The Supreme Court on Friday directed that no coercive action should be taken against private employers who did not pay wages to their workers during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and also comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MR Shah was hearing a batch of petitions by several companies challenging an order of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The MHA order had directed private employers to make full salary and payment to employees during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
"We directed no coercive action to be taken against employers. Our earlier orders will continue. A detailed affidavit has to be filed by the Central government in the last week of July," Justice Bhushan said while pronouncing the judgment.
The apex court said that the employees and employers should negotiate with each other.
"Negotiation between employees and employers regarding wage payment to be facilitated by the state governments' labour departments," the court said.
The top court had on June 4, reserved for today its order in the matter after hearing arguments from all the respective parties.