Govt had threatened to impose Essential Services Maintenance Act.
New Delhi: In a relief for Delhiites, the Delhi high court on Friday restrained DMRC staff from going on strike from midnight over a number of demands, including pay-scale revision, saying their action does not appear justified or legal as around 25 lakh people using Metro services daily will be affected.
The Delhi government had earlier threatened to impose the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to ensure smooth functioning of the Metro and appealed to the employees not to resort to strike.
The ESMA is imposed by authorities to ensure smooth functioning of the services when faced with a situation of strike.
But the DMRC had to approach the high court in the evening after two rounds of talks with the representatives of DMRC Staff Council failed to break the deadlock over their disputes.
The petition by the DMRC was mentioned at the residence of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal who assigned it for an urgent hearing before Justice Vipin Sanghi.
After the hearing which started around 5.30 pm, Justice Sanghi passed the ex-parte interim order holding that prima facie, the action of the Metro staff does not seemed to be justified or legal.
The court said that the 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 the fact that they would be greatly inconvenienced if the staff go on strike.
“Prima facie, the action of the respondents (employees) does not appear to be justified or legal since sufficient notice has not been given to the petitioner and the conciliation proceedings are still in progress, I am inclined to grant ad-interim relief as sought in the application.
“Accordingly, the employees are restrained from going on strike on June 30 or till further orders in the matter,” the judge, who heard the matter for around 30 minutes, said in a five-page order.
The court issued notice to general secretary (staff council) and DMRC employees union for July 6 on DMRC’s plea which sought direction to restrain the employees from resorting to strike as per their notices of June 18 and 20.