Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday nixed a Kerala government order asking its employees to donate a month’s salary to help rebuild the flood-ravaged state.
The apex court ruled that those Kerala government employees who are not willing to part with a month’s salary for rebuilding Kerala need not give their unwillingness in writing, as demanded by the state government.
State Finance Minister Thomas Issac called the ruling a setback to the government’s efforts to rebuild the state.
“Now that the ruling has come, we are duty-bound to obey it and hence from the coming month, only those who have given their willingness will have to contribute,” said Issac.
The SC decision prompted the opposition parties to slam the CPI-M government headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The BJP sought the resignation of Issac, while the Congress said that this was a slap on the face of the Vijayan government’s arrogance.
The Kerala government had appealed to the apex court after the Kerala High Court stayed the government’s directive asking the employees to contribute a month’s salary over a period of 10 months, with three days’ salary transferred every month.
The Kerala High Court had stayed the order in September, after media reports surfaced that action was being taken against those who were not willing to part with their salaries.