New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday declined to lift stay at this stage its order on the decision of the AAP government asking 12 Delhi University colleges, which are fully funded by it to pay outstanding salaries of staffers from the students' fund.
It said it will decide the application seeking vacation of stay only after hearing all the parties and sought replies of 12 colleges. Justice Jyoti Singh issued notices to the 12 colleges and Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) on the Delhi government's application to vacate the stay order.
The court also granted three weeks time to the colleges to file their replies to the petition filed by DUSU, which has challenged the October 16 order of the Delhi government asking the institutes to pay the salaries of over 1500 staff-- both teaching and non-teaching-- from the students' fund. The high court listed the matter for further hearing on December 15.
During the hearing, the counsel appearing for Delhi government urged the high court to vacate the October 23 order by which stay was granted on its decision asking the colleges to pay pending salaries of staffers from the Students Welfare Fund (SSF).
"Delhi government is forced to release funds despite the fact that the colleges are sitting over a huge amount of money," he argued. The high court said the October 23 interim stay order will continue till further orders.
The 12 colleges which are affiliated with the Delhi University and are fully funded by the Delhi government are Acharya Narendra Dev College, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, Bhagini Nivedita College, DeenDayal Upadhyaya College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya Women's College, Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Sciences, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College (DU), Maharshi Valmiki College of Education, Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women and Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.
The high court had earlier issued notice to the Directorate of Higher Education, Delhi University and Delhi government and sought their replies on the petition by DUSU.
DUSU, in its plea, has said "Such arbitrary and illegal usage of the money raised by the students for their academic welfare has forced the petitioner who represents the students of the university as a union, to come to this court for quashing of such illegal, unjust and arbitrary order that is unjust and violative of the rights of the students as a whole."
Delhi University's counsel had said the varsity is supporting the students' petition and added that the students' fund cannot be used for paying teachers salaries and it will amount to cheating the students. The college staff are not paid for the last three months.
The plea said the Directorate of Higher Education has directed the 12 colleges, which are 100 per cent funded by the Delhi government, to exhaust and utilise the funds gathered by the students with respect to the Students Society Fund (SSF) maintained by the respective colleges for and by the students.
"...The impugned actions are bad in law and violate the rights of each and every student that has contributed to such SSF and usage of such Funds for the payment of salaries will be highly objectionable as their lies no reason or precedent for the usage of such student funds for payment of salaries from colleges which are 100 per cent funded by the respondent no.3 (Delhi government)," it said.
The government order has said, "Having taken notice that salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff of colleges, affiliated to Delhi University and fully funded by the GNCT of Delhi, are outstanding/not being paid due to ongoing Special Audit/non-release of Grant-in-Aid, the Hon'ble Dy CM has ordered/permitted: outstanding salaries to the Teaching and Non-Teaching staff be released immediately from the SSF as has been done in the past, till the process of Special Audit is completed/further installments of GIA (under the Salary Head) are released."
For the purpose, requisite permission for utilising the Students Society Fund(SSF) for payment of salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staff is hereby accorded, the order has said.
"If any salaries remain unpaid after the SSF has been exhausted, the remaining amount will be paid by the Directorate of Higher Education after receipt of formal request from the concerned college(s)," it added.