New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today described the non-payment of salaries of MCD school teachers as a “hopeless condition” and asked the East and North civic bodies to clear their current month salary in a week.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar further directed the two corporations to clear arrears of the primary school teachers in one month.
It, however, expressed concern over the contention of the counsel for the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) that they did not have enough funds to pay the salaries and they were poorest among the three corporations.
“This is not a first plea in which the EDMC has expressed inability to pay salaries. Earlier, also we heard about non- payments of salaries to the EDMC’s safai karmacharis who went on strike on various ocassions…
“This could not have been the intention of trifurcation of the MCD. If this is true, it needs serious examination by the authorities concerned, as every citizen of Delhi expects optimal services from the corporation,” the bench observed.
It observed that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation is not facing such financial problems.
“The three municipal corporations should be identically placed,” the bench noted and directed that the issue be brought to the notice of the ministry concerned which shall examine the difficulties faced by the Delhi MCD.
The court’s direction came on a PIL filed by an NGO, Social Jurist, which through its counsel Ashok Agarwal, informed the bench that the EDMC for last three months has not paid salary to primary schools’ teachers.
It also said that the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has not paid salaries to its regular teachers for the last two months.
“Untimely payment of salaries of 13,500 regular teachers employed in these schools is affecting the primary education of the lakhs of children studying in these schools, belonging to the most downtrodden class of the society,” the NGO’s counsel claimed.
The bench observed “certainly a employee cannot impart serious service without their salaries, which is their lawful entitlement.” It said it was very painful to see that over 1,000 families behind these teachers were also suffering due to non-payment of salaries.
The bench also said, “Handover the education to the Delhi government. As not only teachers and safai karmacharis are struggling for their payments, but doctors were also not paid in the past”.
The bench directed the two municipal bodies to file their status report with regard to compliance of its direction before the next date of hearing on April 23.