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Delhi High Court held that teachers of unaided private schools are entitled to the same pay and emoluments as those of government schools.

Title: BHARAT MATA SARASWATI BAL MANDIR SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL vs VINITA SINGH AND ORS.

Date of Decision: 07th July, 2023

+ LPA 601/2022 & CM APPLs. 45446-45447/2022

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE MINI PUSHKARNA

Introduction

Delhi High Court dismissed the appeal filed against the judgement dated 14th December, 2021, whereby the writ petition filed by three teachers seeking payment of 7th Central Pay Commission (hereinafter referred to as ‘7th CPC’) has been allowed and held that teachers of unaided private schools are entitled to the same pay and emoluments as those of government schools, in terms of the obligation enjoined upon the private recognized schools under the DSE Act, 1973. The schools cannot evade their statutory responsibility and are bound to pay the statutory dues.

Facts of the case

The pertinent information is that respondents 1 through 3 have been regularly employed by the appellant institution. Respondent No. 5/Directorate of Education (DOE) issued a notification on October 17, 2017, requesting that all private recognised schools adopt the recommendations of the 7th CPC. Respondents 1 to 3 sought this Court by filing a writ case after the appellant school refused to extend the benefit of the 7th CPC. By the impugned judgement on 14th December 2021, the learned Single Judge found that the respondents 1 through 3 herein were entitled to arrears of their benefits/salaries beginning on January 1, 2016, and also required the school to give them in accordance with the 7th CPC’s rules. Hence, the current appeal has come to be filed by the school.

Analysis of the court

The Delhi High court held that the writ petition filed by the three teachers was maintainable as it involves a public law element, inasmuch as, the original writ petitioners were seeking the implementation of Section 10(1) of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 (DSE Act, 1973)

In reality, the writ petitioners sought implementation of the circular/order/notification dated October 17, 2017 issued by DOE requiring the schools to pay teachers’ wages in line with the 7th CPC through the underlying writ petition. In reality, the Supreme Court has unequivocally stated the following in the case of St. Mary’s Education Society (Supra):

“75.1. An application under Article 226 of the Constitution is maintainable against a person or a body discharging public duties or public functions. The public duty cast may be either statutory or otherwise and where it is otherwise, the body or the person must be shown to owe that duty or obligation to the public involving the public law element. Similarly, for ascertaining the discharge of public function, it must be established that the body or the person was seeking to achieve the same for the collective benefit of the public or a section of it and the authority to do so must be accepted by the public.”

Hence the present writ was maintainable.

This Court further believes that, given the recurrent nature of the claim, the writ petition submitted by the original writ petitioners is not precluded by laches or delay.

In Union of India v. Tarsem Singh (supra), the Supreme Court itself said by way of an example that remedy should be given regardless of delay if the problem relates to pay payment as it does not impact third party rights.

Furthermore, because the decision in Rushibhai Jagdishbhai Pathak v. Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (above) deals with a matter of a higher grade pay scale in the following promotional post, which is not the situation in the present issue, it is of no use to the appellant.

To sum up, it should be stated once again that the respondents in the writ case requested the payment of their entire salaries in accordance with the 7th CPC’s recommendations. According to Section 10 of the DSE Act, a recognised private school’s pay scale and allowances, medical services, pension, gratuity, provident fund, and other permitted benefits must not be less than those of the employees in the same position at the public school. According to a statement from the DOE dated October 17, 2017, all recognised schools are required to follow the 7th CPC’s recommendations in compliance with the DSE Act, 1973. at light of this, it is unquestionable that instructors at unassisted private schools are entitled to the same pay and benefits as emoluments as those of government schools, in terms of the obligation enjoined upon the private recognized schools under the DSE Act, 1973. The schools cannot evade their statutory responsibility and are bound to pay the statutory dues.

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The Delhi High Court granted the benefit of remission under Delhi Prison Rules 2018

Title: INOX AIR PRODUCTS PRIVATE LIMITED vs MR. ARUN RATHI

Date of Decision: 05.07.2023

EX.P. 109/2019

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANOJ KUMAR OHRI

Introduction

Delhi High Court granted the benefit of remission under Delhi Prison Rules 2018 and held that a plain reading of rules would show that rule 1175 defines the eligibility for remission and it has defined the term “Convicted prisoner” which would include both civil as well as criminal prisoners.

Facts of the Case

In brief, this Court found the applicant guilty of contempt of court for disobeying instructions and the undertaking made in an order dated 24.05.2019, taking into account the facts of the case and particularly the applicant’s behaviour to the knowledgeable Arbitrator. The petitioner was ordered by the court to pay the decree holder an amount of Rs. 5.05 crores, or the value of the missing machinery and equipment. Further instructions said that the applicant would face a three-month sentence of civil jail if the aforementioned sum was not paid within six weeks.

