Delhi HC reprimands MCD for failure to pay salaries | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi HC reprimands MCD for failure to pay salaries

Feb 10, 2024 05:00 AM IST

The Delhi high court criticized the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for failing to pay salaries and pensions to employees and warned of consequences, including winding it up. The court emphasized that the payment of basic wages was a statutory obligation and urged the MCD to rectify its financial situation. The court also noted that the MCD had not considered the proposal to hand over its hospitals to the Centre or Delhi government. The MCD assured the court that outstanding salaries and pensions would be released within 10 days.

The Delhi high court on Friday reproached the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for failing to pay salaries and pensions to employees/pensioners working in the hospitals under it and said the liability to pay basic wages was a statutory obligation, adding that the court would not wait for the agency to find ways and means of augmenting its resources.

 (Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

The court also asked the authority to set its house in order and warned of consequences including winding it up in case they fail to do so.

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The court was hearing a clutch of petitions including its suo moto plea relating to non-payment of salaries and pensions to teachers, hospital staff, sanitation workers and engineers.

“You only have to ensure that they (hospitals under MCD) are financially viable. You can’t continue in this manner... people don’t get paid. These are basic wages. How can you not say that you will not pay basic wages? We’re giving you the last opportunity wherein you need to set your house in order. If you don’t have it (finances), you’ll be wound up...,” a bench led by acting chief justice Manmohan said to advocate Divya Prakash Pande who appeared for MCD.

“This court has made it clear that it is not going to wait for MCD to find ways and means for augmenting its resources. Liability to pay the 7th Pay Commission is a statutory obligation. If MCD is not in a position to pay basic wages then consequences will follow,” the bench said.

During the hearing, advocate Satyakam appearing for the Delhi government submitted that although the high court in July 2021 had asked MCD to consider the proposal to hand over its six hospitals including Hindu Rao, and Kasturba Gandhi Hospital Central Delhi College to the Centre or Delhi government, MCD had failed to consider the same.

Considering the counsel’s submissions, the bench also comprising justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora said that “MCD was not willing to give up any authority and just wanted to grab more power”.

On Friday, advocate Satyakam submitted that the Delhi government had sanctioned the 3rd installment of 803.69 crore on January 24 and credited it to the MCD’s account, adding that the government was releasing the payments periodically.

Advocate Pande submitted that the civic authority would release the outstanding salaries and pensions within 10 days and he would also take instructions regarding clearing the arrears of the 7th Pay Commission. He also clarified that the MCD had been taking steps to clear the dues which could further be proved from the fact that though its arrears have come down from 1,000 crore to 400 crore.

The high court in July 2021 had said that it was “pained” to see employees approaching courts to get their salaries. It had observed that corporations were meant to not only pay employee salaries but also make the city “world-class” as well as manage health issues such as dengue, chikungunya and malaria.

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