HC Seeks Delhi Waqf Board Response on Plea by Employees Over Non-Payment of Salaries

The Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi Waqf Board to respond to a petition by its employees for payment of salaries and emoluments pending for more than five months.

The Delhi Waqf Board Employees Association has contended that employees coming under certain categories have not received their salaries from October last year and are facing “unfathomable financial hardships”.

“Counter affidavits be filed by the respondents, positively, before the next date of hearing,” said Justice Jyoti Singh in the order passed in the matter recently.

The court also sought the stand of the divisional commissioner-cum-revenue secretary of the Delhi government on the plea.

Advocate M Sufian Siddhiqui, appearing for the petitioner, argued that the aggrieved employees have been robbed of their right to a dignified life in a brazen infraction of their fundamental and constitutional rights.

“The employees of Delhi Waqf Board falling in Category I (Permanent employees recruited against the sanctioned post), II (Permanent employees whose recruitment is approved by the Divisional Commissioner), III (Employees who were recruited on contractual basis but are waiting for their absorption) and IV (Contractual employees who continue to be contractual) have not received their salary from October 2022,” the petition said.

The petition said that it was imperative for the board to meet and take necessary measures for the release of salaries of its employees and paucity of funds cannot be an excuse.

It submitted that the “entire functioning of the board has collapsed” and its staff “has been in a grim situation because of unresolved issues”.

“The functioning of the Delhi Waqf Board has come to a standstill as its business is to be transacted at its meetings. Staggeringly, after 05.01.2022 no meeting of the members of the Board has taken place. Hence, as a necessary corollary, the Board has not been able to meet and transact its business, as such, revenue generation of the Delhi Waqf Board has taken a blow,” the petition alleged.

“The budget of the Delhi Waqf Board is also not prepared and forwarded to the state government in a timely manner as required by the Waqf Act, 1995 and the Delhi Wakf Rules, 1997, which has caused inordinate delay in sending requisition for the Grant in Aid to the Delhi Government for first quarter of Financial Year 2022-2023. Furthermore, there are delays on the part of the Government of NCT of Delhi also in releasing the Grant in Aid,” it added.

The matter will be heard next on March 16.

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