Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The 32 years of struggle by closed down Hukumchand Mills workers has come to an end with Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court directing Madhya Pradesh Housing Board to deposit Rs 425.89 crore in an independent account in the Bhopal branch of State Bank of India within three days.
Out of this amount, Rs 174 crore compensation and Rs 50 crore interest will be paid to the workers. Other debtors of Hukumchand Mill will be paid from the remaining amount. The court will hold next hearing on December 11. On this day, principal secretary (urban administration) Neeraj Mandloi has to appear personally and submit the affidavit. The hearing was held before a single bench of Justice Subodh Abhyankar on Friday.
The Election Commission's lawyer told the court that the application regarding permission for payment in the Hukumchand Mill case was received from Madhya Pradesh Housing Board, which has been accepted and permission for payment has been given despite poll code being in force in the state. On this, the court asked Madhya Pradesh Housing Board whether it is ready to make the payment. The court was informed that the Board is ready to pay the workers and other debtors of the closed down mill. To this, Advocate Dheeraj Singh Pawar, who was appearing on behalf of the workers, said that the workers are eagerly waiting for the payment. Pawar appealed to the court to order immediate payment. Justice Abhyankar, after hearing all the parties, ordered the deposit of the amount in the bank account and also said that it could not be used without the permission of the court.
What’s the case
On December 12, 1991, the Hukumchand Mills management closed the facility. Since, 5,895 workers of the mills are slogging for their rightful pending dues. About 16 years ago, the High Court had fixed a compensation of about Rs 229 crore in favour of the mill workers. Out of this, Rs 174 crore has not yet been received by the workers. This amount was to be paid by selling the mill land but despite inviting tenders seven times, the mill land could not be sold. Recently, the Indore Municipal Corporation and Madhya Pradesh Housing Board have jointly agreed to bring residential and commercial projects on the mill land.