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Unknown vs Cwpil No. 278 Of 2017 on 5 May, 2018

CWPIL No. 278 of 2017

05.05.2018 Present: Court on its own motion.

.

Mr. Ashok Sharma, Advocate General, with M/s

Ranjan Sharma Nand Lal Thakur, Additional
Advocate Generals, for respondents No. 1 and 2-
State.

Mr. Hamender Chandel, Advocate, for respondent
No. 3-Municipal Corporation, Shimla.

Member Secretary, SEHB Society, is present in
person.

r to
Mr. Sudhir Thakur, Advocate, for respondent No.
5-Pollution Control Board.

On a special mention made on behalf of the

Municipal Corporation, Shimla, the matter was taken up on

Board today.

The Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control

Board through its Member Secretary is impleaded as

respondent No. 5. Registry is directed to carry out necessary

corrections in the memo of parties.

Notice. Mr. Sudhir Thakur, learned counsel

appears and waives service of notice on behalf of the newly

added respondent No. 5.

Mr. Hamender Chandel, learned counsel for the

Municipal Corporation, Shimla states that with the indulgence

shown by this Court, finances of the SEHB Society were

augmented and payments released to its workers, but despite

that, workers employed by the Society for collection of door-to-

door garbage and its disposal, being part of process of

sanitation, are on strike, which has resulted into accumulation

05/05/2018 22:57:52 :::HCHP
.

of municipal solid waste and has become a source of nuisance,

apart from being an environmental hazard, in the entire city.

Further, the workers employed by the Society had

entered into an agreement in the meeting held on 21st

September, 2017, which also is not being adhered to. The

employees engaged in the process of sanitation in Municipal

Corporation, Shimla are covered under the provisions of the

Himachal Pradesh Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1973,

as notified by the Department of Home, Government of

Himachal Pradesh on 15th July, 2015. He further states that the

Scheme under which the workers stand engaged is statutory in

nature.

We are of the considered view that

garbage/municipal solid waste cannot be allowed to remain

uncollected within the city. The Municipal Solid Waste has to be

collected and disposed of, in accordance with law, at the

earliest.

We fail to understand as to why for the last three

days, as we are made to understand, since when the employees

are on strike, no steps stand taken against the workers under

the statutory provisions and more specifically, the Himachal

Pradesh Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1973.

We are informed that the Pollution Control Board

has also not initiated any action. We fail to understand as to

why the regulator has chosen to remain as a mute spectator.

05/05/2018 22:57:52 :::HCHP

.

While disposing of the instant petition vide our

order dated 6th March, 2018, we had observed as under:

“6. The Commissioner has also
explained that in all there are 824 workers
engaged in the activity of collection of garbage

from door-to-door and all of them are being paid
wages and salary as per Rules and within time.

7. It further stands explained that News
rItem dated 27.2.2018, reported certain

embezzlement of funds by the employees of the
society. Cognizance of the matter stands taken.

8. In view of intervening developments,

we are of the considered view that with the
action having been taken by the authorities, no

fruitful purpose would be served by keeping the
present petition pending, which we dispose of

with the direction that inquiry qua embezzlement
shall positively be taken to its logical end,

expeditiously and preferably within a period of
six months from today.

9. We clarify that we have not adverted
to the issue of embezzlement, in detail, so as to
avoid prejudice to the affected parties.

10. We further direct that the
Commissioner shall ensure that the accounts of
the Society are audited periodically and report, if
so required, placed before the appropriate
authority for necessary action.”
Further, we are of the considered view that

handful of employees cannot hold the city to ransom and more

so, at this point in time, when the tourist season is at its peak.

05/05/2018 22:57:52 :::HCHP

.

Under these circumstances, we direct:

A. The workers engaged by the SEHB

Society to immediately resume work and discharge

their duties, for which they stand engaged;

B. The Deputy Commissioner, Shimla,

Superintendent of Police, Shimla and the

Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Shimla are

directed to forthwith communicate the order to all

the employees and ensure compliance.

(C ) We clarify that if anyone of the

workers fails to discharge his/her duties, not only

would it amount to committing contempt of Court,

but it shall be open for the Municipal

Corporation/Society to forthwith terminate their

services and re-engage fresh hands for disposal of

Municipal Solid Wastes.

(D) Any hindrance/obstruction caused by

any person in the enforcement or our orders shall

be liable to be proceeded under the provisions of

the Contempt of Court Act; and

(E) It shall be open for the Superintendent

of Police, Shimla to forthwith take action, in

accordance with law, including detaining such

persons, who obstruct or cause hindrance in the

05/05/2018 22:57:52 :::HCHP
.

enforcement of provisions of law, if the situation so

warrants.

Let the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla,

Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Commissioner, Municipal

Corporation, Shimla and Member Secretary, H.P. State

Pollution Control Board shall file their affidavits of compliance

by the next date of hearing. List on 7th May, 2018.

r Authenticated copy.

(Sanjay Karol)
Acting Chief Justice

(Ajay Mohan Goel)
Judge
May 05, 2018

(bhupender/guleria)

05/05/2018 22:57:52 :::HCHP
.

05/05/2018 22:57:52 :::HCHP

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