WP No. 466 of 2009
IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA
Constitutional Writ Jurisdiction
GAMUDA - WCT (INDIA) PVT. LTD. & ANOTHER Petitioners Versus
THE EMPLOYEES' STATE INSURANCE CORPORATI Respondents ON & OTHERS
BEFORE: The Hon'ble JUSTICE SAILENDRA PRASAD TALUKDAR Date : 23rd June, 2009.
The Court : Inviting attention of the Court to the impugned order being Annexure-P8 at page 42, it is submitted by learned counsel for the petitioner that such an order was passed without giving the writ petitioner any opportunity of hearing in course of submission, learned counsel of course has referred to certain other aspects. Allegation of illegality and irregularity has been made by the writ petitioner. It is emphatically submitted that the official address of the writ petitioner was changed since the office was shifted from Durgapur to Mirza Gallib Street, Kolkata. According to learned counsel this was also brought to the notice of the respondent authority. But, to the utter shock and surprise of the writ petitioner, the authority concerned proceeded with passing of the said order under section 45A of the E.S.I. Act, 1948. Learned counsel for the writ petitioner has further submitted that such order clearly reflects non-appreciation of the matter in its proper perspective.
In response to this, learned counsel for the respondent authority refers to section 75 of the E.S.I. Act. It is submitted that the writ application does not deserve to be maintained since the writ petitioner could very well approach the appropriate forum under the said Act. Thus, the disputes has been raised regarding maintainability since there is an alternative remedy available. So far change of address is concerned, the learned counsel for the respondent authority just refers to the fact that the notices were sent to the writ petitioner on repeated occasions and even an insertion was given in the newspaper. Be that as it may, without getting into legal intricacies, it cannot be denied that any order passed without giving a proper opportunity of hearing by itself is in violation of the principles of natural justice. In such view of the matter, the present writ application, being W.P. 466 of 2009, is disposed of after setting aside the impugned order being Annexure 'P-8' at page 42. The said respondent authority being the respondent no. 3 must consider the matter afresh and in order to enable him to do so, the writ petitioner is directed to record its appearance/attendance before the said authority within a period of three weeks from this date. Upon recording of such appearance/attendance, the respondent authority must specify a particular date and time and an opportunity of hearing be accordingly given to the writ petitioner. The said authority may thereafter pass necessary order in accordance with the rules.
Since affidavit-in-opposition has not been used, allegations/averments made in the writ application are deemed not to have been admitted. It may, however, be mentioned that this Court has not really gone into the merits of the grievances as ventilated in the present application and it is for the appropriate authority to take decision in accordance with law.
Urgent xeroxed certified copy of this order be given to the parties, if applied for, upon compliance of all formalities. (SAILENDRA PRASAD TALUKDAR, J.)