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HC extends order restraining Delhi Metro staff from going on strike

The high court, in an ex-parte interim order on June 29, had restrained DMRC staff from going on their proposed strike from June 30, saying huge inconvenience would be caused to commuters.

delhi Updated: Jul 06, 2018 22:35 IST
Delhi High Court,Delhi Metro,Delhi Metro staff
Delhi High Court on Friday extended its order restraining the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) staff from going on strike . (Sonu Mehta/ HT Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Friday extended its order restraining the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) staff from going on strike over a number of demands, including pay-scale revision, saying huge inconvenience would be caused to commuters.

Justice Pratibha Rani extended the interim order directing the employees not to go on strike till further orders and sought their response on a plea by the DMRC seeking that they be restrained from resorting to strike.

The high court, in an ex-parte interim order on June 29, had restrained DMRC staff from going on their proposed strike from June 30, saying huge inconvenience would be caused to commuters.

The court on Friday issued fresh notices to some of the office bearers of DMRC staff council, who were not served earlier, and listed the matter for further hearing on September 4.

The court sought to know from additional solicitor general (ASG) Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the DMRC, whether the petition would be infructuous now as the proposed strike date of June 30 is over.

The ASG said the petition cannot be infructuous as the employees have given three notices that they will resort to strike if their demands are not met.

Advocate Rajeev Mishra, appearing for some of the office bearers of the staff council, urged the court to direct the DMRC to file an affidavit that it will abide by the terms of settlement arrived at between the employer and the employees last year.

The court said it was a matter of arguments and would be dealt with later.

It had passed the interim order during summer vacations holding that, prima facie, the action of the metro staff does not seem to be justified or legal.

It had said DMRC is running a public utility service which caters to around 25 lakh citizens of Delhi, who come largely from the middle income group, on a daily basis and sufficient notice has not been given to the DMRC and the conciliation proceedings are still in progress.

The DMRC had challenged three notices given by DMRC employees union and DMRC staff council of June 14, 18 and 20 respectively and sought direction to restrain them from resorting to strike.

It had earlier showed correspondence between the corporation and the employees and minutes of meetings held between its representatives and the DMRC staff council which showed that a settlement was arrived at between them on July 23 last year.

The court had said it appeared that there were disputes regarding implementation of the terms of the settlement and it is the claim of the employees that the terms of the settlement have not be fully implemented till date.

However, the DMRC maintained that the staff council was raising further demands which according to it was unjustified.

The total liability of DMRC till date is Rs 38,685.03 crore.

There are nearly 12,000 people employed with the Delhi Metro, with the non-executive staffers accounting for about 9,000.

Some of the non-executive staff of the DMRC were earlier staging demonstrations at a few metro stations, including the Yamuna Bank and Shahdara, since June 19 in support of their eight-point demand.

The non-executive workforce includes train operators, station controllers, operations and maintenance staff and technicians, and form a major component in the operation of the rapid rail network.

Some of the council members have been protesting over a number of issues, including pay-scale revision, modification of the DMRC Staff Council as an employees union, as well as proper guidelines for sacking of an employee and that too in extreme conditions.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without any modifications. Only the headline has been changed.

First Published: Jul 06, 2018 20:42 IST