The Supreme Court of India, on June 4th declared that the government cannot take any dismissal action towards or force the private companies to pay full working wages to their employees in the duration of the lockdown period. This decision comes as a plethora of legal firms from across the state took their plea to the apex court following the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 29th May, 2020 which mandated the salaries to be paid in full.
A bench formed of Justice Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and M R Shah took the decision warranted after petitioners from various backgrounds like small commercial units, shops, factories etc., called for action after the government’s decision. The petitioners lamented about how the coronavirus has turned their businesses down and their productivity to zilch. They accurately reasoned that the businesses would go into the lane of bankruptcy if they are coerced to pay complete wages to the workers without having made any profits. The supreme bench then asked the logic behind the Government’s notice that said that employers could face legal action if they failed to pay full wages to their employees, even if there has been no work done or income produced. The final verdict on the same would be delivered on June 12th.
It was circumstanced that while some agencies may be capable of paying 100% of the wages, others might struggle with even a quarter of 25% in the midst of the plight caused by the global pandemic. In the justification of it’s notices, Centre stated that those employers/companies that say they are in no position to pay in full shall produce their audited balance sheets and accounts in the court.