We have been getting inquiries from all over the country as to what had happened on 16th November in the Supreme Court during the hearing of the Majithia case. Many employees from the newspapers were present in the court room and they have communicated the information to other employees, yet the curiosity still persists. Although no hearing has taken place on that date yet for the employees, particularly of the Ushodaya Publications, the publishers of the multi edition Eenadu newspaper, there appeared to be the silver linings of hopes when, Senior Advocate Mr. Gopal Subramaniam sought time to from the Court to discuss the details of the implementation of the Majithia Wage Board from his client Mr. Ramoji Rao, the owner of the newspaper.
It must be mentioned here that Eenadu is the first newspaper in the country which started its publication from all the district headquarters of undivided Andhra Pradesh, from which Telangana has also been carved out. It is a widely circulated newspaper and the proprietor of the newspaper Mr. Ramoji Rao wields enormous clout in the political and bureaucratic set-up of both states. It is believed that Ramoji Rao, once a CPI card holder, now a Media Czar, can make or mar the career or prospect of any body and that is the is the reason; that no politician, regardless of his /her colour, can go against his will and wish. Hundreds of employees of the newspaper have been forced to resign after the verdict of the Supreme Court in the Majithia case but the travesty is that they have been retained either on the voucher payment or on the ad hocbasis. The Labour departments of both states have no courage to ask the Media Mughal to abide by the law and they have practically been reduced to handmaids of Ramoji Rao.
To be fair to Mr. Gopal Subramaniam, the Ld. Senior Counsel, who assured the bench consisting of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre that he would prevail upon his management to ensure that the order of this Court was implemented in its letter and spirit. It was heartening to hear him saying that ‘implementation does not mean facial implementation but complete implementation’. In their rejoinder, the employees of the Ushodaya Publications, said that ‘not proper’ but only a ‘pretence of implementation’ has been made by the newspaper.
As per the earlier order the Legal Issues were to be framed but before the argument could be started, the Senior Advocate for Dainik Jagran Mr. Anil Diwan raised the preliminary objections about the framing of the issues. However, Justice Gogoi rejected his objections. But in the meantime, Mr. Gopal Subramaniam got up and sought time for verifying the facts from his client so as to report back to the court with the factual position and the court readily agreed to his request, which came with positive assertions.
It is interesting to note here that the Management of the Jagran Prakashan Ltd. is the worst contemnor has been changing its advocates in almost every hearing of the case. It started with the Senior Advocate Mr. P.P. Rao, then came Senior Advocate Mr. Kapil Sibal in the next hearing. When Mr. Sibal refused to defend the newspaper another Senior Advocate Mr. Aryaman Sundaram was engaged. But when he found that there was no way to save the newspaper, he got himself discharged. Surprisingly, Dainik Jagran management has brought in the last date of hearing i.e. 16.11.2016, another Senior Counsel, Mr. Anil Diwan. It is said that once Mr. Diwan comes to know about the glaring mischief of the management, he may not possibly agree to defend the notorious management next time.