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Delhi HC issues notice to Kejriwal govt on plea seeking stay on decision to increase dearness allowance of workers

ANI | Updated: Feb 10, 2021 19:00 IST


New Delhi [India], February 10 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Arvind Kejriwal government on an application seeking a stay of a decision that increases dearness allowance of workers in all scheduled employments in Delhi including in private firms.
While hearing a petition filed by Delhi Factory Owners' Federation through advocate Harvinder Singh and Mohit Gupta, a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked the Delhi Government to file a reply and listed the matter for further hearing on March 24.
The petitioner told the High Court that if, the recent DA enhancement order dated December 7, 2020, is not stayed, the employers of the scheduled employments who have already suffered huge economic losses due to the lockdown, when they had no income whatsoever, leading to even closure of many employments.
It also said that even now there is hardly any work available for earning any income and the minimum rates of wages as notified in the impugned notification dated October 2, 2019, are not actually minimum rates of wages but are much higher, fair and living wages which are the highest of any state or union territory in India, will not be able to bear the extra financial burden and that too with retrospective effect.
The petitioner is an association of employers of Micro, and Medium Scale Scheduled Employments under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 has earlier challenged the impugned notification dated October 22, 2019, issued by the government substantially enhancing the existing minimum rates of wages for the workers/employees employed in all the scheduled employments in Delhi to fair living wages as well as a consequent order dated October 23, 2019, issued by the government, providing for additional variable Dearness Allowance with effect from April 1, 2019, onwards.
Despite being aware of the pendency of the challenge to the main notification under Section 5(2) of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, dated October 22, 2019, the government has issued an order dated December 7, 2020, providing for further increase of Dearness Allowance with effect from April 1, 2019, and then from October 1, 2020, applicable to all Scheduled Employments, with regard to not only un-skilled, semi-skilled, skilled and clerical employees but also to supervisory staff, whereas the Act of 1948 does not empower the appropriate Government to fix minimum rates of wages for supervisory staff, the petition said.
"In view of the inter alia, the circumstances mentioned above, it is most respectfully prayed in the interest of justice that the recent order no. F.No.12(142)/02/MW/VII/Partfile/3786-3809 dated 07.12.2020 issued by the Respondents Annexure A1, consequent to the impugned notification dated 22.10.2019 u/s (5) (2) of the Act, enhancing the DA w.e.f. 01.04.2020 and then from 01.10.2020 may kindly be stayed till the final disposal of the writ petition," read the plea. (ANI)

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