Says it amounts to compulsion on employees
The Clause 10 of the Kerala Government Order, which asked the State employees who did not wish to contribute their one month’s salary to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund to submit a statement to that effect, was stayed by the Kerala High Court on Tuesday.
Passing the order, the court observed that the clause amounted to compulsion on the employees. The court directed the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT), which had considered a petition in this regard, to dispose of the case in one month’s time. The stay on the provision need not impede the donation of employees, who were willing to make the contribution to the fund, the court noted.
The petitioners, the NGO Sangh, approached the High Court to stay the provision after the KAT refused to the stay the controversial clause.
The petitioner contended that the Clause 10 was discriminatory in nature. However, the Advocate General submitted that there was no compulsion on the employees to contribute to the fund. He also submitted that the Chief Secretary had issued orders to ensure that employees were not forced to make donation.
The petitioners submitted that the government, by asking the employees who were unwilling to contribute the money to follow the Clause 10 provision and submit a statement in this regard, was treating the employees as two classes.
The court observed that some employees may have constraints in providing one month’s salary and the Clause 10 may cause attain the form of compulsion for them. The discriminatory treatment of the employees would affect their self esteem, the court noted.
The court asked the NGO Union, which wanted to implead itself in the case, why it wanted to compel others to make the contribution.