High Court seeks Labour Secretary’s presence

Expressing dissatisfaction over the government not constituting State Level Social Security Board for workers in unorganised sectors, the Telangana High Court on Thursday instructed the Labour Department secretary to be present for hearing in virtual mode on March 18.

A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy passed the direction while hearing a PIL plea filed by Congress leader and former Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Raj Narsimha.

The bench took serious exception to the government’s failure to enforce its orders issued on December 16 last to constitute the board. “It is most unacceptable casual behaviour of officials,” the Chief Justice remarked. Seeking presence of the Labour Department Secretary for the next hearing, the Chief Justice said the court would like to nail down the recalcitrant officers who had an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards implementation of High Court orders.

Referring to the board, the bench said its constitution is the government’s responsibility. The board would be of immense utility to poor workers engaged in different unorganised sectors, the bench felt. The petitioner wanted the court to instruct the government to create the board which was pending for past six years.

During the previous hearing, the bench instructed the government to constitute the board within four weeks deprecating the casual approach of the officials in its creation. The bench also wanted the authorities to inform it about the status of funds available for the welfare of workers.

The Chief Justice Hima Kohli posed a series of questions to the State Labour Commissioner, who appeared for the online hearing. The Commissioner informed the court that he is only holding additional charge of the post, adding that the proposal to constitute the board was already sent to the Labour Department secretary.

Declining to accept the contentions of the commissioner, the Chief Justice made it clear that delay in constitution of the board cannot be accepted. She termed the explanations of the commissioner as frivolous and casual. The Chief Justice told the commissioner that a last opportunity is being given to establish the board and instructed the Labour Secretary to be present for the hearing of the matter on March 18.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 3:37:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/high-court-seeks-labour-secretarys-presence/article33936225.ece

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