The North Delhi Municipal Corporation told the Delhi High Court that it has been unable to pay employees, including resident doctors, as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has not released all the funds for the first quarter of this financial year.
It told a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan that around Rs 162 crore was due to the corporation by Delhi government in the first quarter of financial year 2020-21 and of that only Rs 27 crore has been sanctioned which is "yet to be seen."
The contention was disputed by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Delhi government, who said that in its report filed on Tuesday, July 7, the amounts released to the corporation by various departments have been indicated.
All dues have been cleared by the Delhi government, he said. The bench asked the Delhi government to respond to the corporation's contentions.
The court said that when lawyers are coming to court saying they want money during the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors, who are corona warriors, also need their salaries.
The bench also made it clear that it was only dealing with the non-payment of salaries of the resident doctors of hospitals run by the corporation and not all of its doctors and other employees.
The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it based on news reports that doctors of Kasturba Gandhi Hospital have threatened to resign as they have not been paid salaries since March this year.
The news reports also stated that recently the doctors of North MCD-run Hindu Rao hospital had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over non-payment of their salaries for the months of March, April and May.
In its status report, filed in response to the plea, the corporation has said that salaries of March and April months of all resident doctors in hospitals run by the civic body have been paid.
The corporation has also said in its report that salary for the month of March of all of its regular doctors have also been paid. It said that due to non-release of the requisite amounts by the Delhi government, the corporation has been unable to release the salary of its doctors.
The Delhi government has also filed a status report in which it has said that it has released Rs 8 crore to the corporation, as directed by the court, for payment of the April salary of the resident doctors.
It has further said that paying salaries of the doctors and other employees of the corporation was the sole responsibility of the civic body and the Delhi government only releases funds which it is obliged to as per budget estimate of the financial year.
It said the first installment of the funds allocated for the north and south MCDs under the basic tax assignment have been released to them by the Urban development department.
It has said Rs 212.53 crore to north MCD and Rs 112.62 to south MCD has been already released.
It has further claimed that its Education department has already released Rs 147.50 crore to north MCD, Rs 97.50 crore to south MCD and Rs 75 crore to east MCD as grant in aid for the current financial year.
Besides that, its revenue department has released Rs 33.65 crore to north MCD, Rs 48.02 crore to south MCD and Rs 11.40 crore to east MCD in the current financial year, the Delhi government has said in its report.