Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court Do you have a question? Email us at citizen.dtnext@dt.co.in
Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

I was terminated by my company during the pendency of a wage dispute. So, I made a complaint under Section 33A of the ID Act alleging victimisation. I also complained about the non-payment of retrenchment compensation and the non-adherence of the last-come-first-go rule.

Asking me to go to the appropriate forum for getting justice with regard to my complaint on 25F(b) and 25G violations, the Principal Labour Court dismissed my complaint petition. Later, I filed a writ in the Madras High Court. Last month, the honourable HC justice, after asking the respondent to file a counter, ordered final disposal at the admission stage after six weeks.

My questions are:

a) Will the Honourable MHC revert the matter to the labour court by directing it to adjudicate the issues raised by me?

b) Can the MHC itself adjudicate the matter raised in my complaint taking into consideration my age and left over two years’ service (retirement age 60)?

— Madhavan, Chennai

You have been wrongly advised to take a shortcut. Maintainability of a complaint before the Labour Court is a tricky issue and involves the determination of several issues.

If you think you have a strong case for violation of conditions of retrenching a workman, you should have straightaway raised a dispute under Section 2A of the Industrial Disputes Act whereby now the issues would have finally been decided on merits.

Even now you can withdraw your writ petition with the liberty to raise an industrial dispute on merits.

Conversions of minors are invalid if done without parental consent

This is the context of a recent incident in Thanjavur district, where a school student ended her life allegedly over being pressured to convert to a particular religion. Some time ago, a student was allegedly forced to kneel at a government school in the Kanniyakumari district for not acceding to the demand for conversion. While the right to profess any religion is guaranteed by our Constitution does it allow individuals/ groups/ believers of a particular religion to forcibly convert or lure those practising other religions by offering them seats in educational institutions or jobs? And how can schools be a platform for those promoting religious conversion? Isn’t it the duty of the State to prevent/prohibit such cases? Can’t the court suo motu take up such cases as most often those targetted are people at the lower strata of society?

— Ganesan R, Tiruvallur

In the first school issue, the local police found such allegations baseless. The matter is now being investigated by the CBI. Let them come out with their report then we can discuss it.

No minor children can be persuaded to convert to another religion. Such conversions are invalid if done without parental consent. Even if they do that may not bind. Without waiting for legal action, one particular group is attempting to make TN a testing ground for hate politics and their actions will not succeed. Ultimately law will prevail.

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