Terming the changes brought to the bylaws that diluted the qualification for the post of the director of the Karnataka State Labour Institute (KSLI) during the COVID-19 pandemic as “illegal”, trade unions have urged the State government to restore the original bylaws in the interest of the State.

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has petitioned Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Chief Secretary T.M. Vijaybhaskar against the amendments, and would also seek a legal recourse. The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) has also taken a strong objection to the amendment to the bylaws, and has written to the Labour Secretary in this connection. The AITUC too plans to approach the court against the amendments.

Meanwhile, post the amendment, the Labour Department has called for applications from suitable candidates for the post, and the last date for applying for the director’s post is June 9.

“The changes have been brought during the time of the pandemic and that too without convening the general body meeting to modify the bylaws, which is illegal. This has been done to favour one officer,” alleged C.V. Lokesh of the BMS.

In fact, he pointed out, that senior officials, including Additional Chief Secretary Rajkumar Khatri and Principal Secretary Shalini Rajaneesh, who are on the board, have not signed the “circular resolution” which has been passed during the pandemic. Similarly, the National Law School of India University, which is the founding partner of the institute, has also opposed the amendments brought to the bylaws, he added.

With the amendment to the bylaws, the qualification for the post of the director, which mandated for a person to have a Ph.D with research and teaching experience, has been changed to accommodate retired IAS officer who held the position of the Commissioner or Secretary of the Labour Department.

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