At, High Court of Kerala
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K. VINOD CHANDRAN & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V.G. ARUN
For the Petitioner: Philip J. Vettickattu, G. Harikrishnan (Tripunithura), Advocates. For the Respondents: M.P. Madhavankutty, Shijoy John Mathew, B. Rajesh (Kottayam), Advocates, S. Krishna Moorthy, SC, P.P. Thajudeen, Sr. GP.
K. Vinod Chandran, J.
1. The petitioner is carrying on a quarry and is aggrieved with obstruction caused by respondents 3 to 8 to the loading and unloading work carried on in the petitioner's premises. Learned Counsel appears for respondents 3 to 7 & 8.
2. The Standing Counsel appearing for the additional 9 th respondent Board submits that it is not a scheme covered area.
3. The respondents Union also do not have a case that it is a scheme covered area. However, persons who are having Rule 26A cards, are headload workers entitled to carry on headload work in the area is the submission. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the 8th respondent that the headload workers having Rule 26A cards were carrying on the work in the quarry for the last 12 years. The learned counsel appearing for respondents 3 to 7 also submits that this is their only livelihood and the contention of the petitioner has to be rejected.
4. The right to work as headload workers as crystallised by Rule 26A cards arises by reason of the Headload Workers Act. However, the mere fact that Rule 26A cards have been issued would not enable the cardholders to seek loading and unloading work in the area as a matter of right. Such a right arises only when the scheme under the Headload Workers (Regulation of Employment and Welfare) Scheme is extended to the area and a pool is constituted, wherein members are issued with Rule 6A cards. Admittedly, there is no scheme implemented in the area.
5. One other aspect, which assumes significance is the fact that the petitioner asserts that there is no manual work in his premises and the loading and unloading work is by mechanical process.
In such circumstances, we do not see any right on respondents 3 to 8 to demand loading and unloading in the petitioner's quarry. If any obstruction is caused to the mechanical loading and unloading carried on by the petitioner, the Police would interfere. It is made clear that if any person has to be engaged for loading and unloading, definitely the
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petitioner would seek the assistance of the members of respondents 2 to 8, unless the petitioner regularly employs his own registered permanent workers issued with Rule 26A cards. The writ petition is allowed. No order as to costs.