‘Pay 50% arrears of 62 DCW workers unpaid since Sept 1’
Coming to the aid of 62 Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) employees, including acid attack victims, who were not paid salary since September this year, the Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the authority to disburse 50 per cent of the workers’ arrears.
“So long as they are working, how can you withhold their salary? Do you want the cells to stop working? Shall I record that? If 10 months salary has been paid, then heavens will not fall if another month’s salary is paid,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said and initially ordered release of one month’s salary.
Later when the Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra said nothing will happen if salaries since September 1 are paid, the court directed that 50 per cent arrears, of the four months, of the employees be paid.
The court said the employees shall file, in two days, their affidavits and indemnity that the money being released was subject to final orders
of the court and thereafter, DCW shall disburse the amounts in another two working days.
The judge said it was passing the order as the employees were engaged by DCW to work in various cells for women set up on orders of the court and while the Lieutenant Governor (LG) had claimed the appointments were illegal, the workers were functioning.
He, however, made it clear that the LG-Delhi government dispute over appointment of DCW’s member secretary shall not come in the way of disbursement of the arrears.
The order came on the 62 employees’ plea, filed through advocate Amita Singh Kalkal, seeking directions to DCW to disburse their salary which has not been paid since September.
According to DCW and its Chairperson Swati Maliwal, represented by advocate Rajshekhar Rao, the cells in which the affected employees were working included the Rape Crisis Cell, Crisis Intervention Centre, Acid Watch and Rehabilitation Cell, Anti-trafficking and Rehabilitation Cell, Mahila Panchayats and Sahayogini programme.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain and central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, who appeared for the LG, said that prima facie investigation by Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) and other authorities, including the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), revealed that the appointments of the employees were not done as per the law.