Supreme Court slams Centre’s lackadaisical attitude towards migrant workers’ welfare, directs states, UTs to implement ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme
29 June, 2021: The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Centre for its “lackadaisical attitude” towards the welfare of migrant workers. It ordered the Union government to make the National Database of Unorganised Workers (NDUW) functional by 31 July. It also directed states and Union Territories (UT) to provide free dry ration to migrant workers and implement the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme by 31 July.
Karnataka: Bangalore court directs Wipro to reinstate employee forced to quit, pay full back wages
25 June, 2021: A Bangalore court directed Wipro Technologies to reinstate an employee who was forced to quit in March 2018. The court ruled that the employee’s resignation, obtained under duress and coercion was illegal and that the employee be reinstated to the original post with continuity of service, full back wages, arrears of pay and such other dues, benefits, etc from the date of termination until the date of reinstatement.
Uttarakhand: High court directs state to immediately pay wages of roadways workers
26 June, 2021: High Court of Uttarakhand slammed the state government for its repeated failure to pay the wages of thousands of roadways workers, pending since February. It directed the government to immediately resolve the issue, stating that the situation amounted to begari, or forced labour — in violation of Articles 21 and 23 of the Indian Constitution.
Karnataka: High court rules daily wage workers entitled to DA, paid leave, reprimands state for denying benefits
12 June, 2021: High Court of Karnataka ruled that daily wage workers are entitled to 100% dearness allowance under the Karnataka Daily Wage Employees Welfare Act, 2012, like all other government employees. It also held that daily wage workers working for various government departments are entitled to 30 days’ paid leave. The court came down heavily on the state government for regularly curtailing the benefits by taking out government orders.
Chandigarh: HC dismisses regularisation plea of contractual municipal workers citing 2006 Supreme Court judgement
07 June, 2021: High Court of Punjab and Haryana dismissed a plea from over a dozen contract workers seeking regularisation of their services with the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh as they had been employed for more than 10 years. The court cited a lack of clarity regarding the proper process being followed during the appointment of the petitioners — inviting applications, giving opportunity to others to apply. It also took note of the 2006 Supreme Court judgment, stating that directions on regularisation of services of temporary employees / daily wagers should not be ordinarily issued.
More NHRC advisories to Centre, states on COVID-19 impact on migrant and informal workers
01 June, 2021: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued advisories to the Centre, states and UTs regarding the adverse impact of the pandemic on migrant and informal workers. It gave the governments four weeks to submit action-taken reports on the right to mental health; identifying, releasing and rehabilitating bonded labourers; and safeguarding the rights of informal workers during the pandemic.