The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the three municipal corporations of New Delhi to ensure payment of February salaries to all employees by March 29.
“All the corporations must ensure that salaries of all the employees for the month of February, 2016, be paid by the next date of hearing (March 29),” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said.
The bench, which had on March 16 directed all the three municipal corporations to pay the February salary by today, was informed that most of the employees have been paid salary.
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During the hearing, the advocates appearing for the municipal corporations told the bench that salaries of five to 10 per cent employees were to be paid now and in some of the zones like West, 100 per cent salaries have been paid for the month of February.
They also gave details of the salaries being paid to the employees for the month of February.
The employees union, however, said that salaries of all the employees have not been paid despite the court’s order.
“They (corporations) are saying there are some difficulties due to which entire funds have not been disbursed. They are saying whosoever has not been paid, will be paid within a week,” the bench observed.
However, the counsel appearing for the employees union told the bench, “this is happening every month. This is a sorry state of affairs. They cannot play hide and seek.”
Delhi government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra told the court that in this issue, there are certain obligations of the Centre as well.
“There are certain obligations of the Centre. When the issue of powers come, the Centre says we have the powers but when there is such a situation, the Centre says state will handle it,” he said.
After Mehra said the process has to be followed, the bench asked “unless you pay the salaries, how can they work?”
Mehra, however, said a written proposal has to come to the government as the budget session will be on soon.
The court told the parties to file their affidavits by the next date of hearing on March 29.
“You file the affidavits and then we will consider it. We are concerned that the entire employees should be given the salary,” the bench said. The court is hearing three pleas filed by three different individuals.
A PIL by one Birender Sangwan had sought lifting of garbage littered on streets due to safai karamchaaris’ strike in January and that the stir be called off as it was causing hardship to public. The employees had called of the strikeafter their salaries till the month of January 2016 were paid.
Another petition filed by D P Chandel, President of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), had sought directions to the Delhi government and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to release arrears as per the sixth pay commission to employees of the civic body.
The plea, also by Rakesh Vaid, its General Secretary, has sought release of salaries in the first week of each month.
In January end, another petitioner Rahul Birla moved the court when safai karamchaaris decided to go on strike, claiming that the authorities were not paying salaries and arrears since 2003 to the MCD workers.
He had said workers of North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations — had gone on strike in 2015 too, leading to “accumulation of garbage for number of days at different places, which made the lives of people pathetic and miserable”.
The petition had said if the court does not intervene, it will spark a major health crisis in the capital.