Man moves HC against 5-day week for government employees

Published on Feb 29, 2020 12:14 AM IST
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ByKanchan Chaudhari, Mumbai

Four days after the state government announced five-day work week for government employees in Maharashtra, a Solapur resident has moved Bombay high court challenging the decision on the grounds that it will further increase pendency of work at government offices.

The decision was taken in a state cabinet meeting on February 24 and will be implemented from February 29.

About 22 lakh government employees will, however, have to put in additional 45 minute’s work every day, thus taking their total work hours from 7 hours and 15 minutes to 8 hours. Earlier government employees used to get off on second and fourth Saturdays, in addition to the weekly off on Sundays.

Apart from seeking revocation of the decision to introduce five-day work week for government employees in the state, Mahesh Gadekar, 40, has also sought a direction to the government to undertake an audit of pending files, applications and other works in all departments and adopt suitable measures to reduce the pendency.

In a PIL filed through advocate Vinod Sangvikar, Gadekar has contended that the Maharashtra Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act, 2005 was enacted with an avowed object of reducing pendency at government offices and holding government employees responsible for undue delay, but the situation has not improved till date.

Section 8 of the Act mandates every government department to prepare and publish a citizen’s charter and fix responsibility for inaction and take action against erring employees if no final decision is taken within the period specified in the citizen’s charter. Section 10 of the Act states that every government servant shall discharge his official duties and the official work assigned or pertaining to him most diligently and as expeditiously as feasible, and treats any negligence in discharge of official duties or in carrying out the official work as dereliction of duty, which invites departmental action against the government servant.

Gadekar has further said that apart from numerous public holidays, government employees also have personal leaves and granting them additional leaves will act as an impediment in the overall development of the state and therefore the decision should be struck down.

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