The Supreme Court today directed Centre to ‘place its policy‘ on record with regard to the implementation of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notifications which called for full payment of salaries to employees and workers amid COVID 19 lockdown.
A three-judge bench of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice BR Gavai has granted two weeks time to Centre to file its response on a batch of writ petitions filed by Private organisation, Nagreeka Exports Limited, Karnataka based packaging company, Ficus Pax Private Ltd, and Ludhiana Hand Tools Association to set aside orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Maharashtra Government that full wages be paid to workers during the lockdown.
The original petitioner Nagreeka Exports Limited has withdrawn its petition after several applications were filed opposing the petition.
The Writ Petition filed by Karnataka Based Company ‘Ficus Pax Private Limited’ is challenging the constitutional validity of Notification issued by Central Government to pay full wages of workers during the lockdown period. The petition filed by Advocate-On-Record Mr Jeetender Gupta seeks direction to declare the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs ultra vires Article 14, 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and seeks subsidizing of the wages of workers to the tune of 70-80% for lockdown period by utilization of the funds collected by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) or the PM Cares Fund.
Whereas, the Writ Petition filed by Ludhiana Hand Tools Association is challenging the validity and vires of Section l0(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and seeking appropriate writ for setting aside or quashing of Government Order dated 29.03.2020 issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, under Section l0(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act,2005, only to limited extent wherein private establishments are directed to pay full salaries to all workers/employees, contract or casual workers during period of COVID-19 lockdown.
-India Legal Bureau