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Orders issued for payment of salaries to disengaged DARC fellows: Delhi govt to HC

New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) Delhi government has informed Delhi High Court that it has issued orders for payment of salaries to disengaged Delhi Assembly Research Centre (DARC) fellows for their already provided services.

The court had, last time, asked for the stand of the Delhi government authorities, demanding clarity on the timeline for the payment of stipend.

Justice Subramonium Prasad was told by the Delhi government counsel for services and finance departments that they have started receiving compliance and that the order does not pertain to the 17 petitioners, but for all fellows who worked during the relevant period.

“On November 8, we issued orders to all concerned and on November 9, we wanted compliance from all concerned and we have started receiving the same. It is not only for these 17 petitioners, but it is for all who have worked during this period,” advocate Avnish Ahlawat told the court.

The November 8 order was also placed on record.

The court will now take up the matter next on December 6.

On November 2, the fellows had approached the high court praying for reinstating its September 21 interim order directing that the services of professionals engaged as fellows shall continue in their positions until December 6, and stipends be paid to them.

During a hearing, the counsel representing the services and finance departments had informed Justice Subramonium Prasad that payments had already been disbursed to some other disengaged professionals.

The judge had asked the lawyer to gather information as to when the payment will be made to the petitioners and other fellows in a similar situation.

The reinstating request had come after the Delhi High Court on October 3 vacated its September 21 interim order.

Contracts of fellows were terminated by the Assembly Secretariat.

Justice Prasad had sought a response from the Legislative Assembly Secretariat, finance department and services department, and asked their counsel to seek instructions.

The counsel for the fellows had also submitted that the Supreme Court has now clarified that it never considered the issue.

“They (petitioners) are struggling to make ends meet. Festive season is round the corner. The Supreme Court has clarified that the issue was never considered and the interim order should be instated,” the court was told.

The Legislative Assembly Secretariat and other relevant authorities had sought to vacate the September 21 interim order.

Justice Prasad had noted that the top court in July had refused to stay the operation of the letter issued by Delhi government’s services department directing the disengagement of the fellows and associate fellows.

He had observed: “Propriety demands that this court ought not have passed any interim order which had the effect of staying the Order dated 05.07.2023 and other consequential orders.”

While Justice Prasad had disposed of the application, he had said that it is always open for the fellows to approach the apex court to get appropriate clarifications.

The respondent authorities had argued that the previous order could not be sustained because there was no sanction for the posts by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, and there was an ongoing matter in the Supreme Court concerning control of services.

The counsel for the petitioners had countered the application by stating that the scope of the current petition did not overlap with the matter pending before the Supreme Court.

They had argued that the petitioners were caught between two behemoths and expressed concerns about a breach of the principle of separation of powers between the Legislature and the Executive.

The court had expressed concerns about “propriety” and suggested that the petitioners seek clarification from the Supreme Court regarding the continuation of the petition in the high court.

Seventeen fellows had challenged the termination of their contracts. The court had noted that the Assembly Speaker had previously stated that the reasons for termination did not apply to the petitioners’ services and sought clarification on the change in the stand.

The petitioners had contended that their services were terminated prematurely, arbitrarily, and illegally after a letter issued by the services department on July 5, and they were not paid their stipends.

They argued that this violated their fundamental rights and the doctrine of separation of powers, as they were engaged at the Delhi Assembly Research Centre, which operates under the Assembly and the Speaker’s authority.

The court has directed that the services of the petitioners be maintained until the next date of hearing on December 6 and that replies be filed within two weeks.

–IANS

spr/arm

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Deskhttps://www.indianabroad.news
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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