Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka and Tripura are yet to follow directives on timely payment of salaries to healthcare workers engaged in COVID-19 duties, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court, which said it could not be “helpless” in implementing the directions. The top court also asked the Centre to clarify that compulsory quarantine period of healthcare workers is not to be treated as leave and salaries are not deducted for the period.
A bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice M R Shah told the Centre to issue directions for releasing the salaries on time. If the states are not complying with the guidelines and orders of the Central government, you are not helpless. You have to ensure that your order is implemented. You have got the power under the Disaster Management Act. You can take steps also,” the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre.
Mehta said that after the top court’s directions on June 17, necessary orders were issued on June 18 to all the states concerning timely payment of salaries to healthcare workers. On June 12, the top court had observed, “In war, you do not make soldiers unhappy. Travel an extra mile and channel some extra money to address their grievances”.
It had said that the courts should not be involved in the issue of non-payment of salary to healthcare workers, and the government should settle the matter.
Source: Economic Times.