By means of CONT.APP. (C)15/2019, the aforementioned order was contested before the Division Bench. The appeal was dismissed by decision dated 26.11.2019, to which a S.L.P. (Crl.) No. 665 of 2020 was filed in response. This claim was also rejected, but the deadline for depositing the money was extended by orders dated 11.11.2022 and 15.12.2022. After then, on January 13, 2023, a Review Petition No. 12/2023 submitted to the Division Bench was likewise dismissed.

On March 29, 2023, the court ordered the petitioner to appear and serve three months of civil incarceration in accordance with the decision dated May 25, 2019, noting that he had neglected to deposit the sum of Rs. 5.05 crores. According to reports, the applicant turned himself in on April 10, 2023, and has been incarcerated since.

Analysis of the case

The order dated 24.05.2019 was issued in response to a petition brought under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”). Punishment for disobedience and noncompliance with the court’s order is the outcome of the civil contempt proceedings under the Act. The procedures differ from execution proceedings under the Code of Civil Procedure in that the Court must expressly satisfy it and record a finding that the disobedience was deliberate and purposeful in the contempt proceedings.

In Sections 3(2), (3), and (4) of The Prisons Act of 1894, the terms “criminal prisoner,” “convicted criminal prisoner,” and “civil prisoner” are defined. the terms “civil prisoners,” “convicted criminal prisoners,” and “criminal prisoner” are likewise defined in the Delhi Prisons Act, 2000 (Delhi Act No. 2 of 2002), and they are identical to those used in The Prisons Act, 1984. The Delhi Prison Rules, 2018 (hence referred to as the “Rules”) were created by the government of the NCT of Delhi in accordance with its authority under Section 71 of The Delhi Prisons Act, 2000.

Court held, one of the most prized elements of the Indian Constitution is personal freedom. and its infringement cannot occur except in line with the law and in accordance with its provisions, as stated in Article 21 of the Constitution. It is commonly known that a legal process cannot be capricious, unjust, or irrational.

This Court believes that a straightforward interpretation of the aforementioned Rules would demonstrate that the term “convicted prisoner” is used when describing eligibility for remission in Rule 1175. This phrase is comprehensive and makes no distinction between a “criminal prisoner” and a “civil prisoner” who has been found guilty. Although there is no specific provision for remission in Chapter XXXIII of the Rules that apply to civil prisoners, this does not indicate that Rule 1175 of the Rules is no longer relevant to the petitioner. Additionally, Rule 1176 does not specifically exclude civil prisoners. This Court thus believes that the aforementioned definition and rule apply to both types of convicts. Additionally, the claim that the petitioner has not been awarded a substantive sentence is equally fallacious as the applicant has been convicted and punished with substantive sentence of detention in civil prison for three months and as such, he is eligible for remission in terms of Rule 1175(1).

Thus the court allowed the application and directed the Superintendent to provide the applicant or contestant with the benefit of remission in accordance with the relevant Rules.

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Delhi High Court granted compensation and set aside the order of the railway tribunal.

Title: RAM PRATAP & ANR vs UNION OF INDIA (MINISTRY OF RAILWAY)

Reserved on: 15.03.2023

Pronounced on: 05.07.2023

FAO 172/2014

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANOJ KUMAR OHRI

Introduction

Delhi High court set aside the order passed by the Railway Claims Tribunal, Principal Bench, Delhi in OA(IIu)008/2013 and granted compensation to the appellants under section 23 of the railway claims tribunal act 1987.

Facts of the case

The appellants seek to challenge the decision made by the Railway Claims Tribunal, Principal Bench, Delhi in OA(IIu)008/2013, which dismissed the claim application they submitted. This appeal was filed in accordance with Section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”).

The appellants’ knowledgeable counsel argued that the Tribunal had rejected the appellants’ claim even though the two travel tickets (for the forward and return voyage) had been found on the deceased individual.

In contrast, the respondent’s learned CGSC argued that the Tribunal correctly rejected the assertions that the deceased was a bona fide passenger and that the event an untoward incident occurred while defending the disputed order.

