An urgent writ petition has been filed before the Jharkhand High Court against the Lohardaga Jail Authority on the allegation of violating the Labour Ministry Guidelines on employment/ termination of casual/ contractual workers during subsistence of COVID-19 pandemic.
The case of the Petitioner, Chandramouli Kumar Jha, working as a Video Conferencing Operator at Lohardaga Jail since 2008 as Daily Wage Employee, is that the Jail Authority has decided to terminate his services wef April 1 on the ground that his services are 'additional' and no longer required since two other computer operators are working on a regular basis.
This, the Petitioner has contended, is in clear violation of the Guidelines issued by Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India, asking the Employers of all Public/Private Establishments not to terminate their employees or reduce their wages, particularly those working on casual/ contractual basis, until the threat of COVID-19 pandemic abates.
"The act of the respondents in not complying/ implementing the advisory/ guidelines of Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India, whereby and whereunder a guideline has been issued vide letter dated 20.3.2020 to all the State Governments, Departments, Institutions directing therein not to terminate the employees from the job in any scenario is illegal, arbitrary and bad in eyes of law," the plea sates.
The Petitioner further pleads that the order is contrary to the Rule of Law and the Principles of Natural Justice as the same was passed without giving any prior show-cause or intimation or affording any opportunity of hearing.
Inter alia, it is pointed out that in another writ petition filed by his registered Association namely Jharkhand Rajya Kara Dainik Karmi Association, WP(S) No. 6423/2014, the High Court had vide order dated February 4, 2019, directed the Jail Authority to regularize the services of daily wage employees, who had completed 10 years of regular service by examining each and every individual case.
Till date however, it has been contended, that the said order of the High Court has not been complied with and to the contrary, the Petitioner's 10 years of regular service as a daily wage employee are being terminated.
In view of the aforesaid, a prayer has been made to the Registrar General of the High Court, for urgent hearing via Video Conferencing.
The Petitioner will be represented by Advocate Amritansh Vats.
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