Madurai, Sep 15 (PTI) An apex body of Tamil Nadu government employees, spearheading the week-long strike, today informed the Madras High Court bench here that they were temporarily suspending their agitation forthwith in view of the court’s stay on it.

The court had on September 7 stayed the indefinite strike on a PIL seeking ban on the stir.

When it came up for hearing, justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan, of the HC’s Madurai bench, rejected the plea of office bearers of Joint Action Council of Government Teachers and Employees Organisations (JACTO-GEO) that they had to convene a general body meeting for withdrawal of the strike.

“When the court has stayed the strike, there is no question of getting the permission of the general body to withdraw the strike,” the judges said.

Office bearers of JACTO-GEO then informed the court that they were temporarily suspending the strike with immediate effect.

The High Court also directed the state chief secretary to appear before it on September 21 to ascertain her views on the grievances of employees and teachers.

The judges expressed hope that the government would consider the employees’ demands with an open mind in view of unconditional suspension of the strike.

The employees were on strike from September 7 demanding among other things implementation of pay revision, which was due since last year, and regularisation of casual workers.

T Sekaran, in his public interest litigation (PIL), had alleged that the strike had been called to ‘threaten’ the state government and to get more pay.

The employees were already getting adequate salary and if the pay was further hiked, the government would not be able to implement welfare programmes, he had submitted.

During the previous hearing, the bench had observed that teachers should not use strike as a tool and could press for their demands through other means.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.