Thursday, 21 April 2016

Delhi asked to fund salaries of municipal employees

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Aam Aadmi Party government to provide necessary finance to the three Municipal Corporations of the Capital for payment of salaries to their employees pending implementation of the Fourth Finance Commission’s recommendations.

In its judgment delivered on a writ petition seeking release of salaries to the municipal workers in the first week of each month, a Division Bench said the Delhi government would also release the Municipal Reform Fund to which the three municipal bodies were entitled, after processing the financial statements for 2015-16 submitted by them.

The Bench, comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, directed the South, North and East-Delhi Municipal Corporations to ensure that the salaries payable to the sanitation workers for the month of March were paid within a week without fail.

“Salaries for the subsequent months shall also be paid regularly on or before 7th of every month,” directed the court, while renotifying all the petitions filed in the matter on May 2.

The Bench observed that the Municipal Corporations could not be allowed to plead inability to pay salaries to their employees, particularly safai karamcharis and daily wage employees, on the grounds of financial crunch or non-release of funds by the Delhi government.

Petitioner Rahul Birla had moved the court in January-end when safai karamcharis had gone on strike, claiming that the authorities had not been paying salaries and arrears since 2003 to municipal employees.

In a different petition, Birender Sangwan had sought lifting of garbage littered on the streets of Delhi due to safai karamcharis’ strike as well as orders for an end to the strike.

The employees had called off the strike after their salaries till the month of January were paid.