While rapping North Delhi Municipal Corporation for not paying salaries to the teachers working in its schools, the Delhi High Court observed that as teachers are being made to discharge COVID-19 duties at the instance of the Delhi Government, they can be well equated with COVID-19 warriors, LiveLaw.in has reported.
The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad further decided to dispose of the petition and register a suo moto matter flagging this issue.
The order has come in a Letters Patent Appealmoved by the teachers working in the schools run by North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC), as the corporation failed to comply with the orders of the Single Judge of this court.
The Single Bench had earlier directed the NrDMC to release the salaries of the teachers from March 2020 onwards.
In its affidavit, NrDMC stated that not just the salary of the teachers teaching in the schools run by the it have not been paid, there are several other employees working in different categories in NrDMC starting from Group A officials down to the Safai Karamcharis whose salaries could not be paid as Delhi Government has not released the amounts payable to it under various heads from April, 2020 to June, 2020.
It was further informed to the court that more than 50% teachers have been actively deployed on COVID-19 duties as 299 schools run by the NrDMC have been involved by the Delhi Government for providing services relating to distribution of dry ration, providing cooked meals to the needy, etc.
'Around 5406 teachers have been engaged to do these duties but their salaries remain unpaid since March', NrDMC submitted.
While highlighting that the teachers cannot be made to run from pillar to post for release of their lawful dues, the court directed the Delhi Government to file an affidavit responding to the statements made by the NrDMC and set down a timeline for releasing the fund.
The court said: 'To say the least, this is a very sorry state of affairs. The teachers cannot be left on a wing and a prayer. They must be released their rightful dues without any further delay. As they are being made to discharge COVID-19 duties at the instance of the Delhi Government, they can be well equated with COVID-19 warriors.'