The Delhi High Court on Thursday has directed North Delhi Municipal Corporation to clear the arrears of the salaries of the teachers teaching in the Schools run by it within a period of 1 week.
The bench comprising Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad was hearing a petition filed by Akhil Dilli Prathmik Shikshak Sangh and ors, who are working as teachers in the schools of North Delhi Municipal Corporation challenging the order passed by learned Single Judge dismissing a writ petition filed by them seeking directions to the NDMC to release their salaries, that have not been paid since March, 2020.
The Single Judge declined to entertain the petition on the ground that it being a service matter, the remedy of the petitioners lies before the Central Administrative Tribunal (‘the CAT’) in terms of Section 14(1) of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.
However, the petitioners submitted that the CAT has not been functioning during the lockdown period.
Advocate Mukin, appearing for NDMC on the other hand submitted that the CAT has been taking up urgent matters during the lockdown.
The bench was however of the opinion that the “petitioners cannot be made to run from pillar to post only to demand their lawful dues from the respondent.”
The bench further observed that “the explanation sought to be offered about paucity of funds, is most unacceptable, particularly when learned counsel for respondent No.2/Nr.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 has listed the matter for next hearing on June 26 with a direction to the NDMC to file its compliance report.
-India Legal Bureau