SC extends order directing govt not to take coercive action against employers for non-payment of wages till 12 June

The Supreme Court said there was a concern that workmen should not be left without pay, but there may be a situation where the industry may not have money to pay and hence, the balancing has to be done.

Press Trust of India June 04, 2020 18:41:25 IST
SC extends order directing govt not to take coercive action against employers for non-payment of wages till 12 June

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday extended till 12 June its earlier order of 15 May asking the government not to take any coercive action against companies and employers for violation of Centre's 29 March circular for payment of full wages to employees for the lockdown period.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah reserved the verdict on a batch of petitions filed by various companies challenging the circular of the Ministry of Home Affairs issued on 29 March asking the employers to pay full wages to the employees during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, the top court said there was a concern that workmen should not be left without pay, but there may be a situation where the industry may not have money to pay and hence, the balancing has to be done.

SC extends order directing govt not to take coercive action against employers for nonpayment of wages till 12 June

File image of Supreme Court. Reuters

Meanwhile, the apex court asked the parties to file their written submissions in support of their claims.

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The top court on 15 May had asked the government not to take any coercive action against the companies and employers who are unable to pay full wages to their employees during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centre also filed an affidavit justifying its 29 March direction saying that the employers claiming incapacity in paying salaries must be directed to furnish their audited balance sheets and accounts in the court.

The government has said that the 29 March directive was a "temporary measure to mitigate the financial hardship" of employees and workers, specially contractual and casual, during the lockdown period and the directions have been revoked by the authority with effect from 18 May.

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