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Ex-Central minister Matang Sinh loses legal battle to a journalist
The seven-year-old legal battle between Congress leader and ex-Central minister Matang Sinh owned North East Multimedia Pvt Ltd and journalist (presently state spokesperson, BJP, Tripura) Prasenjit Chakraborty-led television employees got settled on Monday when District & Sessions Judge, Agartala Mr Ruhidas Pal gave verdict in favour of the employees.

Prasenjit Chakraborty, however, though not a lawyer, fought the case in person in the court against a team of well known advocates deployed by the employer.

Former Union Minister Matang Sinh, who is in jail now in connection with Saradha Chit Fund Scam, got another blow from the court on Monday, August 7, in the Northeastern state of Tripura when his company North East Multimedia Pvt Ltd lost a labour court case to its media employees led by journalist Prasenjit Chakraborty.

District & Sessions Judge of West Tripura Mr Ruhidas Pal announced the verdict on Monday in the seven-year-old case under Industrial Disputes Act 1947.

The extraordinary aspect of the case is that journalist Prasenjit Chakraborty himself represented employees, appearing in person in the court for last seven years and fought the case without deploying any advocate whereas the Matang Sinh-led company had deputed senior advocate Arun Chandra Bhowmik and his associate advocates Arijit Bhowmik and Dibyendu Sarkar.

Mr Chakraborty, though not a lawyer, took the challenge of fighting the case for his co-employees and ultimately set an example that can inspire others in the coming days.

During this case period, Prasenjit Chakraborty joined active politics in 2013 and is now the state spokesperson in Tripura state committee of Bharatiya Janata Party.

In the court, Mr Chakraborty established with relevant evidences that the company did not follow legal provisions at the time of closure of undertaking and retrenchment of employees in Agartala. Company locked its Agartala bureau on February 25, 2010 without serving notice to individual employees and informing the appropriate government authorities.

The company also denied implementation of assessment report prepared by the labour commission officials on 17-18th August, 2010.

Therefore, state government referred the case to Labour Court vide notification dated 5th September, 2010, under section 7(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947.

However, Court accepted Prasenjit Chakraborty (journalist) as the representative of the employees in the court appearing in person.

The presiding officer of the labour court ordered that the claimant employees are entitled to get wages/compensation due to their retrenchment as per the assessment report prepared by the Labour Directorate. The court also declared that the employees are entitled to get interest @6 per cent per annum from the date of 18th August 2010 within a period of 2 months from the date of judgment.

Speaking to reporters in Agartala after the verdict, Prasenjit Chakraborty declared that the judgment proved victory of truth. He thanked all the media persons for extending heart-felt support to the cause of their fight and claimed that this judgment will boost the morale of the journalists wherever and whenever their rights are scrapped by the economic giants taking shelter of politics or else. He also assured to share his knowledge gathered while fighting this legal battle on his own for last seven years whenever media persons required in any part of the world.

He dedicated this big victory to all the journalists of the world.

Prasenjit Chakraborty, though a prominent politician now, stressed the need on media's unity for the better and greater benefit of world peace and prosperity.

The remaining employees namely Sunanda Bhowmik (reporter), Janardhan Sarkar (camera person) and Nandu Malakar (camera person) stood besides Mr Chakraborty united without fear or favour against injustice done by the company of a political as well as economic bigwig who served this nation as Central minister.

Matang Sinh owned several private satellite television channels like NETV, NE HiFi, NE Bangla, Hmar TV, Focus TV and HyTV though later all the channels got closed one after another.

Veteran Congress leader and minister for PMO in the PV Narsimha Rao government at the Centre, Matang Sinh had launched his third private satellite television channel NE Bangla in Agartala on 7th August 2007.

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