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Report No. 145

5.5. The beneficiaries.-

A point of detail which can be subsumed under the above point, but which may still require specific mention, is the criticism that no great public purpose is served by the present position, as those who derive advantage from it (by ready access to writ petitions) are not the general public, but certain groups, such as employees, tenderers and contractors.1 It has been added that even in the case of protection of employees, it is largely white-collar workers and middle level management who widely benefit from this. This argument has been thus elaborated:-

"Industrial workers are covered by elaborate legislation relating to industrial disputes, payment of wages, workmen's compensation, etc. which applies to public and private enterprises alike; they also have the power of industrial action. Workers therefore do not necessarily derive any specific advantage from the treatment of public enterprises as 'State'. The white-collar workers and managers do; but is this a desirable protection? We had noted earlier that one of the judges in a dissenting judgment had expressed doubts about the creation of a vast class of neo-Government servants.

Is it necessary to extend to the employees of public enterprises the kind of protection which is available to civil servants (the desirability of which in itself is open to question)? Should the top-level management of a public enterprise which is a commercial organisation set up for business purposes be prevented from exercising the kind of judgment and selectivity, whether in regard to personnel matters or in regard to contractual matters, that private sector chief executives exercise as a matter of course?"

1. Ramswamy R. Iyer Enterprises as State and Article 12, (25th august, 1990), Economic and Political Weekly, (pp. to M134, p. M133)

Article 12 of the Constitution and Public Sector Undertakings Back

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