MANDATED PAYMENT OF WAGES TO WORKERS NO MORE COMPULSORY : M.H.A. CEASES ALL ITS PREVIOUS ORDERS

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India has issued an order providing for certain relaxations and guidelines with respect to the 4th phase of the COVID-19 lockdown, which will be in effect till May 31, 2020.

Through the order issued on May 17, the MHA has ceased all its previous orders, including the March 29 order that mandated payment of wages to employees during the lockdown period.

Under the Constitution of India, Labour is a subject in the Concurrent List where both the Central & State Governments are competent to enact legislation subject to certain matters being reserved for the Centre.Therefore, State Governments may enact separate rules if it intends to compel employers to pay during the Covid period.

As soon as the March 29 MHA notification came out, it was challenged in several petitions filed before the Supreme Court. The lead petitioner in the case is Ficus Pax, represented by Advocate-on-Record Jeetender Gupta.

The petitioner company had submitted that these two notifications were “arbitrary, illegal, irrational, unreasonable and contrary to the provisions of law including Article 14 and Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India.” The petitions were listed for hearing on May 15, when the Government of India sought some more time to file its response.

BAR ASSOCIATION URGES PM MODI TO AMMEND LAW TO ALLOW CITIZENS TO SUE CHINA & CLAIM DAMAGES FOR COVID-19

The All India Bar Association wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to amend Section 86 of the Civil Procedure Code, which restricts the scope of a citizen to sue a foreign government, enabling the filing of lawsuits against China to seek damages for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Terming the pandemic a “handiwork” of China, President of the Association Adish C Aggarwala said the government should bring an ordinance to amend the CPC Section which will enable Indians to seek damages from China for the disease that has brought the economy to a grinding halt and claimed 2,752 lives.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Aggarwala, a senior Supreme Court lawyer and President of International Council of Jurists, said according to section 86 of CPC of India no foreign State may be sued in any court otherwise competent to try the suit except with the consent of the Central Government certified in writing by a Secretary to that Government. “As the law stands today, there is no other remedy available to an individual against the State of China. An individual can also not approach, directly, the International Court of Justice for seeking damages,” he said.