The Supreme Court last week asked the Maharashtra government to make an industrial reference of a 10- year- old dispute in which the employees alleged that they were forced by fraud and misrepresentation to sign the Voluntary Retirement Scheme ( VRS). The tribunal imposed cost of ₹ 1 lakh each on the appeals of the company for causing delays. The amount shall be distributed among the workers. The apex court upheld the judgment of the Bombay High Court and dismissed the appeal of the company in the case, Ariane Orgachem Ltd vs Wyeth Employees Union. The drug company took over Wyeth Ltd along with its employees promising continuity of terms and services. But later a VRS was introduced and most workers signed it. But after some months, they wanted reinstatement alleging that they were compelled to sign on blank papers, which later turned out to be VRS. The labour commissioner refused to refer the dispute to the industrial tribunal, starting prolonged litigation. The Supreme Court stated that the allegation of the union that they were forcibly terminated and paid arbitrary amounts required examination by the tribunal.
Supreme Court judgement: http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/img...filename=42649