February 3, 2021 2:11:36 am
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday quashed a state government order sanctioning two days’ leave to its employees, including teachers, who participated in a nationwide strike in January 2019.
Acting upon a public interest litigation moved by a retired police officer, the bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly said the government order was illegal and arbitrary.
The general strike was held on January 8 and 9 of 2019 in protest against policies of the Union government.
The court said “the Government servants had struck work in violation of the rules/notifications/ circulars issued by the State Government affecting the normal life of the public and public exchequer, and it is also clear from the proposition of law laid down by the Apex Court that even though right to form association is a right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(c) of the Constitution of India, there is no legal right for the workers/such associations, to call for a general strike or instigate the employees to strike, in the guise of the said fundamental right. Apparently, consequent to the strike of the Government servants and others, the offices came to a standstill for two days and the public had suffered substantially on account of the same.’’
The judges said that giving due consideration to the facts, law, submissions of the parties, and circumstances involved in the case, “we are of the opinion that the Government order dated 31.01.2019 is illegal, arbitrary, contrary to the statutory provisions, and therefore, liable to be interfered with by this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.’’
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