Delhi HC Directs Prompt Release of Funds for DU Colleges’ Staff Salaries

DU Colleges Staff Salaries

The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to promptly disburse funds within a week to twelve DU colleges, which are fully funded by the state, for the payment of staff salaries. Additionally, the high court has cautioned senior Delhi government officials, including Minister Atishi, of potential contempt notices if judicial orders are not adhered to.

Court Criticizes Delhi Govt

Justice Tushar Rao Gedela expressed the court’s dwindling patience, stating it was awaiting the “101st sin” to be committed by officials, which would then warrant action. The judge emphasized the importance of ensuring salary payments, adding, “Our patience is running out,” to the counsel representing the Delhi government department. The judge directed conveying this urgency to the Director of the Department of Higher Education.

Contempt Action against Atishi?

The high court was addressing a plea seeking contempt action against Minister Atishi, Secretary R Alice Vaz, and Director Bhupesh Chaudhary of the department for allegedly failing to comply deliberately with the high court’s directives issued in April. The contempt petition, filed by some serving and retired teachers of Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) College, highlighted the authorities’ failure to submit an affidavit with specific timelines, as ordered by the court.

Advocate Monika Arora informed the court that salaries for March and April had not been released by the Delhi government, despite the institution traditionally receiving payments for the past 30 years. She attributed the recent problem to the past four years, prompting aggrieved individuals to approach the court repeatedly.

In its April 16 order, the high court had directed the Delhi government and DDU College to provide an affidavit detailing the college’s budgetary allocation and funds released by the Delhi government. The court also instructed them to specify whether teachers’ salaries for the next six months were accounted for in the allocation, with a deadline of one week to file the affidavit.

Advocate Jawahar Raja, representing the minister and department officers, argued that the state government merely provided grant-in-aid, and the college was responsible for salary payments. However, the judge stressed that employees and the court were solely concerned with receiving salaries, regardless of who pays them.

Raja informed the court that the director of the department had filed the affidavit, indicating that the release of grant-in-aid for DDU College was still in process and would be finalized after finance or planning department concurrence. He assured the court that the funds would be disbursed to the college within a week.

Utilization of Funds

The court directed DDU College to utilize the released funds strictly for staff salaries and pensions before allocating them for any other purpose. The matter is scheduled for review on July 15 to ensure compliance with the court’s directives.

Colleges Funded Fully by Delhi Govt

The twelve colleges affiliated with Delhi University and fully funded by the Delhi government include Acharya Narendra Dev College, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, Bhagini Nivedita College, Deen Dayal Upadhyay College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya Women’s College, Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Sciences, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College (DU), Maharshi Valmiki College of Education, Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, and Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte