Coming to the rescue of teachers at a Goregaon school who have not been getting salaries since June, the consumer court ordered the provident fund (PF) commissioner to release the salary account from attachment.
“We couldn’t celebrate any festival this year because we were not getting our salaries,” said Deepak Wani, assistant teacher at Esplanade High School and Junior College.
On June 9, vice-principal Jayprakash Dixit and a few teachers had moved the Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum after the PF commissioner ordered Saraswat Cooperative Bank’s Kandivli branch to attach all accounts of the institute, which runs the school, for an apparent recovery of Rs 32.42.
The bank had transferred Rs 5.88 lakh — balance standing in the salary account at that time — to the PF commissioner’s office.
The forum on Saturday directed the PF commissioner to deposit within a week Rs 5.88 lakh.
By way of an interim order, the forum also restrained the bank from withholding any amount from the account in which government deposits consolidated amount towards teachers’ salaries. The salary amounts are then transferred to individual accounts of the teachers.
The forum noted the PF commissioner should have withdrawn the attachment at least after realising it was exclusive salary account. “…to bring pressure on the institute, the PF commissioner continued the attachment,” observed the bench of forum president JL Deshpande, and members DS Bidnurkar and VG Joshi.
The forum held that unless the withdrawn amount is remitted back to the salary account, the teachers will not get their salaries. “The bank should have released the money and PF officials should redeposit the same. Now, they are left with two days,” said Dixit.
(Inputs from Neha Ghatpande)