The Assam Labour Commissioner’s office has filed a case against information technology company Wipro for allegedly not obtaining a contract labour licence for theNational Register of Citizens project in the state, The Hindu reported on Monday.

Labour Commissioner Narayan Konwar told the newspaper that the legal proceedings were initiated at the court of the chief judicial magistrate of Guwahati a fortnight ago.

Wipro handled the digital part of the NRC exercise in collaboration with a Guwahati-based firm and allegedly violated the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act of 1970. The law is applicable across the country to every firm in which 20 or more people are employed on any day of the preceding 12 months as contract labourer. It also applies to contractors.

Wipro was the only firm to make a bid in the tenders invited by the NRC authority in 2014 for system integration of the project. The contract entailed recruitment of 7,000 data entry operators, and the payment of their salaries by Integrated Systems and Services, a local firm.

In 2017, a group of eight data entry operators from different regions of the state alleged that each operator was being paid less than half of the Rs 14,500 monthly salary the government had earmarked, The Diplomat reported on September 28.

“Wipro does not comment on pending litigation,” Senior Manager of Corporate Communication Purnima Barman told the international news magazine. “Separately, we do not comment on specific client engagements.”

Also read:

  1. NRC final list: What happens to more than 19 lakh people left out of the register?
  2. Special report: Will the Citizenship Amendment Bill really help Bangladeshi Hindus become Indian?

Read the stories of those who are most affected by the NRC exercise in our series: The Final Count.

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