The High Court of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Monday, admitted a writ petition moved by recently retrenched employees of Tech Mahindra seeking their reinstatement. Justice M S Ramachandra Rao, while admitting this writ petition filed by Sudhakar Suddala and three others, issued notices to Principal Secretary, Labour and Employment Department, Government of Telangana, Joint Commissioner of Labour Ranga Reddy, and Tech Mahindra, directing them to give their responses within three weeks. He also permitted the petitioners to serve personal notices to Tech Mahindra in this regard.
Appearing on behalf of the four petitioners, Senior Counsel A. Satyaprasad, informed the Court that the management of Tech Mahindra company was resorting to large scale illegal retrenchment of employees in its Hyderabad facility. He pointed out how the Human Resources department of the company was pressurising the employees to tender their resignations and leave the company. The petitioners had approached the Joint Commissioner of Labour (JCL), Ranga Reddy, under whose jurisdiction the company falls, complaining against such high handed illegal methods being adopted by the company. Even as the JCL had initiated conciliation proceedings to resolve this issue, the company had given the employees termination letters. Mr. Satyaprasad informed the court that this was clearly violative of Sec 47(2) of Telangana Shops and Establishments Act. Since the exemption from this provision of the Act to IT companies given by the state government vide G.O. MS No. 22 has been stayed by the High Court itself in another petition, the Senior Counsel sought a direction to the JCL to act in reinstatement of the petitioners, pending conciliation proceedings.
Over the last month, more than 80 petitions have been filed with the Labour Commissioner’s office and with the Development Commissioner’s office, Special Economic Zone. The petitioners, from various companies, are challenging their terminations. According to the prevailing law (Telangana Shops and Establishments Act, 1988), no employee can be terminated if there is a pending petition with the Labour Commissioner.
ForIT expresses its happiness that the High Court has taken cognizance of the IT retrenchments by admitting this writ petition. Issuing notices to Tech Mahindra is a positive development. We, the IT employees, need to realise that there are laws that protect our livelihoods, and we should fight to retain those rights.
Y. Kiran Chandra
Forum of IT Professionals