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Telangana passes Ordinance to defer salary, pension payment

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on June 18, 2020 Published on June 17, 2020

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao

Legal expert says Ordinance ‘untenable, arbitrary’

The Telangana government has promulgated an Ordinance to defer the salaries of government employees and pensioners during disaster and public health emergency, triggering fears among employees whether it will impact their salary in June.

The Ordinance allows the State government to defer the payments till the situation becomes manageable. It makes special provisions for the deferment of “any payment in part, payable to any person, institution and any pay, pension and remuneration in the event of any disaster and public health emergency.”

Over the last three months the Government has deferred part of the payments to employees and pensioners.

Legal experts, however, feel that the Ordinance is not tenable and is arbitrary. “It violates Article 21 of the Constitution. It infringes the Right to Live, causing financial distress to the pensioners,” Nandigam Krishna Rao, a senior High Court advocate, has said.

“It is arbitrary and the provisions of the Acts that the Ordinance invokes don’t empower the State to defer salaries. They can do that only in the case of Financial Emergency,” he said. Rachana Reddy, a senior High Court lawyer, said, “They can do that only if the State declares Financial Emergency. It is a vested right of employees to get salaries and no government can take it away.”

The Telangana High Court, hearing a petition related to stoppage of pensions two days ago, observed that the State government can’t touch the pensions unless it declared Financial Emergency.

Ordinance

The Telangana Disaster and Public Health Emergency (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2020, seeks to get immunity from other laws, rules or code or judgement or any court or tribunal. “It shall be competent and lawful for the Government to defer the pay, pension or remuneration in prt, not exceeding one half of the total monthly pay,” it said.

The purview of the Ordinance would also cover payments to staff in aided colleges, schools, local bodies, universities and corporations.

The Government will issue a notification within six months, indicating how it is going to repay the deferred payments.

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Published on June 17, 2020
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