Depravity of salary is a violation of Articles 21, 23, and 300A: Uttarakhand HC
Table of contents
- Title of the case
- Counsel for petitioners
- Counsel for the respondents
- Next hearing date
Plan to deal with the financial crisis
The Hon’ble Uttarakhand high court in the case of ROADWAYS KARAMCHARI SANYUKT PARISHAD UTTARAKHAND v. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
has held that non-payment of monthly salary is a violation to Article 21, 23, and 300A of the Constitution of India hence also directed State Government to conduct a meeting in order to resolve the issue of payment of salaries to State Transport Corporation employees as soon as possible. It has been observed by the division bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma: “Considering the fact that these employees do not belong to the upper echelon of the Corporation, and are mere workers, as most of them happen to be drivers, conductors, and other employees, it is surprising that both the Corporation, and the State Government have abandoned them out in the cold. Needless to say, the deprivation of the salary is violative of Articles 21, 23, and 300-A of the Constitution of India. Thus, neither the Corporation, nor the State Government can be permitted to deprive the employees of their rightful salaries, that too, month after month.”
The Hon’ble Chief Justice Sri Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and The Hon’ble Sri Justice Alok Kumar Verma
Title of the case
ROADWAYS KARAMCHARI SANYUKT PARISHAD UTTARAKHAND v. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
Writ Petition (S/S) No. 3735 of 2018
Along with Writ Petition (PIL) No. 82 of 2019
Counsel for the petitioners
Mr Shobhit Saharia
Counsel for the respondents
Mr C.S.C and Ashish Joshi
Next hearing date
- Whether deferring 50% of the employees’ salary without any particular law is violative to Articles 21, 23, and 300A of the Constitution of India?
- Whether the State of Uttarakhand is negotiating with the U.P. Government with regard to the amount owed by the U.P. Government to the Transport Corporation?
The Court questioned the Chief Secretary and the Transport secretary to explain why the State of Uttarakhand was not negotiating with the U.P. Government regarding the amount owed by the U.P. Government to the Transport Corporation.
Mr. Sandhu and Dr. Sinha, also informed the court that the current financial crisis can be resolved if the State of Uttarakhand negotiates with the U.P. Government with regard to the amount owed by the U.P. Government to the State Transport Corporation. If the circle rate is taken off the property, which the U.P. Government needs to pay the Transport Corporation for, the amount would be about Rs. 220/- crores However, if the market rate were to be taken, the amount would be about Rs. 350/- crores. However, the case is not pending as SLP in the Supreme Court of India. Despite having several meetings between both the governments the above-mentioned issue remained unresolved.
The Uttarakhand High Court order dated 29.06.2021 has directed immediate transfer of an amount of twenty-three crores Rupees to state transport corporation for the payment of its employees salary for the month of February and March, 2021. Therefore, Rs. 23.00 crores were released to the State Transport Corporation on 29.06.2021 by which the salaries of the employees for the month of February, 2021, and the salaries of the “contractual employees” for the month of March, 2021 have been paid to the State Transport Corporation.
Plan to deal financial crisis
The State Transport Corporation has submitted a new detailed working plan to overcome the present financial crisis. The plan was presented before the Hon’ble Cabinet on 14.07.2021. The Hon’ble Cabinet has authorized the Hon’ble Chief Minister to take a decision for giving financial assistance to the State Transport Corporation.
Therefore, the Hon’ble Chief Minister has released an amount of Rs. 34.00 crores from the State Contingency Fund to the State Transport Corporation. This amount will be used to pay the salaries of the employees for the month of March, 2021 and the salaries of all the employees, both regular and contractual, for the month of April.
The Board of Directors took a decision to defer 50% of the employees’ salary for the coming months without any specified law which is violative of Articles 21, 23 and 300A of the Constitution of India. The employees of the Transport Corporation continue to be denied their rightful monthly salaries which have violated their fundamental right to life and personal liberty, right against exploitation and their legal right of not being deprived of property.
Furthermore, Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan said that in the case of Kapila Hingorani vs the State of Bihar, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that even the State cannot be permitted to violate the fundamental rights and the human rights of the employees. It cannot be permitted to hide behind the fig leaf to claim that the responsibility of paying the salaries of their employees is that of the Corporation, and not of the State Government. Therefore, it does not lie in the mouth of the State to claim that it will not rush to the rescue of the employees of the Corporation.
He further said that any dispute that arises between the two States should necessarily be resolved as expeditiously as possible, and within a reasonable frame of time. The issue of the payment of salaries by the Government of U.P. to the Government of Uttarakhand has been hanging fire for the last sixteen years. Therefore, the callous attitude of both the State Governments certainly cannot be appreciated by the Court. It is hoped that the Union of India would resolve this issue as expeditiously as possible, and preferably within a period of three months.
Under Section 59 of the U.P. Reorganization Act, 2000, the Union of India is expected to play a proactive role, to call both the States on the negotiating table, and to resolve the difficulties being faced by the State of Uttarakhand. Due to the silence of the Union of India, and the Government of U.P., it is the State of Uttarakhand that continues to suffer. Needless to say, it is not just the State of Uttarakhand, but, more importantly, the people of Uttarakhand who continue to suffer.
Therefore, the Uttarakhand High Court expects the Union of India to play a proactive role in resolving the lingering issues between the two States with regard to the payment of monies by the State of U.P. to the State of Uttarakhand, which will help the State Transport Corporation to pay the salary of its employees which have been pending since long and violated their fundamental right to life and personal liberty, right against exploitation and their legal right of not been deprived of property.
The hon’ble Uttarakhand High Court has held that any delay in payment of salary is violative to fundamental right defined under Articles 21, 23 and legal right under Article 300A of the Constitution of India. The court also directed the Union of India to resolve the issues between the State of U.P. and the State of Uttarakhand in relation to the payment of monies which can be used to pay the salary of the State transport corporation employees. This judgement will provide relief to thousands of employees whose salary was not been released by the State transport corporation.