New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The Delhi High Court was on Tuesday informed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) that only 60 per cent (5,400) of the teachers working in its schools have received salaries for the month of March and no teacher has received salary for a period of three months (April to June).
“…salary for the month of March, 2020 has been paid only to 5,400 teachers employed by the NrDMC on COVID-19 duties….salary of the remaining 3,600 teachers has not been released for the month of March, 2020,” senior advocate H S Phoolka and Mini Pushkarna, Standing counsel for NRDMC told a division bench of the high court presided by Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad.
The NrDMC also told the court that no salary has been paid to any of the teachers employed by the NrDMC for three months, from April, 2020 till June, 2020.
The submissions came in while the court was hearing a petition initiated by it on its own motion regarding the disbursement of unpaid salaries of teachers employed in schools run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
During the course of hearing, the Delhi government filed a status report which states that a sum of Rs 49.17 crore to the NrDMC towards grant in aid for disbursing salaries to the teachers of the NrDMC for April, 2020 vide an order dated April 27.
As regards the grant in aid for the month of May, it was submitted that the Finance Department has sanctioned a sum of Rs 49.17 crore to the civic body vide order May 1, for implementing the scheme of primary education under the salary component for the current year.
Finally, as far as the salaries of June are concerned, the Delhi government further submitted that the release order for a sum of Rs 49.16 crore was issued only yesterday (June 29) and in all probability, the said amount would have been remitted into the account of the NrDMC through RTGS.
Responding to the said submissions, Phoolka disputed the same saying that his briefing counsel will have to ascertain as to whether a sum of Rs 49.16 crore has been received by the NrDMC, as stated by the government.
He also told the bench that the Delhi government has not released the amounts due and payable to the NrDMC for the month of June, 2020 towards its share of the grant in aid for implementation of the said scheme.
He however informed the bench that the salary of all the 9,000 teachers employed by the NrDMC was released in February, 2020.
Phoolka while concluding his submissions appraised the court regarding the non-payment of salaries to the teachers for a period of three months – April to June while adding that 3,600 teachers (40 per cent) haven’t even got their salary for the month of March.
After hearing the arguments at length, the court said, “In the event, the sum of Rs 49.16 crore that government of NCTD is stated to have released in favour of the NrDMC only yesterday is received, then the unpaid salaries of the teachers for the month of March, 2020 shall be released forthwith.”
It further asked the Department of Education and the Urban Development Department of the Delhi government to file separate status reports indicating inter alia the amounts that are due and payable for the current financial year towards the salary component of teachers engaged by the NrDMC
The said departments shall also mention the amounts that have been released on this head in the quarter ending June, 2020 and the amounts that are due and payable, the court said.
“Similarly, NrDMC shall also file a Status Report with a tabulated statement indicating the amounts that it is required to disburse in the year 2021 towards its share of the salaries payable to teachers engaged by it, the amounts that have been released till the quarter ending June, 2020 and the extent of the unpaid amount,” the court ruled.
On the previous date of hearing, the court pulled up the civic body over non-payment of salaries to teachers who are also deployed on Covid-19 duty, while stating that it is a “sorry state of affairs” where the teachers, who can be equated to corona warriors, have not been paid salaries since the lockdown was imposed.
Taking strong note of the non-payment of salaries to the ‘safai karamcharis’ and teachers, the bench had taken suo moto cognisance of the issue and converted it into a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
“This is a sorry state of affairs. Teachers belong to one of the noble professions and as they are made to do Covid-19 duty also, they can be equated to Covid-19 warriors. Despite that, they have been deprived of their dues since March 2020,” the court had remarked.