PIL seeking release unpaid wages to around 23.5 lakhs poor workers who worked under MGNREGA

DB grants last opportunity to file response

13/11/2021

Jammu, Nov 12: In a Public Interest Litigation filed by All Jammu & Kashmir Panchayat Confer-ence seeking directions to release unpaid wages to around 23.5 lakhs poor workers who worked and many still working since 2015 in J&K and the respondents has not paid full wages as provided under MGNREGA.
A Division Bench of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court comprising Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Mohan Lal granted six weeks last opportunity to Union of India and J&K UT to file counter affidavit failing which the petition will proceed in the absence of their response treating the averments made in the writ petition to be true and correct.
In the PIL it has been submitted that this is serious issue with regard to nonpayment of wages to around Twenty three lakhs and fifty thousand workers (23.5 lakhs), out of which fifteen lakhs and forty three thousand (15.43 lakhs) are active workers, who are the. residents of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and had undertaken manual labour work under MGNREGA. Despite the express provisions for disbursement of wages within a maximum prescribed period of 15 days, these children of lesser gods and forsaken souls, had not been paid fully by the respondents and from the year 2015 till date a huge amount of around Rs. 29108.96 lakhs stands as liability against the respondents for the due payment of wages, out of which an amount of Rs. 19224.69 lakhs, is due against the payment of wages of unskilled workers and an amount of Rs. 9884.27 lakhs is due on the payment of wages of Skilled and Semi-Skilled. workers. The workers are living economically and socially distressed life during the most testing times of current Pandemic for non payment of their due wages.

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