HC fumes over non-payment of salaries to teachers on COVID-19 duty

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has now issued a notice to the Delhi government and asked it to file an affidavit in reply to submissions made by the North Municipal Corporation of Delhi (North MCD) that it was yet to release funds to pay salaries of some 5,406 teachers who have been deployed on COVID-19 duty in the city and have not received their dues since March.

This is a very sorry state of affairs, observed a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad, while taking strong note of the fact that even doctors and safai karamcharis are not being given their dues by the North DMC.

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 bench said. The bench, which had on June 18, directed the North DMC to pay arrears of salaries within a week, was told by the civic body that besides teachers, salaries have not been paid to various categories of employees, starting from group A' officers to doctors and safai karamcharis as the Delhi Government has not released the amount to the civic body. The high court noted that only when judicial orders were passed, Delhi government released the amount for March salaries and North DMC teachers were paid in the morning itself.

It is deemed appropriate to convert this petition into a suo motu petition and the Delhi government is directed to file an affidavit responding to the averments made by the North DMC within one week.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka and lawyer Mini Pushkarna, representing North DMC, said there are 700 schools under the jurisdiction of North MCD and it has 7,000 teachers.

The matter has now been listed for June 29.

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