The Appellate Division would on August 19 hear the government’s appeal seeking stay on the two months’ status quo imposed by the High Court Division on implementation of the award of the 9th Wage Board for the Employees of Newspapers and News Agencies.
Vacation chamber judge Justice Md Nuruzzaman set the schedule for hearing the matter by Appellate Division’s full bench.
Chamber judge Nuruzzaman declined to hear the government’s appeal saying that there was a conflict of interest as Matiur Rahman, president of Newspapers Owners Association of Bangladesh, was his client.
On August 6, the High Court Division directed the government to maintain two months’ status quo in enforcing the award of the 9th Wage Board for the Employees of Newspapers and News Agencies.
The HC gave the status quo order at a time when the wage board award awaits the Cabinet Division’s endorsement for notification in the gazette.
A vacation bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice Mohammad Ali had passed the order after hearing a supplementary application submitted by Newspapers Owners Association of Bangladesh president Matiur Rahman.
The court in a rule had also directed the government to explain in four weeks why the unilateral finalization of the wage board award without giving the stakeholders opportunity, under the Rule 128 of the Bangladesh Labour Rules 2015, to raise their objections would not be declared as illegal.
As respondents, the cabinet committee for finalization of the ninth Wage Board Ward, the secretaries of ministries of information and labour and employment and the chairman of the Ninth Wage Board Award, were asked to reply.
Petitioner’s lawyer Yousuf Ali submitted that the ninth wage board award was finalised during pendency of the NOAOB’s writ petition in which the High Court Division issued rules asking the government to explain why the declaration of the Ninth Wage Board Award by the information ministry on February 6, 2018 and subsequently announcement of the allowance of 45 per cent dearness on September 11, 2018 would not be declared as illegal.
He submitted that Road Transport and Bridges minister Obaidul Quader, also the convener of the cabinet committee for finalization of the ninth Wage Board Ward, all on a sudden at a press briefing on July 26 said that the cabinet committee in its fourth meeting finalised its report and sent it to the government for approval.
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