The Delhi High Court has stayed a single bench direction to the Government to establish a high-powered committee for overseeing the implementation of the sixth and seventh Central Pay Commissions' recommendations for salaries and arrears to staff in private unaided schools and recognized private unaided minority schools.

An appeal was filed challenging a judgment passed by a Single Judge of the Delhi High Court on November 17, 2023.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna stayed certain paragraphs in the judgment passed by the single judge and issued notice to the Delhi government and several private schools on the appeal filed by some of the staff members of the schools. The Court said, “Till further orders, there shall be a stay of paragraphs 200, 204 and 205 of the impugned judgment and order.”

Advocate Ashok Agarwal appeared for the Appellants and Advocate Kamal Gupta appeared for the Respondents.

The appellants argued that there was no justification for sending their case to the proposed committees, as the Directorate of Education has already issued orders in their case. They pointed out a previous court order from February 16, 2022, directing the Directorate of Education to decide on their cases by passing speaking orders. When the Directorate of Education did not comply, the appellants filed a contempt petition, leading to an order on September 9, 2022, which was not implemented by the respondent-school, resulting in the current writ petition.

The appellants' counsel contended that the constitution of committees exceeded the powers of a writ court under the Indian Constitution. These committees, according to the counsel, function as adjudicatory bodies with the authority to decide on fees, determine the school's ability to pay the recommended commissions, and declare the appointment of any teacher as illegal. The counsel argued that such committees can only be created by legislation, not through a judgment and order as in the present case, and deems them unnecessary and unworkable.

The Court issued notice to the respondent-schools. They were permitted to file their reply affidavits within four weeks, and rejoinder affidavits, if any, before the next date of hearing, scheduled for January 15, 2024.

In the earlier judgment on November 17, the single judge emphasized the importance of education as an "invincible weapon" and highlighted the regulating authority's responsibility to ensure uniform quality education.

Cause Title: Renu Arora & Ors. v. St. Margaret Senior Secondary School & Anr.

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