The salaries of the teachers and various other employees of a government school had been due for the past few months. Teachers were also discharging COVID-19 duties. Considering this, the Delhi High Court has taken cognizance on this issue.
Brief Facts of the Case
Akhil Dilli Prathmik Shikshak Sangh is the petitioner in the present case. It is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act. It comprises of a group of teachers of schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
The writ petition ventilates a grievance of non-payment of salaries to the teachers. Salaries of teachers and several other employees working in different categories were due. On 9th June 2020, the Lower Court passed an order in this matter.
The Single Bench of the Court dismissed their petition on the ground that the remedy of the appellants lay before the Central Administrative Tribunal. The Court further directed the respondents to clear all the arrears within a week. It also asked them to release their salaries from March 2020. However, the respondents failed to follow the Court’s direction.
Aggrieved by this situation the appellants approached the Delhi High Court.
Arguments before the Court
Senior Advocate H.S. Phoolka appeared on behalf of the respondents. The respondents had filed an affidavit in the Court.
In the affidavit, they accepted the fact that they have not paid the salaries of these teachers as well as various other employees. This included the Group A Officials to the Safai Karamcharis. They informed the Court that they could not pay these salaries as the Delhi Government has not released the amount. These salaries were due from April 2020 to June 2020.
Senior Advocate Phoolka further contended that the respondent runs 700 schools. These schools employ 9,000 teachers. Of these, more than 50% of the teachers were discharging COVID-19 duties. They were providing services related to the distribution of dry ration, providing cooked meals to the needy, etc.
“Around 5406 teachers have been roped in but their salaries remain due and payable from March 2020”, Nr.D.M.C submitted.
A Bench comprising of Justice Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad presided over this matter. The Court highlighted the fact that the government cannot make these teachers run from post to pillar for their lawful dues.
It said, “To say the least, this is a very sorry state of affairs. The teachers cannot be left on a wing and a prayer. They must be released their rightful dues without any further delay. As they are being made to discharge COVID-19 duties at the instance of the Delhi Govt., they can be well equated with COVID-19 warriors.”
The Court directed the Delhi Government to file an affidavit responding to the statements made by the respondents. Further, it set a timeline for releasing the funds.
As a result, the Court dismissed the present petition and took suo moto cognizance flagging the issue. The Court enlisted the matter on 30.6.2020.
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