How A Real Chowkidar Fought And Won A Case Against Gujarat Govt Over Minimum Wages: Modi-led BJP Govt Hired Him for Rs 1,500 per month
He lost his job in 2012 for demanding minimum wage.
The Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government appointed a watchman — a chowkidar — in 2003. He was paid a fixed salary of Rs 1,500 per month. After nine years, he lost the job on March 23, 2012, for demanding to be paid the minimum wage fixed by the government. The Labour Court passed a judgement in his favour and reinstated him cancelling the termination order. Not willing to take him back, the government approached the Gujarat High Court. However, the court dismissed the petition and passed a judgement in the watchman’s favour. Next, he fought and won a case against the state government over the minimum wage issue.
On May 4, 2016, the Gujarat High Court passed an order in favour of the watchman Mangalbhai Bhikabhai Thakor directing the government to pay him the applicable minimum wage instead of Rs 1,500. “Pursuant to the Award passed by the Labour Court, the petitioner has been reinstated in service but is still being paid the fixed remuneration of Rs.1500, which is less than the minimum wages prescribed under the regulations as well as the Government
Resolutions of the State Government,” Justice JB Pardiwala said in his judgement.
Earlier, the Gujarat High Court on January 12, 2015, rejected the writ petition filed by the government against the Labour Court’s order in 2014. “The Labour Court noted and observed on the basis of the evidence before it that the engagement of the workman was pursuant to an interview taken,” the court said in its order.
Underlining that the watchman was hard working, the HC added quoting the Labour Court’s order, “It was recorded that the days for which the workman worked during every year right from his engagement in services, was available on record and in all years including during the preceding 12 months of the date of termination, the workman was found to have worked for more than 240 days and almost without any break.”