Del HC | Deduction of 1 day’s salary not harsh or inadequate in view of pandemic: Petition challenging deduction for contribution to PM CARES rejected

Delhi High Court: A Division bench of Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula, JJ. while addressing the present petition stated that,

wouldn’t a ‘stone hearted person’ only challenge the decision to deduct one day’s salary for a pandemic?

In the present appeal, Order dated 12th May, 2020 by Single Judge of the Court has been challenged wherein the appellant’s petition challenging the deduction of one day salary by the respondent-University for contributing to the PM CARES Fund to combat COVID-19 pandemic was dismissed.

Appellant’s Counsel, stated that respondent-University did not give all its employees adequate notice of the the deduction and further it proceeded to deduct one day’s salary even in respect of those employees who had expressed their desire not to make a contribution.

In view of his submission he emphasised on the aspect that voluntary contribution cannot be deducted without anyone’s consent.

High Court while placing its opinion stated that the present petition had not been filed in the prescribed format of PIL, further adding to the said, bench also stated that the teachers and staff of Delhi University are neither financially weak nor suppressed to such an extent that they cannot approach the Court directly.

While noting the fact that appeals were issued Chairman UGC as well as Registrar of respondent-University in the month of March, 2020 to voluntarily contribute to support the cause of COVID-19 pandemic.

Court takes judicial notice of the fact that we live in the ‘internet age’ wherein all people are active on social media.

Bench with regard to the deduction stated that in view of the severity and the spread of the pandemic, the deduction of one day’s salary of the appellant (i.e. Rs.7,500/-) cannot be said to be contrary to public interest or harsh or inequitable.

Present PIL is not in the interest of the public and thus in view of the above it is to be dismissed. [Shreekant Gupta v. University of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 651 , decided on 16-06-2020]

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