New Delhi: The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government on Friday invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) for the next six months, banning strikes in any departments and corporations under it till the stipulated time. Also Read - Over 61 Private Hospitals Will Reserve 20% Beds For COVID-19 Patients, Says Delhi Govt
The ESMA, as it is commonly known, gives the police right to arrest without a warrant anybody violating the Act’s provisions. Under ESMA, employees in a long list of “essential services” like post and telegraph, railway, airport and port operations are prohibited from going on strike. Also Read - COVID-19: Cardiff Half Marathon Postponed Till March 2021
It has been invoked after taking permission from Governor Anandiben Patel and a notification in this regard has been issued by Mukul Singhal, Additional Chief Secretary, a senior official explained. Also Read - Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network 'TRAFFIC' Indicates Wild Animals in 'Additional Threat' as Poaching Doubles During COVID-19 Lockdown
The Act mandates imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both, to any person who instigates a strike which is illegal under this Act.
Toeing the Centre”s line, the Uttar Pradesh government had last month decided to put on hold dearness allowance (DA) increase for its 16 lakh employees. The DA increase was due from January 1, 2020.
The state government also decided not to pay the DA instalments which will be due from July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021, a government order issued here said.
With inputs from PTI