November 20, 2019 9:13:26 pm
The Delhi High Court dismissed on Wednesday a PIL seeking implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations in private unaided schools of the national capital, saying if the staff of these institutions are aggrieved they can approach the court in their individual capacity.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar said as and when any staff of these schools approaches court, then after hearing all stakeholders an order can be passed. “Hence, we see no reason to entertain the writ petition. The writ petition is dismissed,” the court said.
The order came after Action Committee, which represented a majority of the private unaided schools in the city, told the court that implementation of 7th Pay Commission results in a 25 per cent salary hike, with effect from 2016, for both teaching and non-teaching staff cannot be paid without hiking fees.
It told the court that time and again the schools have requested the Delhi government to allow them to increase their fees, but the same was not permitted by way of orders, circulars and directions. It also said these orders, circulars and directions have generated around 66 litigations in the high court and all of them are pending.
The Action Committee further told the court that on one hand the government was not permitting it to increase fees and on the other it was insisting on implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.
The Delhi government, during the brief hearing, told the court that it had inspected around 1,145 private unaided schools out of the total 1,766 in the national capital and of those, 80 per cent were not complying with the 7th Pay Commission recommendation.
The government said it has issued show-cause notices to the non-complying schools stating therein that non-implementation could lead to action against them which may result in de-recognition or takeover of their management.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation told the court that it has 117 unaided recognised schools under its jurisdiction which were not complying with 7th Pay Commission recommendation due to shortage of funds and low fee structure. It said that it has issued notices to them directing the implementation of the pay commission recommendations.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist, through advocate Ashok Agarwal, which had also sought appropriate action in accordance with the provisions of the Delhi School Education Act against the erring unaided private schools.
After hearing all the sides, the bench said that looking into facts and circumstances of the case, legal obligations of the schools under the Act, the interim orders in other pending matters and the fact that the staff, who would be affected, have not approached the court, “we see no reason to entertain the petition”.
The NGO, in its plea, had said the 7th Pay Commission recommendations should be implemented to bring the pay, allowances and other benefits of staff in private unaided schools on par with employees of government and municipal Corporation-run schools in the city.
The inequality in pay is baseless, arbitrary and discriminatory and in violation of the fundamental rights, the plea had said.
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