DUJ Welcomes Historic Delhi High Court Judgement
The following is the press statement issued by the Delhi Union of Journalists on November 19, 2014 THE Delhi Union of Journalists welcomes the judgement of the Delhi High Court reinstating the 272 workers of the Hindustan Times. The DUJ congratulates the 272 brave workers of the Hindustan Times Ltd for their historic victory against the management. Justice Suresh Kait has termed their retrenchment arbitrary, upheld the earlier judgement of the Industrial Tribunal and granted them reinstatement in service with back wages for the past nine years. The Tribunal had on January 23, 2012 ordered reinstatement of the workers but the Hindustan Times management chose to drag its feet on the issue, seeking to divide the workers and evade the order. The High Court order of November 17, 2014 not only upholds the Industrial Tribunal order but in addition clarifies that full back wages must be paid. The order says, “reinstatement with full back wages is the proper relief to which the workmen are entitled, especially when their termination from services nine years back was based on a fictitious/sham transaction.” It also says, “In case the relief of back wages is denied to the workmen, it would tantamount to placing a premium on the fraudulent conduct of the management which by its order of dismissal has virtually deprived hundreds of workmen of right to life and livelihood.” Further the order states, “It is pertinent to point out here that 13 workmen have already died while fighting for their rights. Some of them if reinstated today had substantial remaining period of service. Several workmen had lost their family members as they did not have the necessary financial assistance or support to seek medical remedies.” While hailing the verdict the Delhi Union of Journalists demands that the Hindustan Times management provide immediate relief to the workers by reinstating them and paying them their back wages. The DUJ thanks senior advocate Colin Gonsalves for his stellar role in fighting for the workers’ rights. The judgement, the DUJ believes, will strengthen the workers’ resolve to struggle for implementation of their rights. It will also provide hope to the retrenched journalists and other workers who are fighting several court battles against the Hindustan Times management.