Salary to Mill Workers reach Supreme Court
Salary to Mill Workers reach Supreme Court
Litigation News

Set aside MHA, Maharashtra govt orders compelling payment of full wages during Covid lockdown: Textile company moves SC

The plea states that Government Orders passed by MHA and Maharashtra government are illegal, unconstitutional and violate Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India.

Debayan Roy

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of orders passed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Maharashtra government ordering payment of salaries to workers amid the COVID-19 lockdown. (Nagreeka Exports Limited vs Union of India)

On March 29, the MHA had passed an order mandating payment of salaries to industry workers without deduction for the period of the lockdown. Similarly, on March 31, the Maharashtra government passed an order "compelling" industry owners to pay full salaries to staff, workers, contract workers and casual workers for the period of the lockdown.

The petition filed by Mumbai-based textile company Nagreeka Exports Limited states that it had to face major losses to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore due to the lockdown. If they are compelled to pay full salaries, then there would “far reaching consequences", the plea states.

“...as per the said Orders dated March 29, 2020 and March 31, 2020, Petitioner had to disburse full salaries to all its employees on its payroll, which amounts to approximately Rs.1.75 Crores. But these directions has caused consternation to a large number of employers in the country, despite their best intentions for and efforts towards, supporting their employees during this period of crises. Petitioner has paid full salaries/wages to all its employees/workers till month of March, 2020."

The petitioner has contended that with the lockdown now being extended, its losses will be multiplied. Further, if the company has to observe the said government orders in their entirety, its business will become unsustainable. The orders will have "more far reaching consequences, affecting the livelihood of more people”, the plea contends.

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