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Whether seasonal workers of the sugar factories stopped crushing years back would be entitled to retaining allowance

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 3937-3938 OF 2011
Warsaliganj Sahkari Chini Mill Mazdoor Union … Appellant (s)

Versus

State of Bihar and others … Respondent (s)
WITH

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4201 OF 2011

South Bihar Sugar Mills Workers Union
and others … Appellant (s)

Versus

State of Bihar and others … Respondent (s)
J U D G M E N T
KURIAN, J.:

1. Whether seasonal workers of the sugar factories stopped crushing
years back would be entitled to retaining allowance, was the main
issue agitated by the appellant-union before the High Court. It was
held by the High Court that as there was no crushing in the sugar
factories, the seasonal workers will not be entitled to retaining
allowance. Aggrieved, the union has come up in appeal.

2. At the time of hearing of the appeals, taking note of the
intervening development of an Exit Settlement scheme/plan, learned
Senior Counsel Shri Amarendra Sharan submits that at least for the
purpose of working out the benefits under the said plan, the
retaining allowance may be directed to be taken into account.

3. Heard the learned counsel appearing for the respondents also.

4. It is seen from the additional affidavit dated 10.02.2015 that the
seasonal workers attached to the sugar factories which have been
closed down long back are actually made to retire only on attaining
the age of 60 years. In one of the communications, it is stated
that the company did not require their services after the age of 60
years. Thus, in the case of those seasonal workers who had been
working in those sugar factories referred to in the appeals, though
not actually provided with work after the closure of the factories,
they have been retained till they attained the age of
superannuation, apparently for some pensionery benefits which they
are otherwise eligible. That being the position, it is only just,
fair and reasonable that at least, notionally, the retaining
allowance which would have been otherwise payable to them, had the
factories been functional, be taken into account for the purpose of
calculating their pensionery benefits or the benefits under the
Exit Settlement scheme/plan.

5. Ordered accordingly. In order to avoid any confusion, it is
clarified that the seasonal workers attached to the sugar factories
referred to in the appeals will not be entitled to any retaining
allowance: however, the retaining allowance, which would have been
otherwise payable, will only be taken into account for the purpose
of calculating the benefits due to them in terms of the Exit
Settlement scheme/plan or pensionery benefits. Needful shall be
done by the respondents within a period of four months from the
date of receipt of copy of this order.

6. Appeals are disposed of as above. There shall be no order as to
costs.

……………………..J.
(M.Y. EQBAL)
……………………..J.
(KURIAN JOSEPH)
New Delhi;
February 16, 2015.
———————–
NON-REPORTABLE

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