A bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas observed that it was the right of every individual to receive salary for work. “Financial difficulty is not a ground for the state government to defer the payment of salary. Prima facie, the deferment of salary amounts to denial of property,” said the judge.
The court was acting upon petitions filed by pro-Congress state employees’ organisations, challenging the order which had evoked sharp protest from a section of employees and teachers.
The court said payment of salary is not a matter of bounty and it is a right vested in every individual to receive the salary. Article 300A of the Constitution confers a right to property and salary, and prima facie comes within the purview of property.
The judge further observed that he could not find any statutory basis for the deferment of salaries, neither in the Epidemic Diseases Act nor in the Disaster Management Act.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan said the government will follow the court order. A decision on moving appeals would be taken only after a detailed review of the order.
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