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Court directs for FIR against Balco CEO and others

A court here has directed the police to register first Information Report against the Vedanta owned Bharat Aluminium Company Chief Executive officer Ramesh Nair, EFF trust chairman Amit Joshi and other authorities on charges of committing fraud in the Employees Provident Fund trust of Balco.

Hear a plea filed by the Sanjive Sharad Sharma Son of former Balco (INTUC) leader late VK Sharma, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Anish Dubey directed the Balconagar police station to file FIR under section 420, 467, 468, 471, 409 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 14 (a) 1, 2 of the Employees provident fund Act 1952 against the trustees and officials of Balco.

The court in its order asked the police to register the case in two days and submit a final report within a period of two months prior to 22.09.14 after completing an impartial and independent inquiry.
Apart from the officials named above as accused, EPF trustees Amit Agarwal, Anteshwar Bhatt, Vinod Nair, BC Panda, SN Banerjee would be subject to investigation on the court order, informed Anurag Nath the advocate of the litigant. The court has also asked the police to investigate the role of other officials if necessary to conduct a proper probe, added the Lawyer.

The matter relates to the Employees provident fund of the contract workers which was being deposited in the EPF trust with number CG 2305 by various contract firms engaged at Balco. It was alleged that the management had initiated efforts to change the existing policy of depositing of funds in the trust thus violating the provision of the law. The trade union Chhattisgarh Samvida and Grameen Mazdoor Sangh (CSGMS) affiliated to INTUC opposed the move had approached the office of Assistant Labour Commissioner to prevent the management from persisting with its new policy in which the private contracting firms were asked to deposit funds independently at place where the respective companies have been registered.

On 28.05.14 the ALC Satyaprakash passed a ruling favouring the workers and asked for an FIR against the company management and the trustees involved in the dereliction. However, the ALC was transferred soon after and the police did not proceed further on the matter.

Subsequently, a plea was filed at a CJM court here on Thursday last and the court has pronounced its decision on the matter Tuesday.

Santosh Singh CSGMS office bearer who was abruptly removed by the trade union has expressed satisfaction on the court’s decision and said, "We hope that the police would do its work honestly and ensure that justice would be served in this case."

Meanwhile, the Balco management in an official statement said that the Company is committed to the welfare of its workers and has always followed the provision of the law and it shall do so in the future also.

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