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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Not paid salary during lockdown: HC Diwali relief for BMC’s visually impaired employees

After taking instructions from the BMC commissioner, its counsel informed the court that the civic body would pay the employees concerned a sum of Rs 15,000 before Diwali and rest of the arrears will be paid with December salary.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | Updated: November 7, 2020 10:12:41 am
bmc employees salary, BMC employees, bmc visually impaired employees, Diwali relief for visually impaired, bombay high court, mumbai city newsAfter taking BMC’s submissions on record, the court kept its application pending for compliance during the next hearing at the end of this month.

After the Bombay High Court on Friday was informed that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation was unable to comply with its earlier order to pay salary arrears to nearly 250 visually impaired employees of the civic body due to technical glitches, the HC directed the BMC to arrange to pay some sizeable amount to the aggrieved employees so that they may be able to enjoy Diwali festivities.

After taking instructions from the BMC commissioner, its counsel informed the court that the civic body would pay the employees concerned — who were not paid salaries during the lockdown on the ground of their absence from duty — a sum of Rs 15,000 before Diwali and rest of the arrears will be paid with December salary.

After taking BMC’s submissions on record, the court kept its application pending for compliance during the next hearing at the end of this month.

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A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing the interim application filed by the BMC — in a PIL filed by the National Association for the Blind (NAB) through advocate Uday Warunjikar, on behalf of nearly 250 visually impaired civic employees — seeking extension of time to implement the October 28 HC order.

On October 28, in a relief to the visually impaired employees, the HC had directed the civic body to compensate the affected workers and clear the arrears in two installments.

The court had also held the civic body’s decision not to pay salaries to the visually impaired employees for not attending work due to the pandemic as “illegal”.

On Friday, while expressing inability to comply with the HC order, BMC’s counsel Kejali Mastakar submitted that as the salaries of employees were generated through the SAP platform, it was not possible for the civic authorities to bypass it and give first installment of arrears before Diwali and needed time to reset the attendance of the employees and sought extension to comply with the court’s directions through an interim application.

The court insisted that the BMC commissioner find a way to pay the specially abled employees so that they may enjoy Diwali festivities.

“They are your employees. At least before Diwali, some lumpsum amount will be given so that they can also enjoy Diwali,” the bench said.

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