A teacher in a Delhi school | Manisha Mondal/ThePrint.in
Representational image | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has ordered the release of the pending salaries of primary teachers working in schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) within 15 days.

The Municipal Corporation Teachers Association, representing the aggrieved teachers, approached the CAT on 12 June with the issue after a direction from the Delhi High Court.

The MCD is divided into three zones — North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

Teachers working in NDMC-run schools have been the worst-affected as around 8,000 of them didn’t get their salaries for the last three months. As many as 6,000 teachers in SDMC and 5,000 in EDMC schools didn’t receive their last month’s salary, said Ram Niwas Solanki, general secretary of the Municipal Corporation Teachers Association.

While issuing its order Monday via video conference, the CAT said: “Respondents have said that salary is being provided on time. However, if the employees are still not getting their salaries, then they must get it within 15 days.”

The case is next scheduled for hearing on 29 June.

An officer in the Delhi government’s education department told ThePrint: “We have released the money to the NDMC and the other two corporations for the month of April, May and June.”

When asked why the salaries were not paid to the teacher, the officer declined to comment.

ThePrint reached NDMC mayor Avtar Singh via calls and texts, but there was no response until the time of publishing of the report.


Also read: Why Delhi’s government school teachers feel they are not doing the job they were hired for


CAT order helps in payment of pending salaries

Solanki told ThePrint there were false claims being made before the CAT that teachers have received their salaries on time.

“If we had been getting our salaries, then what was the need for us to approach either the high court or the CAT,” he asked.

“Eight thousand teachers of primary schools of the NDMC have not been paid since the last 3 months. We did not receive any salary for the months of March, April and May,” Solanki said.

The association had approached the Delhi High Court on 6 June and two days later, on 8 June, the court directed them to move the CAT. 

Lawyer Ajesh Luthra, representing the association, said the case is very complicated and the issue of delayed payment of salaries has been going on since 2015.

“We have approached the CAT many times about this. When an order is issued from here, salary is released or else the matter keeps hanging,” he said.

According to Luthra, the Centre, Delhi government and all the three civic bodies were named as parties in the case. “In the case of salary payment, 60 per cent of it comes from the municipalities’ kitty and rest 40 per cent is paid by the Delhi government,” he said.

In Delhi, the AAP is in power, while the BJP controls all the three municipalities. “In such a chaotic situation, the municipalities and Delhi government keep accusing each other for non-payment of funds. However, when the (CAT) order comes, the salary is released automatically,” he added.

‘Problem is between the Delhi government and NDMC’

Advocate Gyanendra Singh, who appeared for the Ministry of Home Affairs in the case, told The Print the Centre always releases funds on time, but “the problem is between the Delhi government and the NDMC”.

Senior Delhi HC advocate Ashok Aggarwal has also filed a Public Interest Litigation Sunday before the Delhi High Court regarding the issue. 

In his plea, he stated the NDMC claimed they don’t have funds to pay salaries of the teachers. In such a situation, the Delhi government should pay the entire salary of the teachers, and later adjust the dues with the NDMC, according to his plea.

The issue of non-payment of salaries isn’t just limited to teachers. Even doctors working at MCD hospitals didn’t get their salaries for the last three months.

Last week, the high court issued an interim order, asking the release of pending salaries of doctors.

The high court had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports, which stated doctors at Hindu Rao and Kasturba Gandhi hospitals were not paid salaries for the last three months and they had threatened mass resignation if their salaries were not paid.


Also read: No salary for months, Delhi municipal staff’s struggles have multiplied in Covid lockdown


 

 

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