The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to release two months salary of its 62 employees which had been withheld since September.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, taking into consideration that work was continuously being carried out in the Commission, ordered release of 50 per cent arrears of the four months (or effectively two months’ salary) of the employees.
The court said the employees shall file, in two days, their affidavits and indemnity that the money being released was subject to final orders of the court and thereafter the DCW shall disburse the amounts in another two working days.
The court, however, made it clear that release of salary will be subject to the outcome of final order of court and posted the matter for January 6.
“They (petitioners) have been working in the various cells of DCW, how can you withhold their salary? Do you want the cells to stop working? If 10 months salary has been paid, then heavens will not fall if another months salary is paid,” said Justice Sachdeva.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Delhi Lt Governor, opposed the plea filed by the DCW employees for release of salary, saying that not just the appointments but even posts created for the workers were illegal as they lacked his approval.
The women employees work in various DCW cells including the Rape Crisis Cell, Crisis Intervention Centre, Acid Watch and Rehabilitation Cell, Anti-trafficking and Rehabilitation Cell, Mahila Panchayats and Sahayogini programme. Many of the cells were set up on orders of the court.
DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal, who was present in the court, said: “In the past year DCW has handled 12,000 cases, heard 3.16 lakh calls, assisted over 5,500 cases of sexual assault victims, conducted 1,869 counselling, made 7,500 visits and gave over 55 recommendations to government as opposed to 1 case in 8 years by the previous Chairperson.”