Banks Unions have clearly expressed their displeasure over the orders of the Uttar Pradesh government for opening and functioning of all branches of Public Sector banks on the occasion of Maha-Navami and Dussehra. www.indianpsu.com brings to its readers the copy of the letter written to the top bureaucrat.
Date : 26.10.2020
Shri Debasish Panda
Department of Financial Services
Ministry of Finance
Government of India
Opening of Bank Branches on declared Bank Holidays under N.I. Act Maha-Navami and Dussehra
Festive greetings on behalf of the four officers’ organisations in the banking industry viz. AIBOC/AIBOA/INBOC
02. We are constrained to draw your kind attention to a recent order issued by the Chief Secretary, Uttar
Pradesh, Shri Deepak Kumar, vide 1365/नौ-9-2020-एल.सी./20 dated 16/10/2020, wherein all bank branches of
the state have been instructed to function regarding completion of allocated targets under PM Swanidhi. This
sudden ‘instruction’ has shocked the entire fraternity of bankers, who were asked to report for duty on the two
very auspicious occasions depriving them the opportunity to observe the festival. While we are aware of the
importance of the issue of disbursement, the execution of the task could have been properly planned out by
SLBC without resorting to such draconian decisions which cause angst and deep resentment.
03. In this context, we wish to submit our protest on the following facts:
(i) In terms of Section 25 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881 (hereinafter referred to as NI Act for the
sake of brevity), the expression “Public holiday” includes Sunday and any other day declared by the
Central Government by notification in the official Gazette to be a public holiday. The said power has
been delegated by the Central Government to State Government vide the Government of India, Ministry
of Home Affairs’ Notification number 20-25-56-Pub-l dated 8 June’ 1957. The aforesaid notification
under Section 25 of the NI Act only confers power to the state Government to declare holiday by virtue
of delegation given by the Central Government. NI act confers the state Government to declare holiday
and not a working day. There is no statute which confers the Chief Secretary to open Bank branches on
Sundays. As such, the order is ultra vires.
(ii) Provisions of various Labour Laws regarding regulated working hours etc. will be applicable to
workmen/ sub-staff. Accordingly, a workman who is asked to work on Sunday/holiday needs to be paid
overtime @ of up to 200% of his hourly emoluments and an officer to pay proper Compensatory
(iii) Achieving work life balance in the present banking environment, where officers are subjected to
shoulder humongous workload assumes profound importance. Such unilateral and arbitrary decision
of the state government is unwarranted. This invariably will lead to employee dissatisfaction and would
have a telling effect on the morale in this critical juncture where bankers are frontline Covid warriors,
who keep the wheels of the economy moving. It will not be out of place to mention that hundreds of
bankers have succumbed to the contagion in the line of duty. Yet, we are committed to perform our
duty at the call of the nation raving the constraints.
(iv) The hon’ble Supreme Court in M/S. Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd Vs The Workmen & Ors (AIR 1972 – LLN
581) has held that the customary holidays would create a right in favour of the workers and any
attempt to change the holidays would be within the contemplation of Sec 9A of Industrial Disputes Act.
The apex court has also held that in such matter the process of consultation with employees was
necessary to reflect sympathetic cooperation in improving the dignity of employees. The impugned
circular from the Principal Secretary of Uttar Pradesh is a clear violation of law of land and judicial
precedents and an infringement to the basic fundamental rights of employees.
In view of the above, we urge upon your good office to direct the State-Machinery/SLBC/LDMs/District-
Magistrate to avoid calling officers/Bank staff to work on Sundays/holidays and declared Holidays under N.I. Act.
Stay safe stay healthy.
(Soumya Datta) (Nagarajan S) (Prem Kumar Makker) (Viraj Tikekar)
General Secretary AIBOC General Secretary AIBOA General Secretary INBOC General Secretary NOBO