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news details
HC directs Secy RDD, others to release wages of MGNREGA supporting staff
1/13/2021 10:51:49 PM
ASIF IQBAL NAIK
Early Times Report
KISHTWAR, Jan 13: In a petition filled by the MGNREGA supporting staff working in the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to release all their pending wages held up by the department illegally and arbitrarily, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed Secretary RDD & PR, Director RDD & PR Jammu, ACD Kishtwar and concerned BDOs to release all their pending wages since the time it was withhold illegally.
As per the details available with Early Times, Nineteen (19) supporting staff working under Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) in different Blocks of District Kishtwar approached the vacation Judge of J&K High Court through the medium of writ petition bearing WP(C) No. 12/2021, CM No. 56/2021 & CM No. 57/2021 titled Nissar Ahmed & Others Vs. Union Territory of J&K & Ors., whereby they sought direction upon Commissioner Secretary to Government Rural Development Department & Panchayati Raj, Director Rural Development Jammu, District Development Commissioner (District Programme Coordinator MGNREGA) Kishtwar, Assistant Commissioner Development, Kishtwar and Block Development Officers of Block Kishtwar, Inderwal, Marwah, Chatroo, Drabshalla and Paddar to release their pending wages w.e.f the date the same has been illegally and arbitrarily withheld without any reason despite the fact that they are continuously performing their duties as supporting staff and thus they also claim 12% interest for the deferred payment till its realization. During the course of argument the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners Advocate Sh. Faheem Shokat Butt referred various communications of Block Development Officers, addressed to ACD Kishtwar which evidenced that the petitioners are continuously performing their duties in their respective Blocks and also referred the statement showing the payment due and wages amount from the period it is unpaid. The Learned Counsel argued that the petitioners are being penalized for approaching the Hon'ble Court as number of writ petitioners whereby they have challenged the Govt. Orders is pending adjudication before the High Court and therefore they are being victimized. It is further argued that not paying the wages to the petitioners would tantamount to taking 'Begar' which is forbidden under Article 23 of Constitution of India. The salary is fundamental right guaranteed in terms of Article 19 of the Constitution of India and petitioners have right to receive the same in order to make both hands meet in this era of escalating prices.
Upon hearing the counsel of petitioners Faheem Shokat Butt, the Vacation Judge Sindhu Sharma directed the respondents to pay the wages to the petitioner for the period they have worked.
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