Notices to government over pension, salaries Ordinance

Telangana High Court in Hyderabad.

Telangana High Court in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: file photo

Telangana High Court on Friday issued notices to the State government in a writ petition filed by a retired forest officer challenging an Ordinance empowering government to defer payment of pension and salaries of retired and serving employees respectively.

A bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy instructed Advocate General B.S. Prasad to file counter affidavit in the petition in three weeks. Petitioner G. Raman Goud stated that the Ordinance No. 2 dated June 16 was against all constitutional norms.

Senior lawyer S. Satyam Reddy, appearing for the petitioner, said the Ordinance was against the provisions of the Disaster Management Act-2005. It also contravened fundamental rights of pensioners and serving employees by depriving them of their legitimate pension and salaries, the counsel contended.

While the Ordinance was promulgated by the Governor on June 16, it was given retrospective effect from March 24. In the guise of an Ordinance, the government had deferred pension and salaries of employees which was unconstitutional, he argued. In fact, the Disaster Management Act mandates that government come to the rescue of people on all fronts during pandemics. But the government had come out with the Ordinance deferring pensions and salaries of employees, the senior lawyer said.

Observing that government has power to impose reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights in the larger interest of public, the CJ asked Mr. Satyam Reddy to establish how the Ordinance was against the Constitution. The bench said the Governor derived power under Article 213 to promulgate an Ordinance. “This can be challenged on very limited grounds,” the CJ said.

Mr. Satyam Reddy contended that unless there was a financial emergency, the government cannot indulge in deferment of pension amounts and salaries.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 7:47:09 AM |

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