The High Court on Friday extended its order restraining the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) staff from going on strike over a number of demands, including pay scale revision, saying huge inconvenience would be caused to commuters.

Justice Pratibha Rani extended the interim order directing the employees not to go on strike till further orders and sought their response on a plea by the DMRC seeking that they be restrained from resorting to strike.

Proposed strike

The court had on June 29 restrained the DMRC staff from going on their proposed strike from June 30. Justice Rani issued fresh notices to some of the office-bearers of the DMRC staff council, who were not served earlier, and listed the case for hearing on September 4.

The court sought to know from Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the DMRC, whether the petition would be rendered ineffective now as the proposed strike date of June 30 had passed. The ASG said the employees have given three notices that they will resort to strike if their demands are not met.

Advocate Rajeev Mishra, appearing for some of the office-bearers of the staff council, urged the court to direct the DMRC to file an affidavit saying it will abide by the terms of settlement arrived at between the employer and the employees last year.

The court said it was a matter of arguments and would be dealt with later. It had said the DMRC is running a public utility service which caters to around 25 lakh Delhi citizens, who come largely from the middle income group, on a daily basis and sufficient notice had not been given to the DMRC, and that conciliation proceedings are still in progress.

The DMRC has challenged the three notices given by the DMRC employees’ union and the DMRC staff council and sought direction to restrain them from resorting to strike. There are nearly 12,000 people employed with the Delhi Metro, with the non-executive staffers accounting for about 9,000.

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