The Calcutta High Court today asked the West Bengal government what was it doing to implement Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's announcement to increase the dearness allowance (DA) for the state government employees.
The court also termed an alleged comment of Banerjee on the demand of the employees as "unfortunate". A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty asked Advocate General Kishore Dutta as to what was the state government doing to issue a notification on increasing the DA of its employees. The court asked this after the AG informed it that the chief minister had announced a 15-per cent DA hike for the state government employees from January, 2018 and said the difference of the remaining 39 per cent would be paid, along with the central DA, by the end of 2019. Hearing a petition filed by the employees, demanding a DA hike and parity with the allowance being paid by the central government to its employees, the bench asked the AG what was the state government doing to make a gazette notification, reflecting the chief minister's announcement. The AG prayed for some time to take the necessary steps. The court granted time till Wednesday and adjourned the hearing till then. Appearing for the Confederation of State Government Employees, counsel Amjad Ali submitted that the employees were not "barking", as had been termed by the chief minister, but were only seeking their dues. Counsel Bikash Bhattacharya, appearing for one of the employees, termed the chief minister's statement as "uncivilised". At this, the bench observed that the choice of words by the chief minister, as alleged by the counsels, was "unfortunate".
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