Allahabad HC Issues Warrants Against Union Leaders During UP Power Workers' Strike
The Allahabad High Court started contempt proceedings against the union leaders on Friday and issued a warrant requesting them to appear before it on Monday after taking serious notice of the continuing strike by the workers of the Uttar Pradesh power department in contravention of a court order. After hearing a PIL, a division bench made up of Justices Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Vinod Diwaker ordered that, given the urgency of the situation, bailable warrants be issued by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Lucknow against the office holders of the Vidyut Karmachari Sanyukt Sangarsh Samiti through its organiser Shailendra Dubey and several others, requiring their appearance before the court on March 20 at 10 a.m.
Starting on Thursday night, the staff of the power department went on strike for three days. The court also ordered the relevant state agencies to guarantee that the erring officials or workers face all legal repercussions necessary to achieve compliance with its prior rulings from December 6, 2022, which stated that there would be no interruptions in the state's electricity supply. The court set March 20 as the new deadline and ordered the state administration to disclose any compliance with the related action by that date.
By that time, "an affidavit of the Additional Chief Secretary of the Department concerned will be put on record," the court stated. "Given what has been put before us, a severe situation is proven to have emerged that demands quick response," the court said after passing the aforementioned instructions. Even if the workers' demand has some merit, the state cannot be severely constrained by endangering the majority public interest.
"Such behaviour of employees breaches the order of this court for not interrupting electricity supply. Due to the decrease in electricity production at several state power plants, even the national interest has been put at risk. As a result, the court's order from December 6, 2022 is being disobeyed, the court said.