The Supreme Court asked the Madras High Court to take up the matter afresh and decide the question of termination of the workers on merits in six months.

The Supreme Court on Monday questioned the Madras High Court for disposing of the petitions relating to the sacking of 13,000 Makkal Nala Paniyalargal (welfare workers) accepting the compromise arrived at between the union office-bearer and the Tamil Nadu Government.

A Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave and Dipak Misra, after hearing senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina for the petitioners and senior counsel Rakesh Diwedi for the State, set aside the compromise order and asked the High Court to take up the matter afresh and decide the question of termination of the workers on merits in six months.

The appeal was filed by the Tamil Nadu Makkal Nala Paniyalargal Munnetra Sangam against a judgment of the Madras High Court disposing of the appeal accepting a compromise entered into by the erstwhile general secretary with the State government to pay five months salary to the terminated workers. On behalf of the sangam, it was submitted that 13,000 welfare workers were sacked in November 2011 by the AIADMK government and the High Court single judge had recorded a finding that the dismissal was for political reasons.

Govt. scheme

It said the workers were appointed in 1989 pursuant to a scheme formulated by the then government to help educated unemployed by prescribing tenth standard as the educational qualification for the post. They were removed when the AIDDMK government came to power, again re-employed then sacked and again re-employed.

The sangam said the High Court ought not to have accepted the compromise entered into by the erstwhile secretary of the sangam Mr. Palani. It also drew the court’s attention to an order passed by the present government to recruit AIADMK party men for the same posts. The sangam also said after the impugned judgment 15 workers had committed suicide. These workers had been robbed of their, tenure, their aspirations and future. They had become the helpless victims of certain swift moves on the political chess board.

The sangam said “The sole reason is that whenever the AIADMK comes to power the poor workers become a playful toy in its hands and are kicked out from the jobs as it is the other political party (DMK) who had conceived and given employment to unemployed youths numbering to 13000. Therefore these workers have been victims of political chess board for the past 23 years and the present government disbanded their services. The sangam prayed for a direction to quash the April 26, 2012, judgment and the order dismissing the review petition.

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