Justice Nooty Rama Mohana Rao of the High Court on Tuesday declared that the orders are reserved in the case on the issue whether workers employed for NREGA works are entitled to minimum wages prescribed under Minimum Wages Act.

The Judge was dealing with a writ petition filed by A.P. Vyavasaya Vruttidarula Union through its secretary Ajay Kumar and others complaining that that the Central government had been notifying the wages payable to the NREGA workers which were far below the minimum wages notified by respective State Governments under the Minimum Wages Act.

The State and Central governments took the stand that the minimum wages concept was not applicable to the NREGA works. Initially, there were interim orders directing the governments to pay minimum wages and when this was not implemented, contempt cases were filed against the officers. After the pleadings were completed, the Judge declared that the judgment would be delivered shortly.

Arjitha Seva tickets

Justice Noushad Ali expressed disinclination to stay the decision of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) cancelling the ‘Arjitha Seva' tickets purchased by one of the devotees. The court was hearing a writ petition filed by T. C. Shiva Prasad of Bangalore challenging the Deavthanams' orders cancelling the tickets booked in 2007 and 2008 to perform special pujas on five occasions in 2011, 2013, and 2011.

The TTD informed the court that Arjitha Seva tickets were cancelled in view of increase in pilgrims and also en bloc purchase of tickets up to 2040.

The Judge was informed about how a few individuals cornered tickets depriving a large number of pilgrims of the opportunity of performing special pujas.

The petitioner contended that the tickets were issued to him only after verification of dates available, but not in routine manner, therefore he was entitled to the benefit according to the dates allotted to him. He urged the court to stay the order as interim relief.

Justice Naushad Ali said “every mortal devotee is equal before the Almighty. Privilege of a few should not affect the right of others. I am of the prima facie view that the order has been passed in a fair and reasonable manner. If the petitioner ultimately succeeds in the writ, he can always be accommodated by allotting certain dates. I am therefore not inclined to suspend the order.”

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