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HC notice on plea seeking direction for payment of salaries to hospital staff
The Delhi High Court sought a response from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the North MCD on a petition by the employees of the hospitals run by them
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court sought a response from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the North MCD on a petition by the employees of the hospitals run by them, seeking direction for payment of their salaries due for many months now due to the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
A division bench of the high court presided over by Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad issued a notice on the petition filed by the Hospital Employees Union which challenged the irregularity in timely payment of salary to Group C and Group D employees of the hospital administration department and hospitals run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
"From past five years, Respondent No. 1 (NrDMC) has made a habit of paying salary to these employees after a delay of two-three months, that too after many representations and protests. Even during the COVID 19 pandemic, when their workload has grown manifold and when these employees have become the most vulnerable; they are not getting their salary on time," the plea said.
It added that Group C employees have not been paid their salaries for the months of May, June and July; whereas Group D employees have not got their salaries for the months of June and July.
The petitioner apprised the bench that the present petition is concerned with the right to life and livelihood of the abovementioned employees. "The present petition also highlights the violation of the fundamental right of the employees under Article 23 of the Constitution," the plea said.
"The Respondents (authorities) have been extracting forced labour from the workers concerned. That extracting full work from the employees and not paying them regularly and on time is a form of forced labour," the petition said.
The petition said that the authorities have created a lot of misery for the employees by not paying them salary on time. Group C and Group D employees get very low salaries and as a result their savings are also very less. Due to the delay in the payment of salaries, all their savings have been depleted.
"The uncertainty in payment of salary has lowered the dignity of the workers in the eyes of their community as they cannot pay their bills in time," said the Hospital Employees Union in its plea.
The petition has also sought the court's direction for imposing exemplary costs on the Respondents and to pay the same to the workers to compensate for their monetary loss and agony.