The Delhi High Court on Monday rapped the Delhi government over the non-payment of salaries to employees of the various municipal corporations in the national capital.
Reprimanding the AAP government, a division bench of the High Court presided over by Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, said,
“We don’t live in ivory towers. We see how the government spends on full-page advertisements in newspapers with pictures of politicians.”
“Is this not criminal? Spending money in these times on propaganda?” said the court while lashing out on the government over its expenditure on advertisements while employees are running from pillar to post to get their salaries and added, “You will earn more goodwill by paying their salaries first.”
The court passed the said remarks while hearing a PIL initiated by it based on news reports that doctors of Kasturba Gandhi Hospital have threatened to resign as they have not been paid salaries since March last year.
Besides this, various other petitions relating to non-payment of salaries and pensions to teachers, hospital staff, sanitation workers, engineers are also pending in court.
Turning down an application filed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) seeking directions to extend the time for clearing arrears of staff, which expires today, the bench said,
“The right of employees to get salaries and pension is a fundamental right. The right to get salaries and pension is a part of right to life and liberty under the Constitution. Therefore, we are not inclined to pass any order which will infringe upon the rights of employees.”
The bench further said that the NrDMC has employed the said personnel to render their services.
“Non-availability of funds is no ground to not pay salaries and pension on time. It is for the corporation to find ways and means to pay its employees,” the bench said.
The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on April 27.