Non-essential expenses of civic bodies may stop

Delhi High Court. File  

The Delhi High Court on Friday hinted that it may stop all non-essential, discretionary expenses of the three municipal corporations, including perks of councillors and senior officers, so that salaries and pensions of COVID-19 front-line workers can be paid.

A Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli directed the civic bodies to give details of expenses incurred on top officials. It said the payment of salaries of health workers, including doctors and nursing staff, and sanitation staff — who are at the frontlines during the current pandemic should be prioritised over other discretionary expenses.

The court said “paucity of funds cannot be an excuse for non-payment of salaries and pensions” as these are fundamental rights. The court also expressed its disapproval over Delhi government’s decision to deduct from the amounts transferred to the corporations the loans given to them, saying even the Reserve Bank of India had imposed a moratorium on recall of loans and declaration of accounts as NPA by banks and financial institutions.

The court will hear the case again on January 21. It was hearing several petitions claiming non-payment of salaries and pensions of serving and retired employees, including teachers, doctors and sanitation workers, of the three corporations.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 12:53:28 PM |

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