verdict quashing the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC)'s circular clarifying that the employees working in the store wing of the KSRTC depots were not entitled to avail of second Saturday holidays.

The stay order came on a writ appeal filed by the KSRTC against the judgement. The single judge had quashed the circular issued on January 2003 on the ground that it had been issued unilaterally without giving notice to the employees.

The verdict was delivered while allowing a writ petition filed by Store Keepers of depots in Angamaly and other centres.

In its appeal, the KSRTC contended that the stores were attached to the mechanical wing of the depot. They had to supply spare parts of the buses to the workshops. If they did not work on second Saturdays, it would affect the running of buses on those days.

Judge's record

Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair has surpassed the national average by disposing of as many as 9,066 cases during last year. The national average for a judge per year was below 2000 cases.

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