MADURAI: Legislators in Tamil Nadu should ask themselves whether the nearly 100 per cent hike in their salary was necessary for view of the drought conditions, farmers' problems and people not able to pay school fees of their children, the Madras High Court today said.
The observation was made by a bench of justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan which dismissed a PIL seeking to quash the pay hike.
The court said petitioner Ramesh did not cite any valid legal reasons for quashing the recent hike in the MLAs' monthly salary from Rs 55,000 to Rs 1.05 lakh.
He had also not substantiated his averments with official figures for opposing the pay hike, it said.
Among other things, he had claimed the state was having a debt to the tune of Rs 45,119 crore and that the hike for MLAs was not acceptable at this juncture.
The bench observed that drought condition was prevailing in the state and there were reports of farmers committing suicide and there were people who were not even able to pay school fees.
Under these circumstances, the MLAs should ask themselves whether the pay hike was necessary and decide, it added.
The petitioner had said the hike had been announced when the state was hit by the drought and farmers had been struggling for their livelihood due to monsoon failure.