‘Appropriate authority for TV channel staffer’s plaint is central labour court’

Mumbai: A city labour court has said that it does not have the jurisdiction to entertain a complaint against a TV news channel, as the appropriate authority to deal with the company is a labour court constituted by the central government.

The decision came eight years after a former employee of TV18 broadcast limited - Ajaz Shaikh filed a complaint against the company, its CEO and Vice President, HR.

His complaint said that he had joined the company in 2007 as Promo Editor and assisted in preparing promos and commercial ad films. In his complaint registered with the labour court in 2011, he complained that he was suddenly asked to resign.

He was served with a termination letter some days after that without following due process. He sought that he be reinstated and paid full back-wages and it be declared that the company had engaged in unfair trade and labour practice under law.

The company had challenged the complaint in the court, stating that since Shaikh’s job required creativity and application of mind, he did not fall under the category of a workman as defined under labour laws.

The company said further that it is a controlled industry, the central government is the appropriate government in relation to it and a labour court constituted under the state government had no jurisdiction to decide the case.

It said further that the complaint was filed under the Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act and the law was only applicable if the state government was the appropriate government.

While stating that the workman can approach an appropriate forum for redressal of his grievance, it also vacated an interim order passed by it in the complaint in 2014.

-Bhavna Uchil: A city labour court has said that it does not have the jurisdiction to entertain a complaint against a TV news channel, as the appropriate authority to deal with the company is a labour court constituted by the central government.

The decision came eight years after a former employee of TV18 broadcast limited - Ajaz Shaikh filed a complaint against the company, its CEO and Vice President, HR. His complaint said that he had joined the company in 2007 as Promo Editor and assisted in preparing promos and commercial ad films.

In his complaint registered with the labour court in 2011, he complained that he was suddenly asked to resign. He was served with a termination letter some days after that without following due process. He sought that he be reinstated and paid full back-wages and it be declared that the company had engaged in unfair trade and labour practice under law.

The company had challenged the complaint in the court, stating that since Shaikh’s job required creativity and application of mind, he did not fall under the category of a workman as defined under labour laws.

The company said further that it is a controlled industry, the central government is the appropriate government in relation to it and a labour court constituted under the state government had no jurisdiction to decide the case.

It said further that the complaint was filed under the Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act and the law was only applicable if the state government was the appropriate government.

While stating that the workman can approach an appropriate forum for redressal of his grievance, it also vacated an interim order passed by it in the complaint in 2014.

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