The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to pay salaries, emoluments, and any other dues of the Auxiliary Midwife (ANMs) based on their contribution to a large extent to society in most testing times of COVID-19.

A Single Bench of Justice Jyoti Singh held –

"It needs no overemphasis that discharging the functions of ANMs, Petitioners have contributed to a large extent to the society in the most testing and unprecedented times of COVID-19 and it would be travesty of justice if they were deprived of their emoluments for the period they served the Respondents and the society. Accordingly, it is directed that the Petitioners, save and except, Petitioner No. 1 shall be paid their salaries, emoluments and/or any other dues which are payable to them in terms of the offer of appointment and in accordance with law."

In the present case, the petitioners were appointed as ANMs based on the advertisement during the pandemic when the professionals were urgently required to man the COVID-19 Centres run by the Delhi Government.

It was clearly stipulated in the advertisement that the posts in question were to be filled on a short-term/ad-hoc basis till July 2021 extendable as per requirement at consolidated emoluments fixed at Rs.40,000/- per month.

The High Court in the month of June 2022 directed that the service conditions of the petitioners will not be changed till the next date.

The counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners Advocate Harpreet Singh submitted before the Court that the petitioners be at least paid their emoluments for the period they have worked. It was also submitted before the Court that only one of the petitioners has taken alternative employment during such a period for a very brief spell.

The High Court while finding merit in the contention of the counsel for the petitioners observed, "While it may be true that Petitioners were continuing to discharge their services under the interim order of this Court w.e.f. 29.06.2022, the fact remains that there is no dispute by the Respondents that they were rendering services."

The Court further directed that the payments shall be released by the respondents within a period of six weeks.

The Court also stated, "… it is open to Petitioner No. 1 to make a representation to the Respondents along with documents pertaining to his alternate employment in the relevant period, if any. It is open to the Respondents to verify the documents and in case it is found that Petitioner No. 1 has worked with the Respondents for any period during which the interim order of this Court was operative, he shall be paid his proportionate salary and other emoluments."

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the writ petition along with the pending applications.

Cause Title – Aadesh Kumar and Ors. v. Sh. Amit Singla and Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2022/DHC/005459)

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