Senior Advocate Indira Jaising argued that “the authority which imposed lockdown is responsible for protection of those affected by it.” The advocate was appearing on behalf of workers in petitions challenging MHA order of March 29 where it directed the employers to pay wages to workers without any deduction.
The batch of petitions were before a three judges bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah, the bench granted an interim protection from coercive action to employers while reserving the order for June 12.
Indira Jaising contended that the authority which imposed lockdown was obliged to make suitable arrangements for those affected by it. She stated that if the lockdown order was not being challenged, how can the MHA order be quashed. She further contended that it was not the fault of workers as they were willing to work during this time also as they were capable to do the work and the principle “no work no pay” stood as an antithesis to Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
Jaising submitted that Industrial Disputes Act in so far it talks of conciliation between employer and employee shouldn’t be considered as the Disaster Management Act 2005 would apply stringently by reference to Section 22 of the Act. In support of the argument she stated that for the protection of poorest sections of the society the employers were duty bound to pay them.
She prayed that the order of MHA issued on March 29 shouldn’t be quashed.