: All private educational
institutions will come under the purview of the ESI Act and will be treated as an establishment for all purposes under it, the Madras High Court has ruled.
The order was passed by an all-women bench of Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, Justice Anita Sumanth and Justice P T Asha which dismissed a batch of petitions moved by the educational institutions.
The petitions sought to strike down a November 26, 2010 order of the Tamil Nadu government extending the provisions of ESI Act to the private educational institutions.
The petitioner-institutions contended that the state government in its 2010 order has exempted government and aided institutions from the purview of the act and this amounted to discrimination between state-run and private institutions.
They further argued that the term establishment has not been defined under the ESI Act, and it doesn't cover the educational institutions. The teacher and staff can't be equated and brought within the definition of workmen, they said.
ESI authorities had commenced recovery proceedings against the institutions following the issuance of the G.O.
On December 19, 2019, the first Bench headed by then Chief Justice A P Sahi passed an interim order restraining the ESI from proceeding further with the recovery.
Subsequently, the Chief Justice constituted the full Bench and referred the matter to it.
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