Staff salaries: HC issues notice to Punjab government on plea seeking immediate release of salaries
Advocate Hari Chand Arora in the PIL sought release
of salaries of employees of education department, rural development and panchayat department, local bodies department and other government-run institutions.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Punjab government on a plea seeking immediate release of salaries to employees of various departments and fixing of a particular date on which the monthly salary of employees should be credited to their accounts.
The division bench of Justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Anupinder Singh Grewal issued notice to Punjab’s Chief Secretary and sought a response to the Public Interest Litigation by May 30. The PIL also has sought a direction that the salaries of administrative secretaries and other supervisory officers should also not be paid until all the subordinate employees are given their salaries.
Advocate Hari Chand Arora in the PIL sought release of salaries of employees of education department, rural development and panchayat department, local bodies department and other government-run institutions.
“6339 TGT Teachers/ETT teachers under SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan), hundreds of Education Providers, 410 Inclusive Education Volunteers, 1446 Non-teaching staff, all under SSA, are without salaries since December, 2017,” Arora said in the PIL.
Citing the case of the education provider Channa Singh, who allegedly died by suicide last month due to the non-payment of salary, Arora said the teachers instead of attending their classes are being forced to resort to street protests to demand their salaries. He also told the court that 2300 panchayat secretaries across Punjab have not received their salaries for past several months, 11 outsourced computer teachers in the offices of Block Development Panchayat Officers (BDPOs) have not received their salaries for last 15 months, about 500 Clerks of Sewa Kendras have not received salary for last five months and instructors of ITIs have also not been paid their salaries for past few months.
Stating that the situation in Punjab is “akin to what prevails under financial emergency,” Arora in the PIL said the government should pay salaries to teaching and non-teaching employees under SSA and RMSA schemes out of state’s own share instead of withholding it until the Central fund is received. “The salary of the Education Secretary and all other officers in the Education Department (i.e., DEOs/BPEOs/Director General School Education) should also not be permitted to be released till the salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff under them is released every month,” he said in the plea.