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Labour whip on Bokaro Steel

Ranchi, Oct. 18: Labour minister Chandra Prakash Choudhary today granted prosecution sanction against senior executives of Bokaro Steel Limited and Mecon and a Chas-based private construction firm for violating safety norms that led to the death of a worker on August 10.

Bokaro Steel executive director S. Shekhar, Mecon official J.P. Verma and subcontractor Pramod Singh of N.P. Construction have been charged with flouting Section 55 (A) (1) of Jharkhand Factories Regulation of 1950.

They will be prosecuted under Section 92 of the Factories Act (1948), which says the occupier and manager of the factory shall be guilty of a punishable offence.

The inspector of factories, Bokaro Circle 1, has been directed to take necessary steps against the accused.

Documents available with The Telegraph show that Mecon had bagged the contract for cold repair of coke oven battery No. 4 at Bokaro Steel Plant. However, Mecon sublet the contract to N.P. Construction. On August 10, one Mohammed Nizam, a labourer working at the plant, fell from a 10-metre high platform and died on the spot

The local inspector of factories, in his inquiry report, confirmed the accident took place because mandatory safety norms were not followed. The inspector recommended prosecution of persons guilty.

“If the charges against the accused are proven in court, they may have to undergo rigorous imprisonment up to two years or pay fine up to Rs 1 lakh or both. Violation of safety norms will not be tolerated. In the past, too, we have approved several prosecution sanctions against Bokaro Steel for violating safety norms,” said Choudhary.