New Delhi, Mar 7 (UNI)The Supreme Court was today informed that 60 tea estates and tea gardens, spread over four states in the country, have taken Rs 4000 crore during the last eight years without paying anything to about 60,000 workers whose total dues are about Rs 400 crore.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran granted liberty to the petitioner, International Union of Food, Agriculture and others to implead 60 tea gardens and tea estates spread over four states namely Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Uttarakhand as they are going to be affected by the decision of the court in this PIL.
Counsel for the state of Assam, however, denied the allegation of any embezzlement by tea garden owners.
Counsel for the petitioner, Gonsalves, however, alleged before the court that it is a massive fraud having been committed by the tea estates and tea companies.
The apex court fixed the matter for hearing in the last week of April.
UNI AKS/SC RC RP PM1515