The municipal corporations of north and east Delhi told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday the over Rs 1,100 crore released to them by the AAP government was inadequate and not in accordance with the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission (DFC) recommendations. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao asked the Delhi government to file the response to the two corporations' claims and listed the matter for further hearing on March 7.
It also directed the corporations, represented by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, to use the funds received for payment of the salary and pensions of its current and retired employees. The Delhi government, represented by its additional standing counsel Satyakam, told the court that Rs 632.05 crore and Rs 472.43 crore has been disbursed to East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North MCD) in accordance with the recommendations of the Fourth DFC.
The disbursement of funds was made pursuant to the court's earlier orders that the Delhi government was liable to pay the municipal corporations in the city in accordance with the recommendations of the 4th DFC, the lawyer said. However, the ASG said that Delhi government had recently accepted the 5th DFC recommendations and therefore, the amounts disbursed were inadequate and urged the court to direct that some more funds be given to the two corporations.
He said that according to the 5th DFC recommendations, EDMC was to receive over Rs 987 crore against which it has only been given Rs 632 crore. The bench, after hearing the arguments briefly, said that it will take up the issue on the next date and directed the Delhi government to file its response to the corporations' claims by then.
The court was hearing a batch of writ petitions on providing adequate funds to all the local bodies, including the municipal corporations, to enable their proper functioning. On April 16 last year, the court had directed the Delhi government to release the amounts according to the 4th DFC within four weeks for the period from November 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, saying it was imperative to ensure salaries are paid and civic facilities not affected.
(With inputs from agencies.)