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Employer cannot be forced to keep employee: SC

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 28 (UNI) The Supreme Court has held that an employer cannot be forced to keep an employee against his will as an employer is entitled to employ a person he likes.

A bench comprising Mr. Justice S.B. Sinha and Mr. Justice P.K. Balasubramanyan vide its judgment dated March 24 while setting aside the Kerala high court judgment dated March 22, 2005 dismissing the petitions challenging the validity of Abkari Act and Kerala Abkari Shops Disposal Rules 2002, held that rules must be in conformity with the provisions of the main Act.

The appeals were filed in this court by the Kerala Samsthana Chethu Thozhilali Union seeking to declare Rules 4(2) and 9(10) (b) of the Kerala Abkari Shops Disposal Rules 2002 as unconstitutional.

The trouble started when the state of Kerala banned the sale of arrack (a type of local liquor) on April 1,1996.The arrack workers were rendered jobless though they were paid Rs. 30000 each as compensation.

The state of Kerala framed rules namely rule 4 (2) after lapse of six years laying down that each toddy shop must absorb one arrack worker. The toddy shops which survive the closure order were also forced to absorb the workers of toddy shops closed down and the workers registered with the Toddy workers Welfare Fund Board as on March 31,2000.

While declaring the rule 4(2) as ultra vires the apex court said that when a policy decision is taken ,the consequence therefore must ensure rehabilitation of the workers.

The court also ruled that right of a citizen to enter into contract can not be restricted unless it is expressly prohibited by law or is opposed to public policy.The rules must be made to further the purpose of the main act.


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