New Delhi, Sep 29 (PTI) Diwali is round the corner and no employee should be deprived of the joy of festivity, the Delhi High Court observed on Tuesday while asking the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) to disburse pending salaries of 9,000 teachers engaged by the civic body.
The court was informed by the NrDMC counsel that on September 8, the civic body has released salaries of June to its teachers.
The court was also informed by the Delhi government's advocate that it has released Rs 98.35 crore to NrDMC on September 3 and the amount will cover the salaries of teachers for September and October.
“Don’t forget the festival of Diwali is round the corner. We will not allow you (NrDMC) to deprive any employee of that little joy of festivity,” a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad said, adding that many people are already heartbroken and under depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The court also asked the civic agency to disburse the salaries of teachers for the pending months.
The NrDMC counsel said he will seek instructions as to whether the civic body has received the amount from the Delhi government and that they are working on the issue of releasing salaries.
The court asked the civic body to file a status report in this regard and listed the matter for further hearing on November 5.
The bench was hearing a suo motu PIL initiated by the high court with regard to the disbursement of unpaid salaries of teachers employed in schools run by the NrDMC.
The high court had initiated the PIL in June after hearing the petition filed on behalf of North Delhi Municipal Corporation teachers by Akhil Dilli Prathmik Shikshak Sangh, seeking direction to the authorities to pay their salaries which were due since March, when the nationwide lockdown was imposed.
The court was earlier informed by the NrDMC that it had paid salaries to all 9000 teachers engaged by the civic body till March and 5406 teachers, who are put on COVID-19 duty, have been given their dues for April.
The NrDMC had blamed the Delhi government for not releasing Grant-In-Aid to the civic body due to which it is unable to pay the salaries of its employees.
The Delhi government had said that the Grant-In-Aid payable by it to the NrDMC for release of salaries to its teachers was Rs147 crores for the first quarter of this year, that is, from April to June and it has been released in three monthly tranches.
It had in August informed the high court that it had released Rs 98.35 crore to NrDMC for paying salaries to 9000 teachers for July and August.
While initiating the PIL on June 26, the bench had remarked that teachers deployed on COVID-19 duty can be equated to corona warriors and was displeased that their salaries have not been paid since March. The bench had earlier directed the NrDMC to pay arrears of salaries, saying the teachers cannot be made to run from pillar to post for their lawful dues. PTI SKV HMP SA