Challenging Restricted Holidays

DMK and AIDMK have objected to Pongal being declared as a restricted holiday. How is it decided that which festival will be gazetted or restricted? Has this decision been ever challenged in the Court and on what ground?

Asked on January 12, 2017 in Court.
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Central Government declares the list of Gazetted Holidays for all central employees, whether they are in Delhi or outside. Gazetted Holidays are those on which all government offices are closed and the employees don’t have to seek prior approval to take a leave which is the case in Restricted Holidays.  From the list of Restricted Holidays, any govt employee can avail only of two holidays.  Gazetted holidays are generally those which are observed across the nation or hold some national importance like Republic Day. Restricted Holiday, on the other hand, are for festivals that are celebrated in a particular region. In addition to the list of gazetted holidays decided by the Centre, the State also adds 3 to the list. The States have Employees Welfare Co-ordination Committees which add to list of gazette holidays thus making the list of holidays different from state to state.

Pongal is celebrated across Tamil Nadu and was included in the list of compulsory national holidays. However the resentment showed by AIDMK and DMK over converting it into a restricted holiday is not warranted as Baishakhi for Punjabis is also a restricted holiday as it is celebrated only by them.

Normally, 17 compulsory holidays were observed in all Central government offices located outside Delhi every year with three of them finalised from another list of 12 restricted holidays including Holi, Pongal and Vishu/Vaisakhi. These holidays are decided by the Central Government Employees Welfare Coordination Committee in the state capitals, if necessary, in consultation with such committees at other places in the state.

There has been no challenge to this.




Answered on January 17, 2017.
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