SC refuses to interfere in Tamil Nadu CM’s proposal for welfare workers

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin | Photo Credit: Anirudh Parthasarathy 10914@Chennai

A Vacation Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere in a proposal made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to accommodate willing ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargal’ (MNPs) in 12,524 village panchayats across the State as ‘Employment Guarantee Scheme Work Coordinators‘ under MGNREGS on a priority basis for a monthly honorarium of ₹7,500.

The Bench of Justices M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose said that only willing MNPs need to accept the offer and the State government, which had already stepped into action on the Chief Minister’s proposal, was not compelling them to agree.

“It is very clear that only willing MNPs need to accept,” Justice Shah said.

Senior advocate P. Wilson appeared for the State government and ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargal Sangam’ in the case.

The court also clarified that no prejudice should be caused to the rights of those among the MNPs who opted to continue their pending litigation before it rather than take up the government’s fresh offer to employ them in village panchayats.

The ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargal’ scheme was meant to create awareness about the “evils of consumption of liquor” under Article 47 of the Constitution read with Rule 10 (5) of the Tamil Nadu Liquor Retail Vending (in Shops and Bars) Rules, 2003. However, the scheme has been caught up in litigation since 2014 and appeals concerning it are currently pending in the Supreme Court.

The Vacation Bench was hearing an application filed by the ‘Villupuram Mavattam Makkal Nalapaniyalargal Maruvazhvu Sangam’, claiming that the proposal of the Chief Minister was “completely adverse to the interest of the ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargal’ ”.

The application went on to claim that the “act of the State government is a threat to the life and interest of the ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargal’ ”. The application urged the court to order status quo until the appeals pending in the top court were finally decided.

“The pay scale offered by the State government to the ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargals’ is very less as compared to the earlier special time scale of the ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargals’. The State government is not giving any back wages for the livelihood lost by the ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargals’ which is due to the past conduct of the State governments. In light of these facts and circumstances, the proposal of the State government is adverse to the interest of the ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargals’, and hence, unacceptable” the application had said.

The application blamed the State for deferring the hearing of the appeals in the Supreme Court “on many occasions”.

“Thus, the ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargals’ are entitled to back wages for their lost livelihood which is due to the past conduct of the State. Out of 13,500 ‘Makkal Nala Paniyalargals’, 1,800 have expired, 7,000 are above 53 years of age and around 1,500 are above 57 years of age,” the application had alleged.

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Printable version | Jun 8, 2022 12:47:38 pm |