The Madras High Court last week refused to order a reduction in salaries of Government employees during the lockdown period, while holding that the same is a matter of government policy.
A division bench comprising of Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice M.Nirmal Kumar was hearing a PIL filed by K. Amsa Kannan, 12th Ward Union Councilor of Thiruvannamali Panchayat Union, Thiruvannamalai.
The Petitioner had contended that as a consequence of the lockdown, many Governments servants were not discharging their duties and it would be a colossal waste to pay them the full salary. She had thus sought a direction to the government of Tamil Nadu to deduct the payment of salary from the government servants.
The Petitioner further contended that her request was not an alien one, considering the fact that various state governments viz. the states of Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odissa, Chattisgarh and Uttarkhand had already ordered reduction of certain percentage of the salary from the government servants.
However refusing indulgence in the matter, the bench said,
"In the considered opinion of the Court, the prayer sought for by the petitioner cannot be granted for the reason that the policy decision in this regard, is left with the State Government and this Court cannot issue a positive direction towards deduction of the portion of the salary."
The court also refused to make a direction to the state government to consider the Petitioner's representation in this behalf and remarked, "The petitioner is neither having a statutory or legal right to compel the State Government to take a decision in this regard."
Case Title: K. Amsa Kannan v. Govt. of Tamil Nadu
Case No.: WP No. 7505/2020
Quorum: Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice M. Nirmal Kumar
Appearance: Advocate N. Mahendra Babu (for Petitioner); Government Pleader V. Jayaprakash Narayanan (for State)
Click Here To Download Order