HC raps DU prof. for plea against deduction for PM CARES fund

Only a ‘stonehearted person’ would challenge an organisation’s decision to deduct one-day salary for a pandemic, the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday, while dismissing an appeal by a Delhi University professor against deduction of his salary for contributing to the PM CARES fund to combat COVID-19.

Keeping in view the severity and spread of the virus, the deduction of one day’s salary of the professor, that is ₹7,500, cannot be said to be contrary to public interest or harsh or inequitable, the HC said.

“This court is constrained to ask: wouldn’t a ‘stonehearted person’ only challenge the decision to deduct one-day’s salary for a pandemic?” said the Bench of Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula.

The court dismissed the appeal challenging a single judge’s order which had also rejected his plea against deduction of one-day salary by the university for contributing to the PM CARES fund.

The court said it was of the opinion that the writ petition is not a PIL as it has not been filed in the prescribed format of a PIL and further the teachers and staff of DU are neither financially weak nor suppressed to such an extent that they cannot approach this court directly.

‘No notice’

The counsel for the professor submitted that the university did not give all its employees adequate notice of such deduction and proceeded to deduct one day’s salary even in respect of those employees who had expressed their desire not to make a contribution.

He argued that voluntary contribution cannot be deducted without anyone’s consent.

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