Non payment of salary: HC seek reply from State, firm & contractor


The Himahcal Pradesh High court today issued notices to the State Power Corporation, State govenrnment, companies and contractors to file reply within two weeks in the matter pertaining to the non-payment of wages or salary to the workers of the Shongtong Karcham Hydel Project in District Kinnaur at Pawari.

The court also directed the Secretary, Power to the Government of H.P. Labour Commissioner, H.P., Regional Provident Fund, H.P. & Patel Engineering Limited to file reply listing the matter for June 28, for further hearing.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders on a petition filed by Shongtong Karcham Hydel Project Worker’s Union. It was alleged in the petition that 450 MW Shongtong Hydel Project was started by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation at Pawari in Kinnaur District. And a large numbers of worker’s were engaged in the construction activities of the said project.

The Corporation handed over the work of the project to the Patel Engineering Limited, who furthered engaged various sub contractors. It was also alleged in the petition that there were consistent and regular violation of various labour laws.

There was unrest among the workers that they were not getting their dues, but finally it was aggravated when the workers did not get their salaries for the month of December, 2015 to February, 2016 and thus, in this background, the workers submitted a demand charter to the employers with copies to the Labour Officer-cum-Conciliation Officer as well as Regional Provident Fund Commissioner.

In furtherance of this demand charter, the Labour Officer-cum-Conciliation Officer arranged a meeting on March .03.2016 on which date, it was agreed upon that the salaries of 3 ½ would be paid to the workers within two days and for rest of demands further conciliation meeting was to be held on March 17, 2016.

But when the salary was not paid to the workers within the prescribed period, the workers went on strike on the same day. Thereafter, Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur imposed Section 144 Cr.PC in order to maintain the law and order in the area. Now the petitioner Union has approached the High Court with the prayer to lift the imposition of section 144 and has also prayed for issuance of directions the release the salaries of the members of the petitioner union.

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