Bombay High Court rules on Central Government's direction to states to ensure all employers pay wages to their workers without any deduction
The Central Government’s direction to states to ensure all employers pay wages to their workers without any deduction during the Coronavirus lockdown can not be applicable for those workers who had remained unpaid for long period even before lockdown, the Bombay High Court said on Monday, according to PTI.
The HC order was issued by a bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Riyaz Chagla. They issued this order while hearing two writ petitions filed by Premier Ltd, a heavy machinery manufacturing company from Pune in Maharashtra, and its employees’ union.
The company had challenged an order of the industrial court which had directed it make payment of a part of wages to its workers, who had not been paid since May 2019.
The company’s employees union had sought compliance of the Home Ministry’s previous order and a Maharashtra government’s resolution dated March 31. They had directed the employers to make payment to all workers even during the lockdown period.
The Union Home Ministry’s order was issued on March 29, 2020.
As per the PTI report, the compay had shifted to a new location in 2017. It had received a no objection certificate from the state labour commission on the condition that it would pay full wages to its workers during the time for which work would remain suspended due to shifting. However, the employees union claimed it its plea that the workers were unpaid sinche May 2019 till now.
What HC said
The High Court said that the government orders were not applicable in the present case. “To be deemed to be on duty one should be on duty on the date when the lockdown was declared. To be entitled to or for continuity of salary or wages during the lockdown, an employee/worker should receive the same till the month which
is previous to closure on account of the lockdown,” HC said.