HC seeks stand of 12 DU affiliated colleges on paying salaries

Published: Nov 5, 2020, 2:45 pm IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought responses from various colleges affiliated to Delhi University and funded by the Delhi government over a petition against the AAP government’s notification directing the colleges to pay salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staff from the Student Society Funds (SSF).

A single judge bench of the High Court presided by Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to 12 colleges and asked them to file their response by November 9.

The 12 colleges are Acharya Narendra Dev College, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, Bhagini Nivedita College, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya 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.

On the previous date of hearing, the High Court had refused to vacate at this stage the interim order staying the AAP government notification directing the colleges affiliated to Delhi University to pay salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staff from the SSF.

The court had also observed that the stand of the colleges on the issue holds importance and the same have not been made a party to the petition filed by the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU).

The court had then directed Advocate Jivesh Tiwari, the counsel of the petitioner, to move an application by the next date of hearing to make the colleges a party to the petition.

“Take appropriate steps to include the colleges as a party and if they fail to do so, I will vacate the interim order,” the court had said.

“I find that the stand of the colleges is important for deciding the said issue,” the bench had said while posting the matter for further hearing on November 5.

The court was dealing with the issue relating to the use of the SSF for the payment of salaries to the teaching and non teaching staff of these 12 colleges.

Earlier on October 23, a single judge bench of the High Court presided by Justice Navin Chawla stayed the order of the Delhi government by which it has directed for payment of the outstanding salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff of the 12 colleges from the Student Society Funds.

The plea filed by DUSU states that the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) has directed the 12 colleges which are 100 per cent funded by the Respondent No. 3 to exhaust and utilize the Students Society Funds maintained by the respective colleges for and by the students. It is a fund that has been raised by the students.

The plea states that as per the UGC guidelines only 11 heads can be included as income and 34 heads for expenditure. It further states that for paying the salaries only those heads which are under “income” can be used.

“This does not include the fund collected by the students under the societies head or any amount kept in that corpus fund with regard to the SSF can be utilized for this purpose,” the plea said.

The plea also states that the order directing the usage of the Students Society Fund for the payment of outstanding salaries instead of release of grant-in-aid and appropriate funding is found entirely illegal and arbitrary.

“…the impugned actions are bad in law and violate the rights of each and every student that has contributed to such SSF and usage of the such Funds for the payment of salaries will be highly objectionable as their lies no reason or precedent for the usage of such Student Funds for payment of salaries from colleges which are 100% funded by the respondent no.3 (Delhi government),” the plea states.

The plea has sought quashing of the impugned order for usage of the students fund or put a stay on such orders dated October 16, 2020 for the usage of the funds for payment of salaries.

The Delhi government’s Directorate of Higher Education had issued an order on Saturday asking the 12 colleges to draw on the Students Society Funds for payment of outstanding salary to the teaching and non-teaching staff. The staff of these 12 colleges has not been paid for six months.

The order had cited the ongoing special audit and non-release of grant-in-aid as the reasons for the delay in salaries. It also cited the same reason to utilize SSF for the release of salaries.

However, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) had objected to the Delhi government’s reason to touch SSF for salary disbursement. “Audits are routine matters for any institution and salaries have never been stopped on this pretext earlier. Why should it be any different this time?” DUTA president Rajib Ray had asked.