Analysis of the court

A review of the file would also demonstrate that the tickets were confirmed and discovered to have been issued on June 5, 2012, at 12:18. Even though the trip was started on that day with considerable delay, The appellants claimed in their testimony that after buying the tickets, the deceased went home for some personal matters before returning to travel later that evening. In the deceased should not be denied the status of having been a genuine passenger just because there was a small window of time between the time the tickets were issued and the journey was actually taken, according to this Court’s FAO 172/2014 Page 3 of 4 opinion. In addition, the Tribunal’s assertion that the claim averments are implausible since neither the deceased’s fellow passengers nor the authorities were informed of the occurrence is false and should be rejected given the circumstances of the case.

In light of the foregoing reasoning, this Court believes that the Tribunal erred in denying the appellants’ claim application. As a result, the appeal is granted and the contested ruling is reversed.

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Delhi High Court dismissed the petition challenging the orders passed by the tribunal.

Title: DELHI TRANSPORT CORPORATION vs SUBHASH CHAND

Date of decision: July 5, 2023

+ W.P.(C) 8880/2023, CM APPLs. 33544/2023 & 33545/2023

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V. KAMESWAR RAO

     HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ANOOP KUMAR MENDIRATTA

Introduction

Delhi High Court dismissed the petition challenging the orders passed by the tribunal upholding the decision of the Disciplinary Authority dated 16.12.14, who had imposed the punishment of stoppage of one increment with cumulative effect.

Facts of the case

The Disciplinary Authority issued an order on December 16, 2014, which the Respondent challenged before the Tribunal. The Disciplinary Authority had imposed a punishment of stoppage of one increment with cumulative effect. In response to the appeal, the Appellate Authority amended the penalty decision by declaring that it will be reduced by one increment without having any cumulative impact in an order dated March 12, 2015. It appears that the respondent sought an additional remedy before the higher authority, which issued a decision on July 3, 2015 denying the proposed remedy.

It should be noted that a chargesheet dated July 26, 2012, was used to launch a departmental investigation against the respondent. It is a given that the Inquiry Officer concluded that the accusations brought against the respondent had not been established in his final judgement. The defendant received a notification from the Disciplinary Authority dated August 14, 2014 asking him to justify why he should not receive the penalty of stoppage of two increments with cumulative effect. The investigation report was then sent to the respondent by correspondence dated February 26, 2014. On August 14, 2014, the responder responded to the same.

Analysis and Decision of the court

The court held that – The respondent must be placed in the same position or stage as if no penalty had been meted out to them after the tribunal overturned the orders of the Disciplinary Authority, Appellate Authority, and the Higher Authority.

In response to a particular question about whether the Disciplinary Authority had sent the respondent any disagreement notes prior to administering the punishment, the learned counsel for the petitioner responded in the negative. If that is the case, we concur with the Tribunal’s judgement in the contested order. We see no justification for interfering with the same. Thus the petition is dismissed.

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Delhi High Court Dismissed the appeal challenging the order of a district court due to lack of filing of written statement on time.

Title: SANTOSH KUMAR AGGARWAL vs M/S ALUCO PANEL LIMITED

Date of Decision: 05th July, 2023

+ RFA(COMM) 131/2023

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN

HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE MINI PUSHKARNA

Introduction

Delhi High Court Dismissed the appeal challenging the order of a district court due to lack of filing of written statement on time thus defence for lack of territorial jurisdiction could not be raised.

Facts of the case

Present appeal has been filed challenging the order dated 11th November, 2022 passed by the learned District Judge in CS No.1235/2018 whereby the suit was decreed in favour of the respondent-plaintiff.

Analysis and Decision of the case

This Court determines that the appellant-defendant did not file the written statement or raise any defences despite participating throughout the suit processes, having heard the learned appellant’s counsel and having read the paper book. Despite the fact that an application under ruling IX Rule 7 CPC and an application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC were both submitted on October 17, 2019, both on the grounds that the Court lacked geographical jurisdiction, the applications were both rejected by a detailed ruling dated October 13, 2022. It is established law that a written statement cannot be filed more than 120 days after it is due. (See: 2019 SCC 210, SCG Contract (India) Pvt. Ltd. vs. K.S. Chamankar Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. As a result, the order dated 17th October, 2019 is in accordance with law.

Additionally, this Court believes that the defences of non-delivery of goods against bills nos. 10 and 30 and lack of jurisdiction in the current case are valid arguments. The Trial Court was unable to address the aforementioned defences since, in the current instance, the opportunity to provide a written statement had expired because it had not been submitted within the allotted time frame.

 Additionally, this Court also believes that the decision interpreting Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act prospectively renders the statute effective as of August 20, 2022. The aforementioned judgement offers no support to the appellant because the lawsuit in the current instance was filed in 2018.

As a result, the current appeal is dismissed together with any pending petitions since it lacks merit.

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