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Greaves Cotton Ltd. Vs. Inspector of Police, Ranipet and Ors. - (High Court of Madras) (11 Jan 2021)

Petition for police protection under Section 482 of CrPC is not maintainable



The Petitioner Company was running a Factory at Ranipet and it had employed nearly 146 persons to carry on with its operations. Certain demands were raised by the 2nd Respondent Union during the month of June 2020. The matter was referred to the Conciliation Officer, Vellore. An attempt was made to conciliate the dispute between the parties but however, the same ended in a failure and a failure report was submitted by the Conciliation Officer to the Government through proceedings.

The Government referred issues for adjudication to the Industrial Disputes Court. In the meantime, the Petitioner Company stopped the operations in the Factory at Ranipet and wanted to shift its assets from the premises and the same was resisted by the aggrieved workers. Therefore, the present Criminal Original Petition has been filed seeking for Police protection to remove the assets from the Factory premises.

The Petitioner Company had stopped the production in the Factory premises from March 2020 onwards. An attempt was made to transfer the employees to the other Units belonging to the petitioner Company and it was not accepted by many of the employees. That apart, an attempt was also made to settle the monetary benefits to the employees on a golden handshake policy and it was accepted only by some of the employees. The petitioner Company claims that the Factory has been closed down and the 2nd respondent Union refutes this claim on the basis that there is no closure in the eye of law and it has not taken place as per the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act. A substantial amount has also been claimed towards the settlement by the employees represented by the 2nd Respondent Union.

A petition for Police Protection under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), is not maintainable. However, this Court has also been vested with jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to issue writs on the criminal side. Therefore, the only issue that requires consideration is as to whether this Court should exercise its discretion and issue directions to the Respondent Police to grant Police Protection in order to enable the Petitioner to move the assets from the Factory premises.

In view of claims made by the aggrieved employees represented by the 2nd Respondent Union and also taking into consideration the fact that, the Government has already referred the dispute to the Industrial Disputes Court for adjudication and substantial rights of the parties are involved to be adjudicated by the Industrial Disputes Court, present Court is of the considered opinion that, this is not a fit case to exercise its discretion and provide for Police Protection to remove the assets from the Factory premises. Such removal of assets from the Factory premises may have a bearing on the claims made by the employees represented by the 2nd Respondent Union. Therefore, the Police should not be involved in a case of this nature where there is an Industrial dispute pending adjudication. Hence, this Court is not inclined to grant the relief as claimed by the Petitioner Company. Petition dismissed.


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