The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the Centre and employees’ unions two weeks to file a comprehensive reply to the petitions filed by newspaper managements challenging the Justice Majithia wage board recommendations.
During a resumed hearing before a Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai, senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for ABP Pvt. Ltd, publishers ofThe Telegraph and other newspapers, brought to the notice of the court that the Centre had not filed its response to the amended petitions. Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran, appearing for the Centre, sought two weeks’ time to file a comprehensive reply to all petitions. Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Indian Newspaper Society, and senior counsel Anil Divan for one of the managements, wanted a single reply filed by the Centre and the unions. This was agreed to by Mr. Parasaran, and senior counsel Colin Gonsalves and counsel Parmanand Pande, appearing for the employees.
The Bench granted the managements a week, after the reply from the Centre and the employees, to file a rejoinder, if any. Final hearing is listed for February 5.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising informed the Court that it was the State which has to implement the Act. Moreover, she pointed out that the State agencies were armed with sufficient power to seize and search, as available to criminal courts, making them extremely powerful.