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Pay January salary to your workers, HC directs DCW

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today directed the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to disburse last month’s salaries to its employees engaged in its helplines and rehabilitation cells.

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said various DCW cells were functioning and the workers cannot be expected to work ‘pro- bono’ (without charge) as they are dependent on the salary for subsistence.

“Since petitioners (DCW workers) are working in various cells of DCW and discharging their duties, some as per orders of this court, non-payment of salary would cause grave prejudice to the petitioners and the functioning of the cells of DCW,” the court said and directed that the salaries for January be released.

The court was hearing an application by 97 DCW workers, claiming that they had not been paid the January salaries.

The application was moved in the main petition filed by them alleging they were not paid salaries from September last year. The matter is listed for hearing on February 28.

During the hearing today, the court said it had in December last year asked DCW to pay 50 per cent of the arrears of salary from September to December 2016, but with “the understanding that future payments would continue”.

The office of Lieutenant Governor, represented by central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, opposed payment of salary, saying the LG has on February 13 set up a committee to examine the alleged irregular appointments in the Commission and it would give a report within 30 days.

He said that the salaries should not be disbursed till the panel’s report was received.

The court, however, disagreed with the stand, saying the committee can scrutinise the appointments and terminate those which are illegal, but till the time the cells are functioning and the workers are working, they have to be paid.

Ahluwalia said that DCW has not yet submitted its report pertaining to an expenditure of Rs 6.8 crore given to it and till a utilisation certificate is not received from it, further amounts cannot be released.

He said that DCW has sent them a letter requesting for an additional Rs two crore.

DCW, on the other hand, said it had the funds to disburse salaries to its workers for January and the additional amount was sought in respect of some other projects.

DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal, who was present in court, said the expenditure report has already been provided and any further records that is sought for, would be given.

PTI

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