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The Historic Judgment  – Moni Bose Recognised as General Secretary

On 18th September 1993, Justice Susanta Chatterjee of Calcutta High Court delivered the Historic Judgment in the case filed against the order of the DOT de-recognising Moni Bose as GS. The Court directed the DOT to declare Moni Bose as the duly elected General Secretary of the All India Telecom Employees Union and to extend all facilities of a recognized union to him.

This news raised immediate enthusiasm amongst telecom workers throughout the country that truth has been vindicated. The dark conspiracy hatched by DOT and OPG was defeated. Democracy has been upheld by the Hon’ble Court.

Extracts of the relevant portion of the judgment are given below:

“Considering all these aspects of the matter, this court finds that the election of the petitioner No.2 as the General Secretary of the writ petitioner No.1 is not disputed and / or challenged by anybody. At the time of filing of the petition, the petitioner No.2 is undisputedly elected as   General Secretary of the petitioner No.1 union and the delegates representing several thousands of employees have their unequivocal rights to elect the office-bearers to represent the union in accordance with law. It is up to the respondent authorities whether they would extend the necessary facilities to the union officers. The relevant circulars indicates, inter alia, that an ex-employee can also be elected as office bearer of the union and there is a dis-qualification as to an employee who has not retired honourably. In the present case it appears from the materials on record that the petitioner No.2 was a temporary employee  and his service was terminated without any reason and without any stigma. By such  termination it can not be said that the petitioner No.2 incurred any disqualification. By such termination per-se there  is no dishonor nor there is any disqualification. The termination of the job equates the petitioner No.2 in the category of the employee. If there is no allegation against him, if there is no dishonor against him, it must be construed that the petitioner No.2 stands in the category of an ex-employee having the necessary qualification to represent the union as an office-bearer. Besides, for a long period, since 1947 the said petitioners representation has been accepted by the respondent authorities. The relevant circulars under Rule have not been adhered to and the case of Shri O.P.Gupta is a glaring example. Regard being had to the background of the case, facts and circumstances and also the actions for long many years to accept the petitioner No.2, there is no necessity for issuing the impugned communications. This court has considered the steps taken on 13-12-91, 22-1-92 and 5-5-92 and this court is convinced that the steps taken by the respondent authorities in not recognizing the petitioner No.1 at the relevant points of time, are unfair, unjust and uncalled for. Said Communications are deemed to be quashed.

For the foregoing reasons this court finds that there is no bar and/or implement to grant the reliefs to the petitioners as stated for. The writ petition thus allowed to command the respondent authorities to release and / or render all facilities to the petitioners No.2 as duly elected general Secretary of the petitioner No.1 union. Such reliefs are however available to the petitioner No.2 so long as the General Secretary of the said petitioner No.1 union.”

Com. Somnath Chatterjee, M.P. and senior Advocate (who later became the Speaker of Lok Sabha), appeared for Moni Bose and argued the case very effectively.

At last, justice was vindicated. However, the DOT delayed implementation of the judgment. OPG & Co. tried to pressurize N.Vittal, Chairman, Telecom Commission & Secretary DOT, not to grant recognition to Moni Bose. He argued that if Moni Bose is given recognition, there will be further litigation by him (OPG). Shamelessly he fell at the feet of the administration, after failing in election as well as  in court.

DOT had no other option in view of the judgment. It issued orders on 11th November 1993, after delaying about two months, granting recognition to Moni Bose as the General Secretary of E.III Union. The administration failed to take the defeat graciously. In a most vindictive manner, it directed the union to conduct election within six months viz. before 28-4-94. It was intended not to allow Moni Bose to function as also to create another disruption in the next All India Conference. The conspiracy and disruption continued. (To be continued )