Clear pending salary to Delhi Waqf Board employees in two weeks: HC
The high court in New Delhi has directed the city government and the Delhi Waqf Board authorities to clear the outstanding salary of board employees of over six months within two weeks
The high court in New Delhi has directed the city government and the Delhi Waqf Board authorities to clear the outstanding salary of board employees of over six months within two weeks.
The Delhi High Court, hearing a petition by Delhi Waqf Board Employees Association, said in case of non-compliance, it would be constrained to pass "adverse orders" on the next date of hearing on April 18.
The association, along with an individual employee, had moved the court earlier this year, claiming they had not received their salaries since October last year and were thus facing “unfathomable financial hardships”.
"It is directed that the respondents (Delhi Waqf Board, chief executive officer of the board, divisional commissioner cum revenue secretary of Delhi government) shall ensure that all outstanding dues of the employees who are members of petitioner No. 1 as well as petitioner No. 2 herein, are positively released within two weeks from today, failing which this court will be constrained to pass adverse orders on the next date," said Justice Jyoti Singh in an order dated March 27.
The court noted the response filed by the CEO showed there were “inter se disputes” between him and the board and the “only endeavour seems to be made is to pass the blame on each other for non-payment of the dues of the petitioners, who have not received their emoluments for over six months now." Advocate M Sufian Siddiqui, appearing for the petitioners, has argued before the court that the aggrieved employees have been robbed of their right to a dignified life in a brazen infraction of their fundamental and constitutional rights.
"The employees of Delhi Waqf Board falling in Category I (permanent employees recruited against the sanctioned post), II (permanent employees whose recruitment is approved by the divisional commissioner), III (employees who were recruited on contractual basis but are waiting for their absorption) and IV (contractual employees who continue to be contractual) have not received their salary from October 2022,” the petition has said.
The petition argued that it was imperative for the board to meet and take necessary measures for the release of salaries of its employees and paucity of funds cannot be an excuse.
It submitted that the “entire functioning of the board has collapsed” and its staff “has been in a grim situation because of unresolved issues”.
“The functioning of the Delhi Waqf Board has come to a standstill as its business is to be transacted at its meetings. Staggeringly, after 05.01.2022 no meeting of the members of the Board has taken place. Hence, as a necessary corollary, the Board has not been able to meet and transact its business, as such, revenue generation of the Delhi Waqf Board has taken a blow,” the petition has said.
“The budget of the Delhi Waqf Board is also not prepared and forwarded to the state government in a timely manner as required by the Waqf Act, 1995 and the Delhi Waqf Rules, 1997, which has caused inordinate delay in sending requisition for the grant in aid to the Delhi government for first quarter of financial year 2022-2023. Furthermore, there are delays on the part of the Government of NCT of Delhi also in releasing the grant in aid,” it has added.
The plea has also stated that the payment of salary to the employees is necessary to enable them to maintain their livelihood and denial of the same amounts to denial of Right to Life Guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.