The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the city’s three municipal corporations to ensure that all their employees are paid their last month’s salary by March 21.
A bench, comprising chief justice G Rohini and justice Jayant Nath, issued the direction after the counsel for the employees – including safai karamcharis – told the court that they had not been paid their salaries for February.
Meanwhile, the counsel for the corporations sought time to seek instructions in this regard. Displeased by their response, the court asked: “What were you (corporations) doing? The matter was listed for today and now you are saying that you will seek instructions. Everyone is aware about it (non-payment of salary). There are newspaper reports.”
The court then set March 21 as the deadline for paying the employees their salaries, and listed the next hearing for that date.
The court is hearing petitions filed by three different people. A PIL by Birender Sangwan had sought that garbage littered on the streets due to the safai karamchari strike be cleared because it was posing problems for the public.
Another petition filed by DP Chandel, president of the Indian National Trade Union Congress, wanted the court to direct the Delhi government and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation to release arrears to employees of the civic body as per the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations. The plea, co-filed by union general secretary Rakesh Vaid, also sought that the salaries be released in the first week of each month.
The third petitioner, Rahul Birla, moved the court in January-end, claiming that the civic authorities had not been paying MCD workers their salaries and arrears since 2003. He said workers of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation had gone on strike last year too, leading to “accumulation of garbage for many days, making the lives of city residents pathetic and miserable”.
He said the situation will spark a major health crisis in the capital unless the court intervenes.