Election authorities lodged a police complaint against five companies in Chennai for functioning on the day of Lok Sabha polling in Tamil Nadu on Thursday in violation of rules and sent back around 2,000 employees home to enable them to vote.
Officials said they received comlaints from employees of major IT firms that they had been asked to report for duty despite the provision in law that employers and commercial establishments must grant holiday with wages for their employees on polling day.
Tamil Nadu's on MDMK complained to the Election Commission against software major Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) reportedly not allowing its employees to exercise their democratic right to vote. The company has denied the charge.
In his complaint to the poll body, MDMK's Tiruvallur district secretary DRR Senguttuvan said the TCS did not allow around 700 employees at its DLF IT Park office here to vote and forced them to work.
Responding to the charge, a TCS spokesperson in an email to IANS said: "TCS has declared voting days all over the country as a holiday for its employees to encourage them to exercise their democratic franchise."
A revenue inspector in Sholinganallur said that she found three major IT companies working 'as usual', despite EC warning of penal action against those violating the statutory provision giving workers paid leave on poll day.
There were reports of election officials forceing three other IT companies to down their shutters so that their employees could vote.
This is perhaps the first time, the election authorities have taken action and filed a formal complaint against companies for working on polling day.
Meanwhile, shops of leading textile retailer -- Chennai Silks and jewellery firm Sri Kumaran Thanga Maligai -- found operating in Tirunelveli district were sealed by officials, for violation of EC norms.
The shops were doing business on Thursday as usual despite the EC directive to declare holiday for its employees with pay.
As per orders of District Election Officials, Corporation Commissioner Lakshmi and other executives sealed the buildings, an official release said.
(With IANS inputs)