Karnataka: High Court orders transport workers to end strike given the worsening Covid-19 crisis
21 April 2021: Karnataka High Court ordered transport workers to end their strike and immediately resume bus operations given the worsening pandemic situation. The Court clarified that its decision was not based on the legitimacy or correctness of the workers’ demands. It stated that any strike amid a crisis like the pandemic would violate Article 21 of the Constitution. The transport workers decided to resume their duties respecting the Court’s order while deciding to postpone the strike. Workers of four Road Transport Corporations (RTCs) of Karnataka had gone on an indefinite strike on April 7 demanding their wages be paid according to the Sixth Pay Commission.
Maharashtra: Labour Court holds accident on work premises after duty as accident during course of employment, worker entitled to medical leave wages
19 April 2021: A Mumbai labour court held that an employee getting injured on the work premises after completing his duty must be considered as an accident during notional extended course of employment. Further, the court directed the employer to pay leave wages for the period of medical treatment to the employee as he was entitled to it. The court was hearing the case of a BEST bus driver who was denied wages of around two-and-half months by the BEST after he had a wrist injury due to a fall in a bathroom on the work premises, where he had gone to freshen up after his shift and before going home.
Odisha: High Court orders state government to list steps taken to end manual scavenging, compensate kin of all deceased workers
19 April 2021: An Odisha High Court bench comprising Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray ordered the state government to list the steps taken by it to implement the various provisions and rules of the Prevention of Manual Scavenging Act since it came into force. And it ordered them to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to each of the families of four recently deceased workers, two in Bhubaneswar and two in Cuttack.
Kerala: Women cannot be denied employment because it requires working at night, rules High Court
16 April 2021: The Kerala High Court held that a qualified woman cannot be denied employment based on her gender and that the job requires working in the night holding it in violation of the Constitution. The Court was hearing a plea by a woman engineering graduate, challenging the ‘male only’ provisions in a notification inviting applications for the permanent post of Safety Officer available in KMML. The Court set aside the official ban for women in the job notification by KMML and held Section 66(1)(b) of the Factories Act, 1948 as unacceptable.
Tamil Nadu: High Court directs legal action against municipal officers for death of safai karmcharis on duty
07 April 2021: The Madras High Court bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said that civic heads of corporations and municipalities must be booked if any more deaths occur due to manual scavenging irrespective of whether engaged by them or a contractor. The bench was hearing a batch of petitions against rampant manual scavenging deaths in the state. In a previous order, the court said it was high time that heads of corporations and municipalities were held personally liable for deaths due to manual scavenging within their jurisdiction and face immediate arrest on criminal charges.
Punjab: High Court directs Punjab Financial Corporation to compensate workers for illegal termination
04 April 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court directed Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC) to compensate 16 of its illegally terminated former workers with Rs. 65,000 for each year of service, subject to a maximum cap of Rs. 5 lakh. The court was hearing a plea by former watch and ward staff demanding that the PFC be directed to either reinstate them or pay appropriate compensation for illegally terminating their services. The court decided against reinstatement on the basis that the workmen were not appointed against a regular post.