The Calcutta High Court, on Tuesday, directed the Duncans Industries to run seven ailing tea gardens, which the Union government had notified for takeover from the company, and pay regular wages to workers in an interim order.
A division Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice G C Gupta and Justice A Banerjee , directed that Duncans Industries would be able to do regular business dealings only and would have to pay regular wages to the workers of the seven tea gardens in North Bengal, in an interim arrangement till further orders.
The company would also have to submit report to the Tea Board on payment of wages to the workers every 15 days, the court directed.
Duncans had moved the division Bench in an appeal against a single Bench order that said that the takeover by the Centre was legal.
The Centre had initiated the process of takeover of the seven ailing tea gardens following reports of pitiable conditions of workers and their families, who had allegedly been not paid wages for a long time.
The Union Commerce Ministry had in January issued a notification authorising Tea Board to takeover the seven tea gardens in Dooars area of North Bengal. Duncans had moved the High Court challenging the notification, but had lost the plea before a single Bench.
The company had then moved the division Bench challenging the single Bench order.