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Delhi HC Pulls Up MCD, Says Delhi's Administration Requires Re-Look

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan, which had earlier warned the civic authority of its dissolution if it did not make itself financially viable, said the citizens cannot continue to live in "misery" due to the MCD's incompetence.

Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court on Thursday said the financial condition of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was "precarious" and the administration of the national capital would require a re-look if the civic authority was incapable of handling itself.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan, which had earlier warned the civic authority of its dissolution if it did not make itself financially viable, said the citizens cannot continue to live in "misery" due to the MCD's incompetence.

The court reiterated that it would direct supersession of the MCD and directed that the issue be listed for a daily hearing from April 8 onwards.

"You all will have to be shown the door. You are incompetent to the core. You people are only fighting, have large egos and refusing to see the big picture," the bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet PS Arora, said.

"There must be some inherent problem. The administration of Delhi would require an entire re-look," it observed.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions concerning the non-payment of salaries and pensions by the corporation.

The counsel for the MCD said dues have been paid till the month of February but some more time was required to pay the arrears in terms of the Seventh Pay Commission's recommendations to all eligible employees.

Even as the MCD lawyers stated that arrears have not been paid to around 50,000 employees and a decision has been taken to set aside a minimum of Rs 15 crore per month for this purpose, the counsel appearing for the petitioner employees said the corporation was not giving retiral benefits to its employees and one of the MCD schools had all broken desks.

The court expressed its displeasure over the outstanding arrears to be paid to the employees despite MCD being given opportunities to make the payment and questioned if the corporation was able to undertake any development work.

"Your financial condition is so precarious; what development work are you doing? Are you existing only for paying salaries? You are not able to handle yourself. You are not providing any facilities to the citizens. You are not able to clear it despite the petitions being pending for seven years," the court remarked.

"They are incorrigible. It is beyond their control it seems," it added.

While the counsel for MCD said the issue of payment of aid from the Delhi government was pending before the high court, the city dispensation claimed there were no pending dues.

The court said the citizens were denied relief in the "inter se fight" and some alternative arrangement to the present system has to be found, adding "there are just too many departments" with no "cohesion".

"Your budget is not balanced, you can't pay arrears. What civic responsibility are you discharging ? If you don't pay your workers properly, they will find other avenues (to recover money). The whole city is being mismanaged," the court said.

"The whole system will have to be streamlined,"  opined the court.

During the hearing, the court remarked the condition of Delhi government hospitals was also "poor" and "no better", which had prompted it to constitute an expert committee.

"Your budget is not balanced, you can't pay arrears. What civic responsibility are you discharging ? If you don't pay your workers properly, they will find other avenues (to recover money). The whole city is being mismanaged," the court said.

"The whole system will have to be streamlined,"  opined the court.

During the hearing, the court remarked the condition of Delhi government hospitals was also "poor" and "no better", which had prompted it to constitute an expert committee.

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