Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday lambasted the state government for not following its order to pay at least the minimum wages to its part-time employees.
"You are paying the remuneration which was decided in 1998... Thinking of this our heart bleeds," said the division bench of justices Akil Kureshi and J B Pardiwala.
The court was hearing a PIL alleging that around 15,000 employees in the state are being paid less than the minimum statutory wages.
"You take any commodity and compare price with the price of 20 years back and you would realise (the situation)," the court said.
On August 21, the high court had directed the government to pay wages of no less than Rs 220 per day to all its part- time employees from August. It had also directed the finance department to pass a circular accordingly.
However, today the court was informed that the state had not issued the resolution to implement the orders.
The bench said that contempt of the court proceedings would be initiated against the state functionaries if the order was not implemented.
Additional advocate general Prakash Jani submitted that government will constitute a committee of four ministers to review the situation.
The high court then directed the state to issue the circular by September 8 and pay the increased wages, with two months' arrears, by September 15.
The finance department will have to file a compliance report by December 13, the next date of hearing.
City-based trade union 'Gujarat Rajya Anshkalin Karmchari Mandal' has filed the PIL, through its lawyer advocate Ashlesha Patel.
According to PIL, part-time government employees get only Rs 1,350 per month, and the wage-scale has not been revised since 1998.