Indore: Upholding the verdict of Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Supreme Court in its interim order on Thursday directed the state government to clear pending dues of Rs 50 crore of closed down Hukumchand mill workers.
“A division bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R Bhanumathi passed the order giving seven days to the government to clear the dues,” said advocate Girish Patwardhan, who argued the case on behalf of the workers.
The Hukumchand Mills was closed down about 25 years ago leaving nearly 5,000 workers jobless. As per directives of HC, the land of the mill was to be auctioned for clearing pending dues of the workers including salary, gratuity, etc. Efforts were made to sell the mill land but to no avail. Meanwhile, the state government had moved to the SC challenging the HC order.
In a jolt to the government, the apex court directed it to pay from its coffers Rs 50 crore to the mill workers. The SC also stated it would be hearing on the petitions related to the mill issues. This means that a pending petition at HC may not be tired at Indore bench now.
Welcoming the SC’s decision, workers’ leader Harnamsingh Dhaliwal said that the court had ensured that the aggrieved mill workers get their dues before Labour Day. Next hearing has been set for May 1. Recently, Indore Municipal Corporation had informed Indore bench that it had received an amount of Rs 50 crore from the state government which it would deposit in the account of liquidator but the amount has not been deposited as yet.