COVID-19 norms: High Court orders inspection of Renault-Nissan unit


The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Tamil Nadu government to depute a senior official to car maker Renault-Nissan’s plant near here to ascertain whether Covid-19 protocols were followed in full. The government should depute an official of the Directorate of Industrial Safety to the unit by 10 am on Tuesday, the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said.

The bench gave the direction while passing further interim orders on a public interest writ petition from the workers union of the unit on Monday.

The PIL challenged an order dated May 8 of the State Revenue and Disaster Management permitting the company to start work at the factory subject to certain protocol conditions.

It is the assertion of the workers that the employer cannot avail of the exemption to the lockdown without complying with the attendant conditions of maintaining covid protocol, particularly social distancing.

The distancing norms cannot be maintained in the production procedure adopted by this employer, particularly in the assembly line, they contended.

The distancing norms have to be maintained without exception, the court said.

For such a purpose, the management and the workmen should continue their discussions to arrive at a reasonable solution in the course of the week.

It will be open to the management or the workmen to request the government official concerned to be present during the discussions to mediate between the two sides, if necessary, the court said.

It is hoped that an amicable resolution would be reported to the court when the matter appears next on Friday.

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The employer should indicate the number of workmen infected, including the details of how many are in hospital and how many are at home, the bench added.



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