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'Delhi Falling Down By Leaps & Bounds': High Court On Municipal Corporations' Failure In Discharging Duties

Nupur Thapliyal
6 Oct 2021 3:00 PM GMT
Delhi Falling Down By Leaps & Bounds: High Court On Municipal Corporations Failure In Discharging Duties
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Everywhere there is dengue, garbage, cattle roaming in the streets, damage to roads, the Court said.

'Sorry state of affairs,' the Delhi High Court said while expressing its displeasure over failure of municipal corporations in the national capital in discharging their duties and functions.Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that even though the salaries and pensions of the employees have been paid, the municipal corporations of Delhi, especially the Safai Karamchaaris,...

'Sorry state of affairs,' the Delhi High Court said while expressing its displeasure over failure of municipal corporations in the national capital in discharging their duties and functions.

Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that even though the salaries and pensions of the employees have been paid, the municipal corporations of Delhi, especially the Safai Karamchaaris, had miserably failed in discharging their duties which is expected out of them.

"Resultantly, the city is facing an increase of dengue, collection of garbage which is not removed, broken roads and pavements," the Bench said.

During the course of hearing, Advocate Ranjit Sharma appearing for various petitioners said that while the salary across all employees has been paid till the month of August by North Delhi Municipal Corporation, no pension was received for the month of August and had been paid only till July. 

Divya Prakash Pande appearing for NDMC submitted that it has been making all endeavours to pay the pension and that in all the likelihood, payments will be made.

He further submitted that in the past on month, the NDMC has received Rs. 606 Crores out of its own revenue which was used for disbursement of salaries and pensions.

On the other hand, Manu Chaturvedi appearing for EDMC and Pande also appearing for SDMC submitted that the salaries and pensions to its employees are paid up to the date including the month of September. 

"We want to tell all Municipal Corporations, we are writing orders for your rights, payment of salaries and Pensions, but on ground very little is happening when it comes to discharge of your obligations. It is appearing as if the only purpose of municipal corporations are paying salaries and pensions. What is happening about discharge of mandatory obligations?" Justice Sanghi remarked orally. 

On the other hand, Justice Singh said:

"This is a dismal state of affairs for this city. What is happening to the city? Everywhere there is dengue, garbage, cattle roaming in the streets, there is damage to roads. It pains us to see this. In the last six months, this bench is only catering to the salaries, asking them to sell their properties, asking GNCTD to pay, but where is the sense of responsibility of the municipalities? We don't understand this at all."


"The common man is suffering. We want to make Delhi the world class city. But it's falling down by leaps and bounds. It is abysmal. It cannot go down any further. What is the state we are living in? We are issuing contempt notices, what weighed earlier to us was a Covid-19 pandemic. Now we don't have that. It's time for everyone to pull its socks and get back to work," he added.

Accordingly, the Bench posted the matter for further hearing on December 1. It meanwhile directed the NDMC to file an affidavit in the matter. Further three weeks time was given to Centre for filing the affidavit.

Earlier, the Court had came down heavily on the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for non-payment of salaries and pensions to its employees after observing that the cries of the employees have "fallen on deaf ears" of the corporators. 

Observing that the corporation should become independent and a self-sustaining economic model, the Court issued a slew of directions to the NDMC as well as the Delhi Government for taking steps to augment the payment of salaries and pensions.

It had also warned the North Delhi Municipal Corporation of attachment of its properties for its failure to pay salaries and pensions to employees in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Court had directed the Chairman of NDMC to disclose details, under his own affidavit, of all immovable and movable properties along with their estimated value in particular of the bank accounts held by NDMC with banks and financial institutions and the amount held therein till July 1, 2021.

Earlier in April this year, NDMC had informed the Court that despite the court's earlier order of Mar 24 wherein the Delhi government was directed to make remaining payments of all the Municipal Corporations on the revised estimates of the Basic Tax Assignment (BTA) by Apr 5, these payments had not been made to them.

Lashing out at the Delhi government, the bench said to the counsel for the Delhi Government, "We don't live in ivory towers. There are full page ads everyday in newspapers with pictures of politicians. We have seen those and you would've as well - spending money in these times on propaganda (while salaries are pending) is this not criminal?"

Case Title: Nagar Nigam Seva Nivrit Karamchari Kalyan Samiti v. Gyanesh Bharti and other connected matters

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