New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday pulled up the city government and two NGOs for their failure to pay since 2013 salaries to doctors, nurses and staff, engaged in running family welfare programmes here.
Expressing displeasure over non-payment of grant of aid to the staff, Justice Hima Kohli said it was very unfortunate that the matter remains where it was, as in today's world no one can survive a month without a salary.
"You (Delhi government) have not blocked the money of the petitioners (doctors, nurses and staff) for a month or two. It (salary) has not been paid to them for last two years.
"It is very unfortunate. They will borrow or steal the money from someone. You are the state here, you have larger responsibilities. Put yourself in other's shoes and feel it," the court said, while directing the Delhi government's health and finance department secretaries to explain on next date of hearing why the salaries have not been paid to the NGO staff.
It further said that something has to be done which is practical as it cannot get away without paying the dues.
The court observation came during hearing of a plea filed by one Mangala Khattar and few others, who have alleged that the Delhi government and NGO's -- Family Planning Association of India and Sunder Lal Jain Hospital -- have not paid them money since 2013 under the Centre sponsored family planning program with the goal of lowering fertility and slowing the population growth rate.
Under the Centre's grant-in-aid scheme, grants are provided to NGOs who fulfil the criteria according to government norms.
NGOs were provided the grant to implement family welfare programmes in Delhi through various health posts and urban family welfare centres.
Taking a serious note of the issue, the court said if the Delhi government would have thought about it seriously then the problem would have been sorted out by now.
The court also got annoyed after it came to know that the government has no document to show the petitioners were on contract with the NGOs.
Meanwhile, it asked the NGOs and government to inform it whether any document was executed for grant-of-aid by the government within one week.
Zubeda Begum, standing counsel for Delhi government, said that the petitioners are the employees of NGOs.
She said that the Centre has decided to close down the urban family welfare centres here and stop further financial aid due to poor performance and deficient services of NGOs.