While saying that the Court cannot direct the State to make a law or the protection of 'gig workers', the High Court of Karnataka said that they may submit a representation before the government for protection.
"Several sections of the society have been adversely affected by COVID-19. If the category of gig workers have no protection, it is for them to make appropriate representation to the State Government. We are sure that if such a representation is made, the State Government will consider the same expeditiously in accordance with the law", observed a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna.
Advocate Ayantika Mondal, party-in-person had argued that "While regular employees in the private sector of the IT based platforms enjoy protection of laws, gig workers, who are key contributors to the functioning of the IT based platforms have been denied protection of any statute or any scheme of the Government."
The plea prayed for issuance of a writ of mandamus enjoining the State Government to enact a statute for protection of the gig workers. Also, for directing the State Government to issue necessary directions by framing guidelines to ensure that the companies running IT platforms and aggregated companies pay salaries to registered gig workers.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna said "To enable the State Government to issue such directions/guidelines, a specific statutory power must vest in the State Government. Counsel is unable to point out the existence of any such statutory power. Therefore, we are unable to issue a writ of mandamus as prayed for."
Title: Ayantika Mondal And State of Karnataka
Case No: Writ Petition No 6757/2020
Coram: Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna
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