Observing that an insurance company is not a local authority, the Bombay high court recently quashed and set aside the order of the Election Commission to requisition employees of an insurance company for election-related work.
A division bench headed by Justice S J Vazifdar heard a petition by Oriental Insurance Company Limited challenging the orders of collector and district election officer requisitioning 38 staffers from its regional office.
The insurer’s advocate, Arvind Kothari, argued that the EC did not have the power to requisition insurance company employees.
On a permanent basis, this would adversely affect the company’s working. Government pleader D A Nalawade said the EC had powers and the quantum of work justified the requisition.
The judges observed that applying the apex court’s criteria, an insurance company cannot be called a local authority. The requisitioning was illegal, they said, striking down the district election officer’s order requisitioning the employees.