Assam NRC: Case against Wipro for rule violation

The company allegedly violated the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act of 1970 while handling the digital part of the NRC project

September 30, 2019 05:45 am | Updated 05:45 am IST - GUWAHATI

A view of the WIPRO office in Hyderabad.

A view of the WIPRO office in Hyderabad.

The Labour Commissioner’s office in Assam has filed a case against information technology major Wipro for executing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise without obtaining a contract labour licence.

Wipro allegedly violated the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act of 1970 while handling the digital part of the project through a Guwahati-based firm.

The case was filed at the court of the chief judicial magistrate.

“We filed the petition at the court of the chief judicial magistrate about a fortnight ago. The firm was found not to have obtained the mandatory contract labour license for the NRC project,” Labour Commissioner Narayan Konwar told The Hindu.

The 1970 Act warrants such a license for every firm employing 20 or more people on any day of the preceding 12 months as contract labour and for every contractor employing or is employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.

The NRC authority had in 2014 invited tenders twice for system integration of the NRC project. Wipro, the only firm to make a bid on both occasions was awarded the contract that entailed recruiting 7,000 data entry operators and payment of their salaries by the local firm the IT major had sub-contracted.

The office of the Labour Commissioner had acted on a complaint by a group of data entry operators in September 2017 who alleged that each operator was being paid less than half the Rs. 14,500 per month the government had earmarked.

Wipro representatives declined to comment on the case.

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