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 Delhi HC warned MCD staff union, Gundagardi not acceptable in the name of protest

NEW DELHI:  The sanitation workers employed by the municipal corporations have a right to protest against non-payment of salaries but they cannot create nuisance or do ‘gundagardi’ by throwing garbage on roads and restrain staff from working, the Delhi High Court said on Thursday. 

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, while disposing of a petition by East Delhi Municipal Corporation, warned that such conduct will not be spared and stern action will be taken against the erring union leaders and their members. 

The EDMC has sought seeking direction to police and government to ensure that there is no obstruction in the performance of its duties, its officials and employees, including safai karamcharis who are willing to work. EDMC had earlier said several safai karamcharis unions had called for a strike in March and that they shall be restrained from throwing garbage on streets or hampering the functioning of the corporation.

The MCD Swachhata Karamchari Union leaders, who gave the strike call, appeared before the court and assured it that they will not resort to any such conduct in future. 

“If there is a grievance, you have a right to raise it and nobody is taking away your right. But you cannot create nuisance and ‘gundagardi’. We will not allow this and will come down heavily with an iron hand,” the bench said.

The safai karamcharis were striking over the non-payment of salaries on time and pressing their other demands.

The high court had earlier also directed the sanitation staff not to take the law into their hands by obstructing the removal of garbage or by strewing it on the streets of the city. They were also directed not to obstruct or block the ingress and egress into the offices of the MCD. 

A batch of petitions raising grievances regarding non-payment of salaries to all classes of municipal employees is pending before the high court which has been passing orders, as a result of which, all Group D employees have been paid their salaries till December, 2020