High Court notice to State, Centre on NREGS wages

Centre can't override powers to fix minimum wages


Karnataka Pranthya Raitha Sangha had filed a PIL stating that the minimum wages in the State is Rs 82 per day under NREGA, while that fixed for agricultural labourers is Rs 119.41 under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 . The petitioners contended the amount fixed by the Central government is less and arbitrary.

The petitioners also contended that the Sec 6 (1) of NREGA 2005, says that the Central Government has powers to override minimum wages to fix the price.

However, fixing of minimum wage is a piece of social legislation and the Central Government cannot override it, they argued. A division bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran ordered notice to the State and Central governments.

GoI impleaded

The High Court on Friday agreed to implead Power Finance Corporation Limited and Government of India as respondents, in a case related to calling fresh tenders by the state government for a power development programme.

KLG Systel Limited of Gurgaon had filed a writ petition against the State Energy Department and Bescom, regarding the awarding of tenders for IT implementation in the Centrally sponsored Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP).

On July 19, 2009, the Department of Energy and Bescom had called for tenders for IT implementation which involved establishment of baseline data and IT applications for energy accounting/auditing and IT- based consumer service centres. The petitioners alleged that they were selected but were not given the contract. Fresh tenders were again called on October 14, but this has been challenged by the petitioners. 

Justice Ajit J Gunjal agreed to implead the Central Government and Power Finance Corporation Limited as respondents and also extended the last date of submission of the tenders to October 28 to accommodate the petitioner.

The hearing is adjourned to November 2 after the counsel for the respondents, Advocate General Ashok Haranahalli, argued that the last date was only for receiving the bids and the list will not be finalised for a period of two weeks.

Stay extended

The High Court has extended the stay on the guidelines for ward-wise reservation issued by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike till the final hearing on October 27. Justice H N Nagmohan Das has also impleaded former Mayor P R Ramesh as a respondent in the case.

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