The Supreme Court recently directed the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to clear the arrears of minimum wage of sweepers who have been sustaining at a monthly wage of Rs. 100/- per month (Rs. 3 per day) since March, 2015 within 8 weeks.
The bench of Justices BR Gavai and AS Bopanna further directed for paying the monthly payment to the sweepers from the month of May, 2022, regularly without break.
Top Court issued the directions while considering SLP assailing Jammu and Kashmir High Court's order dated May 15, 2019 by which it while refusing to entertain the LPA had observed that the same was an abuse of the process of law.
The bench in the impugned judgement had noted that despite repeated directions the sweepers continued to be paid meagre wages of INR 100 per month.
Case Before Jammu & Kashmir High Court
Part Time Sweepers in different Health Centers in District Kupwara by the then District/Block Level Officers who were entitled to monthly wages @Rs.100/- had approached High Court challenging the grant of same wage irrespective of the enhancement.
The sweepers were aggrieved by the clubbing of plan grants into non plan which was done on the account that the order passed by the Chief Medical Officer of according the part time sweepers with wages of Rs 4500 each was done without any approval and authorization from competent authority.
The Single Judge of the High Court on November 6, 2015 had directed for the release of the unpaid minimum wages in their favour.
However since the order dated November 6, 2015 was not being implemented, Contempt Petition was preferred by the sweepers and in the contempt petition, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court vide order dated 07.05.2016 confirmed the earlier order and again directed that minimum wages to the extent of Rs. 4500 per month was to be paid to the sweepers.
Thereafter, LPA was preferred by the Department against the order dated 07.05.2016 which the High Court refused to entertain and passed the impugned order.
Ms. Sanjana Saddy, Advocate, Mr. Sanyat Lodha Advocate-on-Record and Mr. Shakeel Sarwar Wani alongwith Harshita Singhal, Advocate and Mr. Yashraj Singh Deora, Advocate-on-Record appeared for the sweepers.
Case Title: Dr. Kunzes Dolma and Anr. v. Mehraj-ud-Din Kumar and Ors. | SLP (C) No. 29153 of 2019