HC asks North MCD Commissioner to make endeavour to pay salaries, pensions of staff

By: |
June 01, 2021 3:49 PM

The court had initially initiated a PIL 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.

The framework also emphasises that COVID-19 management can succeed only through a whole of government and whole of society approach.The framework also emphasises that COVID-19 management can succeed only through a whole of government and whole of society approach.

The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the North MCD commissioner to make an endeavour to comply with the judicial orders to clear arrears of salaries and pension of its serving and retired staff of all categories, saying it is not acceptable that a poor employee is not paid dues.

The court also said may be the corporation needs to rationalise its staff strength and undertake a review and conduct an audit as it could be over staffed or carrying a baggage of past.

“We are sure you are aware of the situation that employees not are getting their salaries. This is completely unacceptable that a poor employee is not paid salary. If somebody has to take a cut, let it start from the top. Senior officers can take 50 per cent of their salaries. Are you getting your full salary?,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh asked North MCD Commissioner who was present in the hearing in pursuance to court’s earlier direction.

The court asked the commissioner to file an affidavit in two weeks in response to a plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the authorities for failure to comply with the order to pay salaries and pensions of employees and retirees and listed the matter for July 8.

The court said it has already asked the commissioner to file an affidavit disclosing the movable and non-movable assets owned by the corporation along with their estimated values, bank accounts and the amount held in these accounts as on July 1, 2021.

The court was assured by North MCD Commissioner Sanjay Goel that all efforts are being made to clear the dues of the employees and the corporation is in the process of leasing out some of its properties which have high value.

He told the court that group A officers are the last one to get their salaries and others are being paid first.

Goel said currently there are 57,000 employees in the corporation and thousands have retired in past several year and no fresh recruitment is taking place, except contractual and compassionate appointments.

He said the corporation has closed so many schools due to less number of students there and merged them with other schools and they are trying to do an audit and added that immediately retrenching the staff would become a problem.

Regarding revenue generation, he said they have identified 37 high value properties and are in the process of letting out on long term lease 9 properties which could give them Rs 7-8 crore of revenue, if the COVID-19 situation improves.

The court said besides paying salaries, the corporation has other mandatory responsibilities also which also require funds and it should augment its resources to generate more revenue.

It noted that 96 per cent of the corporation’s revenue goes into paying salaries and thereafter, it needs funds for stopping the spread of epidemic, control dengue and perform desilting of drains, besides other works.

“Maintenance of the city will also require a lot of money. Ensure maintenance of the city as this is one of the foremost priorities and for that you need to augment resources,” the bench said.

To this, the commissioner said as monsoon is approaching the corporation has started fogging and desilting work of drains.

The bench pointed out that after desilting of drains, ‘malwa’ is left outside the drain and not removed and after sometime, it again goes back and to ensure it does not happen, the contract for this work should be given to the same person who shall desilt the drain and remove the waste.

The bench had earlier said the corporation may beg, borrow or steal but it must pay the dues to employees and pensioners.

The court’s direction came while hearing a plea by Akhil Dilli Prathmik Shikshak Sangh, through advocate Ranjit Sharma, seeking initiation of contempt against the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for not paying pension of retired employees despite judicial orders.

The high court had on Monday, warned the North MCD that it will now start attaching the civic body’s properties as the employees and retired staff cannot wait endlessly for salaries and pensions.

North MCD counsel had told the court that the backlog is of two months and if they get Rs 300 crore, they will be able to clear the dues.

The court had earlier also refused to extend time to clear arrears of salaries and pension of serving and retired employees of all categories. The court had granted time till April 5 to clear all the dues.

It had also directed all the three municipal corporations of Delhi — East, North and South — to positively clear all the arrears of pension and salaries of all the ex-employees and serving staff of all categories on or before April 5.

The court was informed that South MCD and East MCD have paid their staff and pensioners till date and there is no backlog.

The court had initially initiated a PIL 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 the court.

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