The Supreme Court yesterday (28 August, 2020), permitted three journalist organisations to add a prayer to their Writ Petition challenging job losses in the media industry urging the apex court to direct that the Government of India take action against employers who were in breach of the 29.3.2020 MHA order and other notifications.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan heard Senior Counsel, Advocate Colin Gonsalves, on behalf of the Petitioners, i.e. The National Alliance of Journalists, The Delhi Union of Journalists and The Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists, and tagged the petition filed by the scribes with the batch of petitions dealing with the challenge to the 29.3.2020 Ministry Home Affairs (MHA) order.
The matter has been kept after four weeks.
The prayer urged the Apex Court to “Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Union of India and all the State Governments to enforce the Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 29.3.2020 issued by Government of India by proceeding under Section 10(2)(l) read with Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 against the newspaper establishments and digital and electronic media establishments for violation of the said Order, and to enforce the Advisories dated 22.3.2020.”
On April 27, 2020, a Supreme Court Bench of Justices N.V.Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and B. R.Gavai had admitted the Writ Petition urging the Apex Court to suspend with immediate effect all terminations, resignations, wage deductions and directions to go on leave without pay that have taken place in the media after the announcement of the nation-wide lockdown.
Since April 2020, scores of journalists media establishments across India have been illegally terminated, with barely a few hours notice, and received a month’s wages as notice. Others have had salary cuts or enforced furloughs.
The Writ Petition will now focus on the prayer that the Government of India take action against employers who were in breach of the 29.3.2020 MHA order and other notifications.