Kerala High Court slams government for not taking plight of KSRTC staff seriously

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday slammed the State government for not taking proactive steps to ensure that the KSRTC employees were paid their salaries by the fifth of every month.

Justice Devan Ramachandran orally observed that if the government was serious about the intent of the High court directive to ensure payment of salaries of the KSRTC staff, it would have already taken steps in this regard. In fact, the court kept on issuing orders and the government did not take the intention of the former seriously. It was really embarrassing for the court. There was no point in passing orders which could not be implemented.

The court made the observations when a petition by the KSRTC seeking to extend by 10 days the time granted for payment of July salary came up for hearing.

The court observed that If the government was serious, the ‘hapless’ employees could have been paid salaries by August 10. The unfortunate situation was that the KSRTC did not have any money to pay the July salary to its employees, much less August.

The court added that when it was told that there were no other sources of income for paying the salaries, the options before the court would either be that the government step in or the assets of the corporation be proceeded against. In fact, both these options could be explored only if the government played an assisting role.

The court pointed out that the July salary had not been fully paid. Most probably, the salary for the month of August would not be paid by the 5th of September. For the KSRTC employees, this year’s Onam might not be one they could rejoice. This scenario could be altered only if the government came forward with effective, feasible and cogent suggestions.

The government pleader submitted that the government would “do something” in a few days. The pleader told the court that it would be informed of the progress in the meeting convened on August 17 (Wednesday) by the government. The audit of the KSRTC assets had not been completed.

The court posted the case for August 24.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 7:00:04 pm |