“Dr. Ambedkar himself would have wished for people to work more on his birthday”. Public servant’s petition claiming double benefits gets dismissed: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court passed a judgement on 11th of April, 2023 in which it dismissed the petition of a public servant claiming double wages for working on the 14th of April which is a declared holiday. This was seen in the case of Kudankulam Employee Union v. Government of India (W.P(MD)No.18462 of 2020) and the case was presided over by The Honourable Mr. Justice GR Swaminathan


The petitioner, is the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Employees Union who is filing the petition on behalf of its members. Through this writ petition, the petitioner claimed for double wages for working on the 14th of April which is declared a holiday for the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.


The learned single judge after listening to the contentions, dismissed the petition. This petition was with respect to the workers working on the April 14th of 2018.  This day in particular vs second Saturday and thus was already a holiday. Section 5(2)(b) of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Establishments (National and Festival Holidays) Act, 1958 applies only when it is a working day but was declared a holiday. The employees cannot thus claim double benefits.

Round-the-clock workers of the plant do not have the concept of second Saturdays and thus, would be able to claim the compensation under this provision but not the others.

The court also expressed that while the State had declared the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar as a public holiday, he himself would have wanted people to work more on this day. The State has done this as a mark of paying respect to him.

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