Bombay HC's Diwali gift to BMC employees



Mumbai: In a good news on Diwali for around 40,000 employees of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) affiliated to Municipal Mazdoor Union (MMU), they will be getting ex-gratia bonus of Rs 7,500.

The Bombay High Court today directed the civic body to pay the amount to these employees by November 1.

A Division Bench of Justices S J Kathwala and A M Thipsay gave the direction while hearing an appeal filed by MMU challenging the order of a single HC Judge upholding the BMC's decision not to pay ex-gratia to those employees who participated in a two-day strike last month.

The civic body had issued a circular on October 15 stating the employees who went on a strike on September 19-20 will not be eligible for ex-gratia for the fiscal 2010-11.

"Do not make this an ego issue. Let them celebrate the festival. You (BMC) can release Rs 7,500 by Tuesday (Nov 1) and if the single Judge passes an order in your favour then the amount can be deducted from the salaries of the employees," the court said.

The court directed the single Judge to conclude the matter on November 9 and pass its order by November 14.

"If the order goes in the corporation's favour then Rs 7,500 can be deducted from the employees' salaries for the month of December," Justice Kathwala observed.

Soon after the circular was issued, MMU had approached the industrial court, which directed BMC to pay the ex-gratia amount to all employees. The corporation had challenged this order before the single HC Judge, who upheld BMC decision.

Members of the union led by NCP leader Sharad Rao had gone on strike to demand salaries on the lines of the Sixth Pay Commission.

PTI