the 18-year-old case

H/l: 18 years on, sacked worker still waits for backpay, reinstatement

Posted: Tuesday , Feb 09, 2010
AADITI JATHAR LAKADE

Twenty years ago, in 1989, Tukaram Ganpat Gaikwad lost his job as a painter with M/s Bhagwat Glass because he demanded a minimum fixed wage from his employer L N Shinde.

Not the one to give up, Gaikwad has been fighting his case in the labour court ever since — to get back his wages and reinstatement. In 1992, the Pune labour court ordered Shinde to reinstate Gaikwad and pay back his wages. Shinde is yet to carry out the court order.

Said advocate Santosh Mhaske, counsel for Gaikwad, “Shinde has been consistently disobeying the court orders, thrice till date. Taking cognisance of the repeated contempt of court, IIIrd labour court judge P T Rahule on January 22 ordered Shinde to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 or undergo 15-day simple imprisonment.

While Shinde has paid up, Gaikwad has not got any assurance of reinstatement of payment of wages. Now 50, Gaikwad, who has a wife and three school-going children, manages his expenses by doing odd jobs. Gaikwad used to work with Shinde on a daily wage of Rs 40. As per the court order, he should get his wages since 1994, which amounts to Rs 1.72 lakh excluding the ancillary benefits.


The court’s first order came in 1992 directing Shinde for reinstatement and payment of back wages. When Shinde did not pay heed, Gaikwad filed another case under unfair labour practices in the industrial court. In 2002, Shinde was directed to comply the order within two months. The same year Shinde appeared before the court for the first time, since the case began, and pleaded not guilty.

His defense was that he was not the proprietor of Bhagwat Glass nor had he any concern with it. He knew Gaikwad as he was his neighbour but never employed him. However, this was challenged by witness Rajaram Kate who testified that both Gaikwad and he used to work with Bhagwat Glass.

The latest order states “it is not the case of the accused that he could not comply the order of the industrial court for some or the other reason. Any sort of suggestions in that regard has not been given and hence it is obviously clear from the evidence on record that the accused has clearly and intentionally did not comply, rather disobeyed the order of the industrial court.”

Shinde remained unavailable for comment.

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