In a latest development in the case of revival of Assam Paper Mills, the Delhi High Court directed the Government of India to file an affidavit clarifying the intent of the government regarding the revival of the Hindustan Paper Corporation.
“Let a specific affidavit be placed on record on the decision taken, if any, by the Government of India as to whether the Government is intending to revive Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd,” the order read. The next date of hearing is on September 28.
Based on the hearing of the petition filed by Cachar Paper Project Workers Union was held on August 26, the Delhi High Court noted that “Court is assured that a report record giving the updated status of the 500 Workmen would be submitted at least two days before the next date of hearing”.
It may be mentioned here that the data of the 500 employees of the paper mills to whom the amounts were to be disbursed were submitted to the respective counsels however, the UAN Nos. and the PF Nos. were not provided.
“The status report would also indicate the total amount of disbursements made to the Workmen, including the 500 Workmen whose details have been given by the Petitioner, as well as the balance amounts lying with the EPFO,” the order noted.
The JACRU (Joint Action Committee of Recognised Unions) of Nagaon & Cachar Paper Mills, Assam, welcoming the order expressed, “The commitments and assurances repeatedly given by Government of India and Assam would unveil the face of reality while the affidavit on the revival of HPC would be submitted before the Hon’ble High Court and the Citizens of Assam would realise whether the governments and ruling party honour their commitment & election manifesto”.
JACRU revealed that the Appellate Tribunal, NCLAT passed an Order to ensure that the government was directed to infuse required funds to revive the industries but the government didn’t pay any heed to the order of NCLAT.
The employees’ salaries have been withheld for the last 56 months imposed inhuman torture on the workers resulting deaths of 92 workers including 3 who died by suicide due to “various compelling circumstances due to nonpayment of salary”.
But the union body assured that mass movements will continue including “legal battle with the support of respected citizens till the industries of Assam revived, all legitimate dues of workers are cleared and the huge scope of employments for unemployed youths of Assam ensured”.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma during a press conference in the national capital on August 10, asserted there was no scope for the revival of the two defunct Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) mills in Assam, however, the State Government can clear the employees’ dues within ten days if they (employees) are ready to take their dues. The government is offering a package of Rs 630 crores.