Congress gets court notice on sacked staffers’ plea


New Delhi: A Delhi court has issued notice to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on a petition alleging that it unjustifiably terminated 44 of its employees who had been working for decades.

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Labour Court presiding officer Chander Gupta issued the notice to the AICC seeking its response by Aug 16.

The notice came earlier this week during the hearing on a petition of Sudha Gupta, who was working as telephone operator since October 1978 before being sacked July 31, 2010.

The court also took note of 10-12 other similar petitions.

“Madan Lal was working as a driver with the AICC since August 1986, his services were terminated July 31, 2010,” said the petition filed by counsel Ratneswar Das, who added that the 44 employees were sacked without giving any reason.

“The management of the AICC headquarters never provided to its workmen any welfare facility granted by the Delhi government,” said Das.

“The management did not even bother to open Employees Provident Fund (EPF) accounts, which is a violation of law, and due to non-opening of the EPF account the workmen of the establishment were deprived of the facilities of the employees pension scheme,” Das said.

Gupta said: “I have served for 32 years but I was never given any promotion and remained in grade-D till July 31, 2010, when I was compelled to accept voluntary retirement by the management.”

She said that many of her juniors, who joined the establishment much after her, were promoted.

Her petition said that a “rumour spread that the new general secretary and the new generation leader of the party, Rahul Gandhi, has come up with an idea that he will make the party office a ‘model party office’ with new smart faces, so some of the old ones will have to lose their jobs”.

Around 44 employees were forced to take voluntary retirement, and whoever opposed the management was threatened, the petition said.

The management agreed to pay compensation to the 44 employees but the money was still to be paid, it said.