Chennai: Taking a strong view over his not
appearing in the court in a contempt case, the Madras High
Court today directed ONGC Chairman RS Sharma to appear before
it on January 27.
The Court passed the order as Sharma did not heed its
earlier directive to appear before it on a matter relating to
regularising 51 contract labours.
The petitioners had sought a direction to ONGC to
regularise them and be appointed as marine assistant radio
operators with effect from August 2 2006.
Following the application, the Court ordered ONGC to
regularise them and provide all monetary and other benefits.
As ONGC did not comply with the order, the petitioners
moved a contempt petition.
On January 7, Justice Elipe Dharma Rao of the Madras High
Court had initiated contempt proceedings against Sharma, with
a directive to him to appear in court on Friday.
However, counsel for Sharma filed a counter affidavit and
an application today, seeking to dispense with his personal
In his counter, Sharma said he has to complete urgent
work as he was retiring on Jan 31 this year and was ready to
appear on any other date. ONGC Executive Director and Chief
(Human resources) Taquir Hussain, was ready to appear before
the court, he said.
When the matter came up on Friday before Justice Elipe Dharma
Rao, Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam appeared on behalf of
Stating that the court takes strong exception to contents
in the counter, the judge in his order said Subramanian had
expressed sincere regrets and undertaken to withdraw it.
He then posted the matter to Jan 27 and directed Sharma
to appear in person on the date.