Guwahati: Wipro is being dragged to court by the Labour Commissioner’s office in Assam for executing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise without obtaining the Contract Labour license. Wipro had allegedly violated the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act of 1970 while operating the digital part of the NRC updating exercise in collaboration with a Guwahati-based firm.
The 1970 Act is applicable across India (a) to every establishment in which twenty or more workmen are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months as contract labour and to (b) every contractor who employs or who employed on any day of the preceding twelve months twenty or more workmen.
“We filed the petition at the court of the chief judicial magistrate about a fortnight ago. The firm was found not to have obtained the mandatory contract labour license for the NRC project,” said Labour Commissioner Narayan Konwar.
Wipro was the only company to bid in the re-tender invited by the NRC authority in 2014 for system integration of NRC project. Being the single taker for the tender, the IT major was awarded the contract that entailed recruiting 7,000 data entry operators and payment of their salaries by the local firm it had sub-contracted.
The office of the Labour Commissioner had acted on a complaint by a group of data entry operators in September 2017 – they alleged that each operator was being paid less than half of the sum of Rs 14,500 per month the government had earmarked. Wipro representatives in Assam declined to comment.