The Delhi High Court has directed the city government to constitute a high powered committee to supervise implementation of recommendations and guidelines of the sixth and seventh Central Pay Commission (CPC) dealing with salaries and arrears to staff of private unaided schools and recognised private unaided minority schools here.
Terming education as an invincible weapon for empowering the next generation, the high court said the regulating authority has to exercise certain control to ensure that uniform quality of education was provided to every student of the country.
The high court said the committee shall be constituted at Central and Zonal level and also directed the Directorate of Education (DoE) to issue a notification within two weeks for the purpose of convening zonal committee, wherein, various stakeholders including teaching and non-teaching staff of several schools, who are aggrieved by the nonimplementation of the Pay Commission, shall file their claim before the panel.
The committee must devise a mechanism that the staff of the schools are being paid their dues irrespective of the fact that the schools do not have the requisite funds, it said.
This court observes that it is a sorry state of affairs that the staff of the school instead of contributing towards the education of the children, are before this court seeking payment of their salary and emoluments as per Pay Commissions recommendations, which they are duly entitled to, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said.
The court’s 136-page judgment came on a batch of petitions by various staff working in private unaided schools and recognised private unaided minority schools here, seeking benefits of the sixth and seventh CPC along with arrears and retirement benefits.
It said various judgments have been passed by this court pertaining to the implementation of the recommendations of the Pay Commission. However, the same has not been implemented till date due to the issue of lack of financial resources with the schools.
The main reason for non-implementation of the Pay Commission is that the schools have not been able to hike the fee. The regulating authority, that is, DoE is also not able to ensure there is implementation of the recommendations of the Pay Commission since the DoE can only derecognise school in case there is noncompliance with its order.
De-recognition of the school is not always the ideal situation as the same would affect the children studying in the school and employment of the staff of the school. Therefore, directing DoE to ensure there is implementation of pay commission recommendation by de-recognition of school is not the best solution to the issues, Justice Singh said.
It held that the petitioners’ grievances are valid and non-compliance of the notification issued by the DoE for implementation of recommendations of 7th CPC violates their rights enshrined under the Constitution.
On the issue as to whether it is mandatory for unaided minority school to implement the recommendations of sixth and seventh Pay Commissions, the court said the staff of unaided minority school is entitled to salary and emoluments at par with the salary and emoluments as payable to the employee at the same position of the school owned by the competent authority.
Education is an invincible weapon for empowering the next generation of the nation and regulating authority has to exercise certain control to ensure that uniform quality of education is provided to every student of the country. The aspect of autonomy in administration of unaided or aided schools, therefore, does not come into play since the state has to ensure there is quality education provided to the children. Hence, the unaided minority schools are bound by certain regulations of the appropriate authority, it said.
It added that schools shall ensure that adequate compensation is paid to the staff of the school.
Since, in the school the future generations of the country are being taught and if the teachers are not paid decently they might not be able to perform their best in imparting knowledge to the students. The payment of adequate salary to the staff of the school acts as a motivating factor for the teachers in giving their best in teaching the children, the court said.
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