New Delhi, Nov 2 (SocialNews.XYZ) Delhi Assembly Research Centre (DARC) fellows on Thursday approached the Delhi High Court praying for reinstating its September 21 interim order directing that the services of professionals engaged as fellows shall continue in their positions until December 6, and stipends be paid to them.
Contracts of fellows were terminated by the Assembly Secretariat.
The reinstating request comes after the Delhi High Court on October3 vacated its September 21 interim order.
Justice Subramonium Prasad has sought a response from the Legislative Assembly Secretariat, Finance Department and Services Department, and asked their counsel to seek instructions.
The counsel for the fellows also submitted that the Supreme Court has now clarified that it never considered the issue.
"They (petitioners) are struggling to make ends meet. Festive season is round the corner. The Supreme Court has clarified that the issue was never considered and the interim order should be instated," the court was told.
The matter will now be taken up for hearing next week.
The Legislative Assembly Secretariat and other relevant authorities, had sought to vacate the September 21 interim order.
Justice Subramonium Prasad had noted that the top court in July had refused to stay the operation of the letter issued by Delhi Government’s Services Department directing the disengagement of the Fellows and Associate Fellows.
He had observed: "Propriety demands that this court ought not have passed any interim order which had the effect of staying the Order dated 05.07.2023 and other consequential orders."
While Justice Prasad had disposed of the application, he had said that it is always open for the fellows to approach the apex court to get appropriate clarifications.
The respondent authorities had argued that the previous order could not be sustained because there was no sanction for the posts by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, and there was an ongoing matter in the Supreme Court concerning control of services.
Counsel for the petitioners had countered the application by stating that the scope of the current petition did not overlap with the matter pending before the Supreme Court.
They had argued that the petitioners were caught between two behemoths and expressed concerns about a breach of the principle of separation of powers between the Legislature and the Executive.
The court had expressed concerns about "propriety" and suggested that the petitioners seek clarification from the Supreme Court regarding the continuation of the petition in the High Court.
Seventeen fellows had challenged the termination of their contracts. The court had noted that the Assembly Speaker had previously stated that the reasons for termination did not apply to the petitioners' services and sought clarification on the change in the stand.
The petitioners had contended that their services were terminated prematurely, arbitrarily, and illegally after a letter issued by the services department on July 5, and they were not paid their stipends.
They argued that this violated their fundamental rights and the doctrine of separation of powers, as they were engaged at the Delhi Assembly Research Centre, which operates under the Assembly and the Speaker's authority.
The court had directed that the services of the petitioners be maintained until the next date of hearing on December 6 and that replies be filed within two weeks.