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HC refuses to declare Maruti strike illegal

By Motortrend India Staff   |   13 October,2011

Intervening in the ongoing strike in the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India’s Manesar plant, Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday issued certain directions to ensure smooth functioning of the plant. High court, significantly, refused to declare the strike illegal.

In its directions the court directed the striking workers to leave the premises of the factory and not to hold any strike within 100-meter area of the plant and near the main roads. The court directed the Police commissioner Gurgaon to ensure that no loyal worker of the company was targeted or troubled by the striking workers.

The police commissioner has also been directed to provide the striking workers a suitable place to lodge their protest. The directions were issued by Justice Surya Kant of the HC on Thursday while hearing a petition filed by Maruti Udyog Limited.

While fixing November 29 as the next date of hearing of the case, Justice Surya Kant also issued notices to Haryana government, the labour commissioner and the commissioner of Police Gurgaon asking them to file their reply on the issue.

In its petition, Maruti had pleaded for declaring the strike illegal and for prosecuting the workers who had defied the injunction orders passed by a civil court Gurgaon in April restraining them not to go on strike.

Arguing before the HC, counsel for Maruti Udyog, Pawan Mutneja argued that despite the injunction orders by the local court, the workers had resorted to strike causing huge loss to the company as well as the revenue. He added that in September, an agreement was executed between the company and the striking workers.

Following the settlement, those who filled ‘good conduct’ bonds were retained in service, the rest were charged. The counsel further argued that a gang of certain accused workers were creating problems for other loyal workers of the company and were restraining them from discharging their duties properly.

Due to the prolonged strike at Maruti Suzuki India’s Manesar plant since June this year, the loss of revenue has reached to the tune of nearly Rs 350 crore for the government, while the company has already suffered a hit of up to Rs 1,540 crore.

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