Delhi HC to Municipal Corp: Paucity of Funds Not an Excuse for Non-Payment of Salaries and Pensions

The Delhi High Court ruled that the paucity of funds cannot be an excuse and pulled up municipal corporations for not paying salaries and pensions to their employees as the right to receive payment is a fundamental right guaranteed in our constitution.

A division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli heard a batch of petitions which challenges why salaries and pensions were not being paid to the employees of the Delhi Municipal Corporation specifically North Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The authorities stated that due to paucity of funds they could not pay the salaries and pensions on time but as well stated, this cannot be an excuse as the right to receive payment is a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution under article 21 and the violation of this would mean hindering someone’s right to a quality life.

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The court further states that it’s extremely important to pay salaries and pensions to retired staff that includes even the doctors, paramedical staff, etc. who rendered their service to the nation even during the pandemic times and serving the citizens of Delhi.

The court held that paucity of funds is not and will not be considered an excuse and the salaries have to be paid to the employees keeping it the first priority over all the other discretionary expenses that the corporations incur.

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The court, therefore, directed the Municipal corporations to place before the court the different heads of expenditure with respect to the Municipal Counsellors, Class 1 and Class 2 officers. The Court asked the authority to clearly disclose the amount incurred to give perks to them under each specific head.

The bench stated that the next hearing will take place on January 29th, 2021.

Several employees of Municipal corporations have gone on a strike in recent months demanding their salaries. In the time of this pandemic where lots of people have lost life and livelihood, it leads to great hardships if the employees are not paid salaries and pension. People are not able to afford to lead a quality life due to the non-payment of salaries. Demanding their pay and pension to be released, thousands of civic body staffers went on an indefinite strike on January 7th.


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