The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the operation of a Ministry of Home affairs circular asking private companies including MSMEs to pay full salaries to their employees during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The court also asked the Centre and States not to prosecute private firms, factories and others over non-payment till next week. The Centre had sought a week’s time to file its reply in the matter.
The order by the Ministry of Home Affairs was necessitated following incidents of companies cutting wages and laying off people in view of reduced business and revenues due to the lockdown.
The Supreme Court stayed the MHA order while hearing various petitions by firms that sought the quashing of the MHA’s circular and blamed the government of passing such orders without due care and deliberation on the financial implications for the employers. The petitioners warned that making such payments will lead to the closure of many of the units and which in turn will cause permanent unemployment and will adversely affect the economy.