SC declines to entertain PIL seeking release of salaries to workers of tiger reserves in UP

New Delhi, Mar 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a PIL seeking the release of salaries of over 1200 daily wage workers working in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Amangarh Tiger Reserve, and Katarnia Ghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh, who allegedly have been not paid for the past 13 months.

A bench comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari heard the submissions of PIL petitioner Gaurav Kumar Bansal, a lawyer, and said that it would be proper if the aggrieved staff move the authorities concerned.

The bench dismissed the PIL while giving the workers the liberty to approach authorities concerned or the courts.

Bansal, who had filed the PIL personal capacity, had sought direction to Centre, Uttar Pradesh, and the National Tiger Conservation Authority to constitute a high-level committee to suggest measures for mitigation of the hardship which the daily wage workers are bound to face during the performance of their duties.

“With all due responsibility and as an officer of the court, the petitioner who is constantly working in the field of environment and wildlife wish to submit before this court that for Respondent No. 03 (Uttar Pradesh government) these daily wage workers may amount nothing to them but in reality, most of they are not less than ‘eyes and ears’ for the forest administration of the said three tiger reserves,” the plea said.

The petitioner claimed that he has taken legal interviews of more than 20 such daily wagers and has learnt that their families are living in very pathetic condition due to non-payment of salaries for the past last 11 months and even a wife of one of such daily wage workers has committed suicide.

Bansal said that by way of not paying the salaries to more than 1200 daily wage workers who are working for the protection and conservation of biodiversity flora and fauna, wildlife, and ecology of the three tiger reserves, the Uttar Pradesh government has not only escaped its liability in the matter of payment of salaries to its employees but has also compromised with the protection and conservation of the Tiger Reserves. PTI SJK SJK RKS RKS

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Source: The Print