Recently, the bench of Delhi High Court comprising Justice V. Kameswar Rao asked the Life Insurance Corporation to consider including COVID-19 as an infectious disease to enable the members of the LIC to avail themselves of the isolated leave.
A petition was filed by the Life Insurance Corporation Employee’s Union demanding the incorporation of Covid 19 in the list of “quarantine leave “acceptable under Life Insurance Corporation of India (Staff) Regulations, 1960 (apply to every whole-time [salaried] employee of the Corporation [in India] unless otherwise provided by the terms of any contract, agreement, or letter of appointment).
The present petition has been filed by the petitioner with the following prayers:
- Issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondents to grant quarantine leave/ Special Leave to the members listed before Hon'ble Court in case he/she is not able to attend office due to him/her or family member being Covid-19 positive.
- Issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondents to credit back the leaves or salary deducted from the account of members of the petitioner union.
It was presented by the Counsel for the Union that if a member of the petitioner Union is experiencing COVID-19, he has to take only EL (earned leave) /sick leave/EOL (extraordinary leave) as the case may be.
To this, the Court noticed that the issue required the idea of the respondent and consequently the appeal was disposed of asking the LIC to treat the writ request as representation and dispose of similar within four weeks and communicate the decision to the petitioner Union.
In related news, the Karnataka High Court last year directed the state government to consider issuing appropriate directions under the Disaster Management Act, for protecting workmen who are forced to undergo quarantine either because of infection of COVID-19 or because of being primary contacts to ensure that their absence from work is not be treated as leave, by the employers.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi said:
If a person working in a private industry becomes a primary contact of an infected person or is infected himself, is it safe for him to report to work? Will, it does not prompt the spread of Covid-19? One of the SOP issued states that a primary contact should be in-home quarantine for some days so the State executive committee under the Act can give the directions under the Act."
Case title - LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION EMPLOYEES UNION NZ v REGIONAL MANAGER E AND OS LIC OF INDIA