Developed By: iNFOTYKE
TURA: Employees of Garo Hills Autonomous District Council have on Thursday filed a contempt petition in the Meghalaya High Court in Shillong over the failure of the authorities to release their salaries for the last 13 months.
The High Court while accepting the contempt petition has listed the matter for hearing after two weeks.
Representing the aggrieved employees, lawyer Asish Barua filed the contempt petition over non-clearance of salaries of hundreds of employees of the district council since the Meghalaya High Court had given a ruling last year directing the Executive Committee of the GHADC to ensure all pending dues of the employees were cleared within a time frame.
The High Court directed the council authorities to comply with the instructions mentioning that the matter would be listed after two weeks.
While the GHADC initially cleared some months of pending dues of the employees, yet it failed to cover the gap resulting in accumulation of arrear salaries for more months. At present, the employees are working for 13th month without getting paid.
Meanwhile, some council officials pointed out that the problem of funds lied more with the state government than the district council. Crores of rupees meant for royalty payment to the GHADC were allegedly lying with the state government and not getting released.
The contempt petition filed by the employees allegedly states that employee’s dues are being withheld but some legal experts say that the matter is complex because the GHADC authorities are handicapped for lack of funds in their possession.
“It is not just the staff but also the Chief Executive Member, his EMs, senior officials and others who have not been paid due to lack of funds,” said a lawyer involved in the case.
The GHADC has been plagued with repeated funds crunch for the last couple of years and requires the state and central governments to regularly bail them out.
Last year, the central government released a one-time special assistance of Rupees hundred crore for developmental works under the GHADC.