Hiking the salaries of the commission’s office-bearers is a policy decision of the State and courts should refrain from interfering in it unless it is arbitrary, the high court stated and dismissed Khan’s appeal against a single judge’s order that had found no merit in his petition. The single judge had said that the petitioner, who demitted the office on July 19, 2020, did not challenge a 2021 Delhi government notification, which stipulated that the amended salary shall come into effect on the date of the notification and have a prospective effect.
“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 the DMC Rules, 2000 and the Amendment Rules, 2021, it can never be said that the amendment has to be made applicable with a retrospective effect in respect of payment of salaries and allowances to the office-bearers of the DMC,” the HC stated recently.
“Increase in the salaries of the office-bearers of a commission is certainly a policy decision of the State and it is no longer res integra (a question that has not been examined) that the courts of law should refrain from interfering with a policy decision of the State unless it is manifestly arbitrary or unreasonable,” it added.
In his plea, the former DMC chairperson contended that he was not given the benefit of the notification on enhancement of salary on a consolidated basis and sought directions to ensure that the Delhi government gives effect to its cabinet decision dated July 17, 2018 from the same date and grants him all consequential benefits, including HRA and leave encashment.
The Delhi government said the notification dated June 9, 2021, which was issued by the revenue department, was prospective and not retrospective, and the cabinet decision nowhere directed or decided that the revised salary and other perks shall be from the date of the said decision and not the notification.