Delhi High Court: Plea filed to declare the suspension of Dearness Allowance as Unconstitutional

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Dearness allowance is received by government employees and pensioners to compensate for the rising inflation

The Suspension Order

The Union Cabinet, in March, had agreed to an average of 4 per cent to 21 per cent growth in DA. But, owning to the COVID-19, the Ministry of Finance decided to put on hold the increment until July 2021. The government of NCT Delhi, in alliance with the Centre’s DA and DR order, issued a similar circular on 24.04.2020.

The Delhi government has decided to suspend the DA payable to its employees. This is due to the inflation and the rise in prices of essential commodities in Delhi. 

The Delhi High Court heard a petition challenging this order. 

Violation of the provisions of the Constitution of India

The petitioner said that the suspension violates Article 21 and Article 360 of the Constitution. Right to life includes all those facets of life that help to make one’s life meaningful and worth living. Thus, suspending DA without any financial emergency breaches the Indian Constitution. So, the only ground of rising inflation is without any substance. 

Article 300A states that individuals should not be robbed of property. This is except for action by the authority of law. Also, the right to receive salary is a property within the framework of the Constitution. Thus, only the authority of law can deprive of the same. 

Powers under the Disaster Management Act, 2005

The Disaster Management Act, 2005, also does not allow the Government to defer or deny salary. On 23.04.2020 and 24.04.2020, the Union of India and Delhi Government issued notifications. But, the notifications given by the government are invalid. They abuse the powers vested under Section 62 of the Disaster Management Act. 

Plea

In light of the above-mentioned circumstances, the petitioner prayed to release the DA to the employees and their pensioners immediately. This will also give the health warriors “a morale boost” while saving us from the pandemic. 


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