The Delhi High Court on Wednesday lashed out at the government agencies for doing nothing to extend benefits to labourers who worked at Commonwealth Games projects despite its repeated orders.
It summoned the MCD commissioner, regional labour commissioner, Government of India, NDMC secretary, DDA secretary, and general manager (human resource) of Delhi International Airport Limited for February 7.
To ensure their presence, the high court bench has directed them not to go abroad till the next date of hearing. But they have been permitted to go “with the permission of the court if there was some exigency”. They have also been barred from
filing any petitions in the court seeking exemption from presence.
The court was hearing a PIL on the poor plight of thousands of labourers who toiled day and night in rough weather to make Delhi a world-class city before the Games but was being denied basic facilities like minimum wages, registration, health, medical and maternity benefits and free education for their children.
“You all blame each other. These poor people are unaware of their rights and various beneficial schemes under various Acts. The case has been ruthlessly handled and please do not play games with the court,” a bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra told lawyers appearing for all sides.
Directing all employers to act against contractors holding them principally responsible for violation of labourers’ rights, the court said “all principal employers should provide address of employees to the labour welfare board and till the names are provided by contractors they need not be paid their outstanding payments”.
Delhi government standing counsel Najmi Waziri told the court that the government had enough funds but it was the job of the employers to make the workers aware of their rights and benefits under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act and make them approach the welfare board to claim it.
HC grants bail to Jeyachandran
CWG Organising Committee (OC) official M Jeyachandran, arrested for alleged financial bungling in holding the Queen’s Baton Relay in London in 2009, was on Wednesday granted bail by the Delhi High Court.
This was after the CBI failed to wind up the probe and file the chargesheet in the case within the stipulated 60-day period.
Another OC official TS Darbari had been granted bail on January 14 by the court on the same ground. Justice Hima Kohli enlarged Jeyachandran on bail on a personal bond of R50,000 with two sureties of the same amount.
Jeyachandran, the OC joint director (finance), had been arrested by the CBI on November 21. During the arguments on his bail plea on January 17, his counsel had pleaded innocence before the court, saying he had “no role which can be termed as a criminal act in the alleged financial irregularities in the Queen’s Baton Relay.”
Jeyachandran was taken into custody days after two other co-accused TS Darbari and Sanjay Mahendroo were arrested on November 15.
Mahendroo, too, had secured bail on the ground of the CBI’s failure in concluding the probe and filing the charge sheet.
HTC, New Delhi