The Delhi High Court recently observed that an increase in salaries of Office Bearers of a Commission is certainly a policy decision of the State and it is no longer res Integra that the Courts of Law should refrain from interfering with a policy decision of the State unless it is manifestly arbitrary or unreasonable. This was seen in the case of DR. ZAFARUL ISLAM KHAN Vs. GOVT. OF NCT DELHI & ORS. (C.M. APPL. NO. 43665/2022) and the case was presided over by Honourable Mr. Chief Justice of Delhi High Court SATISH CHANDRA SHARMA.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The appellant was appointed as Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission. Delhi government through an order had announced the salary hike of the Chairman and other office bearers of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Delhi Commission for Women, and the Delhi Minorities Commission.
However, the government increased the salary of the other two departments but skipped DMC by categorizing their file as temporarily suspended.
Through his learned counsel, the appellant had argued that such a decision was contrary to the 2019 Notification issued by the department for increasing the consolidated salary of the Chairperson for OBCs to Rs. 2 lakhs. The appellant is demanding the retrospective implementation of the salary hike as his tenure as chairman of DMC has come to an end.
The Court observed that the salary hike is applicable after the official Gazette notification of the increase in salary of different departments is out. This order cannot have a retrospective effect as per the DMC Act and DMC Rules 2021.
The Court also quoted that the issue of the retrospective effect of salary hikes is no more applicable as it has been already established by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Income Tax Officer, Alleppy Vs. M.C. Ponnoose & Ors etc., (1969) 2 SCC 351.
“In the light of the aforesaid judgments, keeping in view the documents on record, the statutory provisions as contained under the DMC Act, 1999 read with DMC Rules 2000 and the Amendment Rules, 2021, it can never be said that the amendment has to be made applicable with retrospective effect in respect of payment of salary and allowances to the office bearers of the DMC”, the Court said.
Hence, the Court dismissed the petition by finding no merit in the writ petition.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY ABHINAV SHUKLA.