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SC Agrees To Examine Issue Of Mass Termination & Withholding/Deduction Of Salaries In IT-ITES-BPO-KPO

Radhika Roy
8 May 2020 9:20 AM GMT
SC Agrees To Examine Issue Of Mass Termination & Withholding/Deduction Of Salaries In IT-ITES-BPO-KPO
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The Supreme Court has today agreed to examine the issue regarding mass termination of employees and withholding or illegal deduction of salaries in IT/ITES/BPO/KPI by their employers during the national lockdown instituted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.Filed by National Information Technology Employees Sena (NITES) and Advocate Rajesh Inamdar through Advocate-on-Record Amit...

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The Supreme Court has today agreed to examine the issue regarding mass termination of employees and withholding or illegal deduction of salaries in IT/ITES/BPO/KPI by their employers during the national lockdown instituted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Filed by National Information Technology Employees Sena (NITES) and Advocate Rajesh Inamdar through Advocate-on-Record Amit Pai, the petition sought for implemention of advisories/directions issued by the Central Government dated 29.03.2020 and similar advisories issued by several other States which mandated payment of wages/salaries to the employees and also directed not to terminate them during this period.

On 20th March, a directive had been issued by the Union Ministy of Labour and Empowerment to all Chief Secretaries of State Governments to issue advisories to public and private companies to not lay off/terminate employees or give them pay cuts at a time when the lockdown was in place.

On 29th March, the Government of India issued an order directing all State Govts and Union Territories to issue orders, compulsorily requiring all the employers in the industrial sector and shops and commercial establishments to pay wages to their workers at their workplaces on the due date without any deduction during their closure due to the lockdown.

With the publishing of a report on 19th April by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), it was noted that "several companies across the country have started to terminate its employees without any reasonable cause and have started withholding their salaries. It is submitted that in such testing times, the rights of the employees ought to be protected by necessary orders/directions to the companies through the Respondents to effectively implement the lockdown and to contain the spread of the virus."

It was further submitted in the petition that various IT companies have initiated a "drive of illegal mass termination of the employees, withholding of the salaries or illegal deduction of salaries in complete breach and violation of the directions/advisories…"

A Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and BR Gavai heard the matter and agreed to examine the issue. Additionally, the Court directed Petitioner No.1 to be deleted as Petitioner.

The petition was argued by Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat and assisted by Advocates Rajesh Inamdar, Amit Pai and Aishwarya Rai B.

The matter is now listed on 15th May.

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