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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

HC stays Kerala order to deduct 1-month salary of employees

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.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: April 29, 2020 1:30:10 am
Kerala, Kerala coronavirus, Pinaray Vijayan, Kerala govt employees, Kerala news, COVID-19, Indian Express “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. (File Photo)

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed for two months the government’s order to deduct one-month salary of employees in five instalments in the wake of the financial crisis stemming from COVID-19.

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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