In a landmark ruling, the Delhi High Court emphasized that private schools in the national capital must adhere to the recommendations of the sixth and seventh Central Pay Commissions (CPC) and ensure the payment of mandated salaries and benefits to teaching and non-teaching staff [Anjali Vaid and Ors v Adarsh World School and Ors + Connected matters].
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh underscored that private schools cannot cite financial constraints to deny employees their rightful compensation, stating, "No school can seek a waiver of the recommendations by citing any reason whatsoever." The court highlighted that such exemptions would empower schools to set salaries arbitrarily, potentially violating the Delhi School Education Act, 1973.
The judgment clarified that even unaided minority schools are bound by Section 10 of the Delhi School Education Act, ensuring staff entitlement to salaries and benefits equivalent to those in schools under competent authorities.
To oversee the implementation of pay commission recommendations, the court directed the Delhi government to establish high-powered committees (HPC) at the state and central levels. The central committee, headed by Delhi's Education Secretary, will include a school representative. The zonal committee, led by the Zonal Education Officer, will address fee hikes, salaries, and benefits, forwarding recommendations to the central committee.
The court mandated the central committee to expedite decisions within six weeks of receiving zonal recommendations. The Delhi government was instructed to issue a notification within two weeks for the convening of zonal committees, allowing stakeholders to file claims.
While some schools argued financial constraints due to rejected fee hike proposals, the court rejected these claims, asserting that non-compliance with the Department of Education's notification violates the petitioners' constitutional rights.
This ruling ensures the equitable implementation of pay commissions in private schools, setting a precedent for employee rights in the education sector.
Author: Anushka Taraniya
News Writer, MIT ADT University