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HC stays Delhi govt order to pay teachers from student funds

Friday - October 23, 2020 7:06 pm , Category : EDUCATION
New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday stayed the city government order which had directed that outstanding salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 colleges, which are fully funded by it, be paid out of the Student Society Fund (SSF).
After hearing preliminary submissions, the court stayed the order and issued notice to the government and other respondents.
It also transferred the matter to another bench which already hearing a similar matter and posted it for hearing on November 2.
During the course of hearing, advocate Jivesh Tiwari, appearing for the petitioner, the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU), said that these funds are not coming from the government, but are collected from the students.
"Will the government now ask the students to pay the salaries?" he asked.
Advocate Akanksha Kaul, appearing for the Delhi University, also too supported the stand of the petitioner.
The DUSU's plea states that the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) has directed the 12 colleges, which are 100 per cent funded by the Delhi government, to utilise the funds gathered by the students in the Students Society Fund (SSF) maintained by the respective colleges, for payment of salaries, outstanding for six months.
The plea further states that as per the UGC guidelines, only 11 heads can be included as income and 34 heads for expenditure, and for paying salaries, only those heads under the income category can be used.
"This does not include the fund collected by the students under the societies head or any amount kept in that corpus fund with regard to the SSF...," the plea said, adding that the order directing the usage of the SSF for salaries instead of release of grant in aid and appropriate funding "entirely illegal and arbitrary".
"...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 the such Funds for the payment of salaries will be highly objectionable as there lies no reason or precedent for the usage of such Student Funds for payment of salaries...," it said, seeking the order be quashed.
The Delhi government's order had cited ongoing special audit and non-release of grant-in-aid as the reasons owing to the pending salaries of staff. It also cited the similar reason to utilise the SSF for the payment of salaries.
The Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) had also objected to the Delhi government's reasons to use the SSF for salary disbursement.
"Audits are routine matters for any institution and salaries have never been stopped on this pretext earlier. Why should it be any different this time?" DUTA President Rajib Ray had asked.

--IANS anb/vd