Flood Relief : HC slams forced salary deduction, Calls it robbery

Kochii : The Kerala High Court on Monday came down heavily on govt’s decision to deduct one-month salary of its employees, toward Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), calling it robbery of sorts.

The single bench was hearing petition filed by employees of Travancore Devaswom Board(TDB), challenging the board’s decision to compulsorily deduct salary and festival allowances towards CMDRF.

TDB had issued order in compliance to the state govt decision on the matter.

While asking for donations is understandable, making it compulsory will set wrong precedent, the court observed. The bench termed it as “looting the employees”.

In the wake of court ruling, TDB said it will revise its order, it said.

The court meanwhile will hear the matter again on Tuesday.

Torrential rains wreaked widespread flooding and landslides in Kerala last month. Lakhs of people were displaced and the state suffered an estimate of 20,000 crore in damages to its roads, bridges and main infrastructures.

The state cabinet explored varied methods to fundraise towards rebuilding efforts, including approaching diaspora in different countries. Forcibly deducting one-month salary of govt employees was one such measure.

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