New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) to clear within a week the arrears of salaries of its teachers, who are not being paid since the lockdown was declared in March, saying they cannot be made to run from pillar to post for their lawful dues.
The high court said the explanation given by North DMC about paucity of funds is most unacceptable .
“We are of the opinion that the appellants (teachers) cannot be made to run from pillar to post only to demand their lawful dues from the respondent No.2/North DMC. Admittedly, the NorthDMC appears to be in default and has not released the salaries to the appellants/teachers since the lockdown was declared, said a bench of justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad, which conducted the hearing through video conferencing.
It added, The explanation sought to be offered about paucity of funds, is most unacceptable, particularly when the counsel for North DMC is not in a position to make a statement that on account of a cash crunch faced by the civic authority, it could not release the salaries of its officers working within the Department or that the salaries have been partly released. The axe cannot fall on the appellants/ teachers alone.
The bench listed the matter for June 26 asking the North DMC to file a compliance report of its order.
The high court was hearing a petition filed by Akhil Dilli Prathmik Shikshak Sangh, representing the teachers who are teaching in North DMC schools.
The teachers have challenged a June 9 order of a single judge dismissing their plea to direct North DMC to release their salaries, that have not been paid since March, 2020, when a nationwide lockdown was declared by the Central Government on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sangh told the high court that the teachers have been discharging their duties with responsibility in schools being run by the North DMC, but they have not received their salaries ever since March.
The single judge had declined to entertain the petition on the ground that it being a service matter, the remedy of the teachers lies before the Central Administrative Tribunal.