THE BHARAT PETROLEUM CORPORATION LIMITED (DETERMINATION OF CONDITIONS OF SERVICE OF EMPLOYEES) ACT, 1988

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The Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (Determination of Conditions of Service of Employees) Act was enacted by the Parliament as Act Number 44 of 1988. The Act was came into force on 2nd July, 1988 by repealing the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (Determination of Conditions of Service of Employee) Ordinance, 1988.

The Act is an enabling statute, which empower the Central Government to determine the conditions of service of the employees including officers of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a Government Company under section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956. The Ordinance and Act was the results of several litigation between employees unions and the BPCL after the nationalization of the Company.

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Section 3(1) of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (Determination of Conditions of Service of Employees) Act, 1988 empowers the Central Government to formulate schemes to determine the conditions of services of officers and employees of the BPCL. The section enable the Government to frame one or more schemes of service, on its satisfaction of necessity to make conditions of service of employees of BPCL comparing with the conditions of service of employees of other public sector companies defined under section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956. Under Section 3(3) of the Act, Central Government may make a new scheme to amend or vary the scheme formulated by section 3(1). The Government may give retrospective effect to the schemes made under section 3(1) and section 3(3) of the Act.

Section 3(5) of the Act mandates that the Schemes framed by the Central Government shall be laid before each Houses of the Parliament. If both Houses are agreeing to make any modification or annulment of the scheme, the scheme shall have such effect. Such a provision enabled the Parliament to review the scheme framed by the Central Government exercising the powers conferred by the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited ( Determination of Conditions of Service of Employees) Act, 1988.

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Pursuant to the power conferred under Section 3, the Central Government framed the Bharat Petroleum corporation Limited ( Determination of Condition of Service of Post- Nationalization Refinery Employees) Scheme, 1989. In Process Technicians and Analysts Union v. Union of India & Ors, A.I.R 1997 SC 1288 the constitutional validity of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (Determination of Conditions of Service of Employees) Act, 1988 and the Scheme, 1989 thereunder were challenged before the Supreme Court. During the pendency of the case Scheme of 1996 was passed with retrospective effect. The Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising A.M. Ahmadi, CJI. And Sujatha V. Manohar J. upheld the validity of the Act 1988 and the schemes thereunder.