ONGC Labour Union Vs. Central Government: Restored Writ Petition No.1323/2013 (M/S)

The High Court’s judgment in the case involving ONGC Labour Union and the Central Government has been revisited by the Supreme Court of India. The rights of contract laborers are at the core of this legal battle. Stay updated on the latest developments regarding this crucial issue.


  • The Labour Union contends that the prohibitory notification was issued after complying with Section 10 of the CLRA Act.
  • The Sub-Committee conducted thorough studies at various ONGC installations.
  • The appellant argues that the Government notification was based on Sub-Committee recommendations.
  • The Central Government accepted the unanimous recommendations of the Sub-Committee for certain categories.
  • The respondent’s counsel argues that an omnibus notification without considering all factors in each establishment cannot be issued.
  • The notification prohibiting employment of contract labour was hastily issued due to a time frame stipulated by the Bombay High Court.
  • ONGC took a conscious decision to comply with the prohibition of contract labour, but later challenged the notification in court.
  • An establishment-specific study was deemed necessary before a prohibition notification could be validly issued.
  • The decision-making process was considered vitiated due to lack of establishment-specific study.
  • The High Court had allowed ONGC’s writ petition and quashed the 08.09.1994 notification of the Central Government.
  • W.P. No.1323/2013 (M/S) was filed by ONGC in the High Court to challenge the prohibitory notification under Section 10(1) of the CLRA Act.
  • Background study on employment of contract labour was conducted and relevant reports were received.
  • Alka Agrawal, the Counsel for the Central Government, stated that the impugned notification was issued as per Section 10 of the CLRA Act.
  • Officers of ONGC faced criminal summons by CJM, Dehradun for alleged failure to implement the 1994 notification (stayed by Andhra Pradesh High Court), leading to a Section 482 Cr.P.C. petition filed in the Uttarakhand High Court.

Also Read: Challenging Minimum Qualifying Marks in Viva Voce Test: Abhimeet Sinha vs. Bihar and Gujarat Judicial Services


  • The High Court decided on the SAIL verdict errors without considering the specific details and context of the 1994 notification.
  • The ONGC management did not involve recognized labor unions in the challenge against the 1994 notification, affecting the rights of contract laborers.
  • The internal circulars within ONGC to comply with the 1994 notification were issued prior to the legal challenges.
  • The Central Government’s counter affidavit in the Andhra Pradesh High Court recommended abolishing contract labor in 11 out of 26 work categories based on a Sub-Committee’s unanimous recommendation.
  • The High Court made judgments without access to crucial information regarding the formation and recommendations of sub-committees before the 1994 notification.
  • The lack of consultation with labor advisory boards and the absence of input from affected labor unions led to flawed decisions by the High Court.
  • The opportunity for contract laborers in ONGC to participate in the legal proceedings was denied, highlighting a lack of fair representation and natural justice.
  • The High Court’s judgment was passed without being apprised of relevant materials
  • The judgment was primarily based on the SAIL (supra) judgment related to the 1976 notification
  • This lack of information led to prejudice as detailed studies/discussions preceding the 08.09.1994 notification were not considered
  • No opportunity was given to the ONGC Labour Union and other workmen to present their case
  • Due to the above circumstances, the Writ Petition No.1323 of 2013 (M/S) is ordered to be restored for fresh consideration

Also Read: Avitel Post Studioz Ltd. v. HSBC: Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award


  • The Uttarakhand High Court is requested to decide the matter expeditiously, preferably within four months of notice being served on the respondents in the restored Writ Petition.
  • The appeal is disposed of with the above order.
  • The ONGC Labour Union – Gujarat is ordered to be impleaded in the restored proceedings.
  • The respective senior counsel representing the parties have requested for early disposal of the remanded matter and have offered to argue before the High Court without any delay.

Also Read: Insurance Claim Repudiation due to Fire Incident: Court’s Legal Analysis


Case Number: C.A. No.-008114-008114 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *