Holding that the case raised disputed questions of fact which could not be adjudicated under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Court disposed of a petition alleging non-payment of wages during lockdown with liberty to the employees to approach the Authority under the Delhi Shops and Establishments Act, 1954. (Nirmal Bhagat & Ors vs MHA & Ors)
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Navin Chawla.
The petition was preferred by ten employees of a car rental service, alleging that during the lockdown period, their employer had not only denied them their salaries but also refused to give details about their provident fund account number/certificate etc.
The Petitioners had argued that the employer's conduct was in contravention of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Notification dated March 29, directing all States and Union Territories to ensure the payment of wages to all employees, whether be it industries or in shops or any other commercial establishment.
Apart from seeking compliance of the MHA Notification, a direction was also sought for registration of FIR against the employer/Directors of car rental service.
Before the Court, while the Petitioners submitted that they had been in continuous and uninterrupted employment, the employers contended that the Petitioners were not their permanent employees and their services were availed only on work basis.
In view of the above, the Court ordered,
The Court added that the in such proceedings, both parties shall provide full assistance to the concerned Authority and shall not take any unnecessary adjournment.
The Delhi Government also assured the Court that as and when such application is filed by the Petitioners, endeavour shall be made to dispose of the same as expeditiously as possible and preferably within a period of months of its receipt.
The petition was disposed of in the above terms.
Advocates AK Sharma, Satyam Singh appeared for the Petitioner.
Centre was represented by ASG Maninder Acharya with Standing Counsel Anurag Ahluwalia and Advocates Abhigyan Siddhant, Shefali Jaiswal.
Delhi Government was represented by Additional Standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose with Advocate Naman Jain.