The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi vide order dated 27.06.2020 fumed over the non-payment of salaries by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, to the teachers working in its schools who are deployed on COVID-19 duty.
The said order was passed in response to a letters patent appeal moved by the teachers working in schools run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation complaining about the non-payment of their salaries since the beginning of lockdown, i.e. March, 2020.
The Hon’ble High Court in the present order, lamenting over the order passed by a Single Judge dated 09.06.2020 wherein the writ petition filed by the Appellants was dismissed on the ground that the remedy of the Appellants were laid before the Central Administrative Tribunal, stated as follows, “Observing that the Appellants are all teachers working in schools run by the Nr.D.M.C. and cannot be made to run from pillar to post for release of their lawful dues more particularly when the Respondent No.2/Nr.D.M.C. is in default and has admittedly failed to release their salaries ever since the lockdown was declared in Delhi in March, 2020, it was deemed appropriate to direct the Respondent No.2/Nr.D.M.C. to clear the arrears of all the salaries of the teachers teaching in its schools within one week.”
The Hon’ble High Court further stated about the affidavit filed by the Respondent (North Delhi Municipal Corporation) wherein it was submitted, that the dues of teachers as well as several other employees working in different categories at the North Delhi Municipal Corporation could not be paid as the Delhi Government had not released the amounts payable to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation from April, 2020 to June, 2020.
Mr. Phoolka, Senior Advocate for Respondent No.1/ North Delhi Municipal Corporation submitted that the North Delhi Municipal Corporation is running approximately 700 schools with almost 9000 teachers out of which 50% teachers have been actively deployed on COVID-19 duties. She further submitted that the salaries for the month of March, 2020 in respect of 5400 teachers were released on 26.06.2020.
Holding, that by discharging COVID-19 duties at the instance of the Delhi Government, the Appellants/ teachers were “COVID-19 Warriors” and after looking into the Status Report filed by Respondent No.1/ North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Coram comprising of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad disposed of the present appeal and took suo moto cognizance of the matter thereby directing the Registry to title the petition as “In Re: Unpaid Salary of Teachers and Employees of Nr.D.M.C”.
Respondent No.1 (Delhi Government) was further directed to file a reply affidavit within three days of the present order, responding to the allegations made by Respondent No.2/ North Delhi Municipal Corporation in its Status Report and set down a timeline for releasing the funds.