No Action Against Companies That Didn't Pay Salaries During Lockdown: Supreme Court
Starting from March 25, the whole of India was locked down for 54 consecutive days. Factories were shut; shops were under locks; for once it looked as if people would die of hunger if not because of COVID-19. They did and they are dying. Companies didn’t pay their workers the salary of those 54 days. The Ministry of Home affairs ruled that companies must pay their workers’ full salaries, but companies went to the doors of the Supreme Court. Finally, the Supreme has ruled on the matter.
On June 12, 2020, the Supreme Court of India said that till July, the central government and state governments could not take any action against those companies who haven’t paid their workers.
The three judges of the Supreme Court bench said that the companies and employees should solve the matter by themselves. They should sit together to settle the matter by talks, as they need each other.
The court also suggested to state governments that they should mediate in the process and facilitate the talks between the industry and the workers.
The Final Judgment
However, it is not the final decision of the Supreme Court. The Court has asked the central government to file an affidavit within one month regarding the Home Ministry circular, in which the ministry ruled that every company must pay full salary to its workers, during the period of nationwide lockdown.
The matter will be heard in the next court session in the last week of July. Which means, it is not final yet that companies don’t have to pay full salaries to their workers.
In its final decision, the court may either rule that companies are not mandated to pay full salaries or it may rule in favor of the Home Ministry’s circular.
What About Doctors?
On the same day, the Supreme Court also heard the case of Doctors. A plea was filed in the Supreme Court that even healthcare workers are not paid fully during the period of lockdown.
In the matter, the Supreme Court said that it should not have to step in the matter of doctors, at least. It ruled that the government should take a serious note of the matter and act on it.
“In war, you do not make soldiers unhappy. Travel the extra mile and channel some extra money to address grievances. The country cannot afford to have dissatisfied soldiers in this war which is being fought against Corona,” said the court judgment.