18 Jan 2022 4:30 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has directed the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to constitute a committee in order to frame a broad policy for all its establishments in respect of contractual workers.Justice Pratibha M Singh added that the Committee shall consist of at least two experts, two representatives from the Workmen and two representatives from the Contractors, as also...
The Delhi High Court has directed the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to constitute a committee in order to frame a broad policy for all its establishments in respect of contractual workers.
Justice Pratibha M Singh added that the Committee shall consist of at least two experts, two representatives from the Workmen and two representatives from the Contractors, as also other officials, as the ESIC deems appropriate, in order to frame the proposed policy.
"The proposed policy would take into account all the requisite measures that need to be employed to ensure that the interests of the contractual workers is not adversely affected in any manner," the Court said.
It added that the committee shall also look at the terms and conditions that should be incorporated in agreements which would be entered into by the ESIC with the contractors.
"The issue relating to engagement of PSUs, which in-turn, engage third parties as sub-contractors and whether the same ought to be permitted, would also be considered by the said committee," the Court said further.
The Court was dealing with two petitions filed by workmen who were contractually employed with the Employees' State Insurance Corporation Hospital, Basai Darapur, Delhi.
The grievance of the Workmen was that their services were illegally terminated by the Respondent Authorities, under the pretext of changing the contractor. Accordingly, they approached High Court praying for reinstatement in service as also for a direction to the Respondent Authorities to give preference to the them over fresh contractual employees.
During the course of proceedings, the Court was informed that a Committee was constituted for suggesting a draft policy in respect of the contractual employees, and a report by the said Committee was stated to be placed before the Standing Committee of the ESIC.
The said Report was also directed to be placed before the Court, in a sealed cover. The ESIC was also directed to place on record the contracts entered into by it with the previous contractors, sub-contractors as also the new contractors.
As per the Court directions, Mukhmeet Singh Bhatia, Director General of ESIC had joined the virtual proceedings. The Court therefore noted that the ESIC intended to frame a proper policy in respect of contractual workers and also to put in place a mechanism to exercise supervision over contractors who were supplying the manpower for the various establishments.
"Time is sought for constituting a committee to draft a proper policy which would have applicability on a pan-India basis for all ESIC establishments, in respect of engagement of contractual workers, their working conditions, preferences, if any, to be given to long serving contractual workers even when new contractors are engaged, safeguards to be employed in the agreements to protect the interest of the contractual workmen, as also the terms and conditions of the contracts to be entered into with contractors," the Court noted.
While passing the aforementioned directions, the Court said that the ESIC shall consider accommodating the Petitioners Workmen who have been serving the ESIC for the last 10 to 15 years, in case a new contractor is being engaged or if the earlier contractor is being granted an extension.
The matter will now be heard on February 14.
Title: Sh. Hansraj & Ors v. ESIC & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 89
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