The Kerala High Court had stayed the government's mandate for government employees to submit a no-consent letter if they didn't want to donate a month's salary for flood relief.

Kerala government files appeal in SC to implement salary challengePTI
news Kerala floods Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 19:24

The Kerala government has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Kerala High Court’s stay order on the government’s contentious “salary challenge”. The salary challenge mandated that all government employees who did not want to donate a month’s salary to flood relief efforts in the state would have to explicitly submit a no-consent letter stating the same.

On October 9, the Kerala HC had stayed this measure, stating that forcing employees to submit a no-consent letter would hurt their self-respect. It also opined that there was no way to differentiate between those who chose not to donate their salary despite having money, and those who chose not to because they genuinely did not have enough money to afford such a donation. 

On October 4, the High Court also criticised the Kerala government’s move to prepare a list of all those who had chosen not to participate in the salary challenge. It had also said that “the demand that one month’s salary should be donated is tantamount to forced fund collection”, while issuing the stay order.

The Chief Justice of India has accepted the Kerala government’s request to hear the appeal, filed on Thursday, urgently; and will hear the petition on October 29. The stay issued by the High Court is valid until the Kerala Administrative Tribunal pronounces its final verdict on this matter. 

The finance department had sought the advice of the state Attorney General in this matter before filing this appeal. 

The appeal in the Supreme Court comes close on the heels of reports that the Kerala government on October 24 has forcibly seized one month’s worth of salary of 49 police officers in Idukki district who did not agree to contribute to the salary challenge. The money was deducted from their salary for September. 

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