The Court based on a news item published in the Daily Newspaper Hindustan, Times of India, Dainik Bhaskar, Prabhat Khabar, and Patna edition of Dainik Jagran, on its own motion, took notice of the pitiable condition resulted on account of dumping of piles of garbage on the streets of Patna.
Background: The call for a strike is given by an organization named as Patna Nagar Nigam Sanyukt Karmchari Samanwaya Samiti (Patna Municipal Joint Staff Coordination Committee), headed by Shri Chandra Prakash Singh, President; Shri Mangal Paswan, Addl. Coordinator-cum-General Secretary; Shri Ramyatan Prasad, Coordinator-cum-General Secretary, Patna Nagar Nigam Sanyukt Karmchari Samanwaya Samiti. As per the news report dated 11.09.2020, the garbage stands dumped by the employee/workers of the Patna Municipal Corporation, perhaps on account of non-acceptance of their demands.
Submission: The learned council submitted that assuming the demands of the workers to be genuine, still they cannot resort to dumping garbage on the streets, which action is ex facie contrary to the statutory provisions/contractual obligations. And if this problem is not addressed immediately, it would result in an outbreak of another pandemic.
Order: The Honourable Chief Justice of Patna High Court Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar, in view of attending circumstances and after thoughtful consideration issued the following directions:
The employees/workers of the Patna Municipal Corporation and more specifically members of the Patna Nagar Nigam Sanyukt Karmchari Samanwaya Samiti shall forthwith call off their strike; and shall immediately resume or join their duties and report at their respective places of posting. They shall ensure that either directly or indirectly, no loss is caused to public property and immediately ensure that the garbage dumped on the roads/streets fallen within the municipal limits of Patna shall be collected and disposed of, as required under law/in terms of contractual obligations.
Directions were also given to Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development to convene a meeting with all the stakeholders including members of the Patna Nagar Nigam Sanyukt Karmchari Samanwaya Samiti or any other registered Union and consider the issues raised and the grievances highlighted by the employees and find a workable solution at the earliest. The unpaid salaries/wages of all the employees, be it regular/casual/daily of the Municipal Corporation, Patna, to be released within the next two working days.
The Municipal Commissioner, Patna Municipal Corporation to file an affidavit within 2 weeks stating the outcome of the meeting and compliance regarding the release of wages and salaries.
The Court also stated that violation of any one of the above orders shall tantamount to committing Contempt of Court and gave 29-09-2020 as the next hearing date.