HC dismisses state’s ‘frivolous contentions’, tells officials it will nail them down

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court admonished the secretary of the labour department for not taking steps to constitute a state-level Social Security Board (SSB) for unorganised workers in the state, despite orders of the Court on December 16 to do so. The Court directed the official to be present before it (in virtual mode) on the next date of hearing.

“This Court will nail down recalcitrant officers, who have an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards implementing court orders. It is most unacceptable casual behaviour of officials. It is the responsibility of the government to constitute the board, which will be helpful to poor unorganised workers across Telangana,” said Chief Justice Hima Kohli.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Congress Party leader C. Damodar Rajanarsimha, seeking a direction to the Telangana government to constitute a state-level SSB for the unorganised workers and its members.

Despite petitioning the government for the last six years to do so, the board has not been constituted. Even a Court direction has not helped.

During the course of arguments, the Chief Justice Hima Kohli posed a series of questions to the commissioner, labour department, who was present before the Court, asking him to explain the reasons for the undue delay in constituting the said Board.

The commissioner told the HC Division Bench that he has been holding an additional charge of the post, and further, had sent a proposal to secretary, labour department, for constituting the board; but it is pending with the government. The CJ was not inclined to hear his contentions and termed his contentions as “frivolous and casual”.

The case has been adjourned to March 18, 2021.



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