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Covid-19, Lockdown, salary without revenue, unjustified, illegal, ultra vires to the constitution of India against democracy temporary in nature.The world is under lockdown and is facing an acute "economics problem". Money does not go from earth to moon, however the market sentiments defines the economy. If we could "#save business" we would be able to "#save economy."

However in this peculiar situation the centre government through ministry of Home affairs, just to tackle a particular situation, where migratory workers stranded at different states boarders, came up with an order dated 29-03-2020, which stated that business to pay without any work and revenue.

This order has been taken out of proportion by many, on social media and a false wave is created that salary has to be paid to all, without any work, by every business.

That order was a temporary one, as could be make out from the revised consolidated order dated 14-04-2020 of Ministry of home affairs, which has considered all other orders of MHA except the order dated 29-03-2020 and there is no order of any salary during lockdown period.

 The false wave has been so forcefully created that even the said order which as per my considered opinion was a temporary measure by MHA, has been challenged before Hon`ble Supreme Court and even strangely a prayer for paying 50% salary in interim is also made.

The Hon`ble Supreme Court of India has expressed previously that it cannot direct government to make payments to the stranded citizens(employees) of India as it does not come under their domain. The question is that "does it comes under the domain of democratic government to direct Private business to pay salary without work and revenue?" In my considered opinion answer is in Negative, else it would be breaching the fundamental rights of "Right to do business".

While am writing this, the date has changed and the matter is listed now "today" 27-04-2020 before the Hon`ble Supreme Court.

In conclusion I would say that the order dated 29-03-2020 was temporary in nature and has lost its effect after "Revised Consolidated Order" dated 14-04-2020 of MHA. Further the said order is per se illegal and ultra-vires to the constitution of India. May a better sense prevails as the Business is already suffering a lot due to lockdown and uncertainty, any order of payment of salary without any revenue/work might be a last nail in coffin.



Anurag Lakhotia

Advocate | Delhi High Court

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