GUWAHATI: Big conspiracy of Coal India Limited has been exposed before the High Court on September 24 September’ 2020, when the High Court has stayed transfers of 231 numbers of its employees made by Coal India Limited from its North-Eastern Coalfields to other parts of the Country.
In a petition filed by four employees association of North Eastern Coalfields, it was alleged that the Coal India Limited has adopted an anti-industrial policy and in a process to handover, its coalfields to the private sector and accordingly stopped all its mining operations since June 3, 2020, in its Tirap and Tikak Coalfields in Tinsukia District of Assam.
Initially the Coal India Limited has denied such allegations and informed the Court that it awaits only the Forest Clearance from the Central Government and once it receives such clearance all coalfields will be functional. It was also assured before the Court that employees need not to be worried upon as there was no such policy either of closing down or privatization of its Coalfields as anticipated by its employees and the employees would not be adversely affected in anyway.
However in spite of such assurances given before the High Court and specially at a time when the matter is pending adjudication before the High Court, the Coal India Limited has most surprisingly tried to reduce its working staffs by 25% by transferring 231 numbers of its employees on a single date to various other Coalfields in India.
Dr. Ashok Saraf, Senior Advocate while appearing on behalf of all four Employees Association has categorically argued before the Court that when such specific assurances has been made by the Coal India Limited that its employees would not be adversely affected, such transfer of mass employees, made subsequently, is a clear violation of all industrial norms and indicates its intension of closing down and privatization as anticipated by the employees.
Further such transfers are made at a time when the Government of India has already prescribed a moratorium on transfers of its employees till April, 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. Upon such strong argument advanced by Dr. Ashok Saraf, Senior Advocate, the High Court by a significant Order passed on September 24 has stayed the aforesaid transfers of 231 numbers of employees made on a single day by Coal India Limited and directed to file its reply by October 13.
Suman Chetia, counsel on record for all four Employees Association has informed that this is the first time any Industrial Sector in North East has attempted such large scale transfer of its employees on a single day by reducing almost 25 percent of its working staffs which clearly indicates its intention of closing down and privatization.
The State has recently experienced with dis-industrialization of Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited in its both Nagaon and Cachar Units and in case North Eastern Coalfields are not protected and functional many other industries will also come to an end as those are running upon the coal produced by Coal India Limited in its North-Eastern Coalfields. Bokajan Cement Factory and National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd., Namrup are such industries among others completely dependent upon North Eastern Coalfields.