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Guru Harkrishan Public School Society was formed by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in the year 1971 and the first branch of Guru Harkrishan Public School (GHPS) was opened in the locality of India Gate. More branches were opened from time to time and presently 12 branches in the name of Guru Harkrishan Public Schools are running in different parts of Delhi.  

Needless to say that the alumni of these schools were conferred with various senior positions in the government departments particularly a Judge of Delhi High Court, a Sikh Minister in Delhi cabinet apart from many renowned businessmen of Delhi.  

The managements of these schools were running smoothly till year 2000 and the standard of education was so high that it was almost difficult to get admission in these schools easily.  But after this, the policy of pick & choose began to crop up leading to appointment of unqualified teaching and other non-teaching staff, due to which the level of education started going down resulting in continuous decrease in the number of students.

Illegal appointments were at peak from the year 2002 to 2013 when the erstwhile management gave a free hand to Chairmen of these schools to appoint unqualified staff and some Chairmen while breaking all previous records, continuously made numerous illegal, unqualified and unwanted staff particularly the clerical staff while there was not at all any need. Subsequently these numerous illegal appointments became bone of contention due to which these schools are now at the verge of closure.  

In the year 2014, 6th Central Pay Commission (CPC) was partially implemented for the employees of these GHPS schools whereas they were entitled for enhanced salary with effect from January 1, 2006.  

Moreover, the management due to unknown reasons continued its callous attitude for a long period of 8 years by not giving arrears to the staff despite these schools having been charging enhanced fees from students as per the 6th CPC since a very long time. During the intervening period, the Government also announced the 7th CPC with effect from January 1, 2016, but the management has not announced its implementation.  

Apart from this, the management is refusing to pay gratuity and other benefits to the retiree staff of these schools.  Due to the unwarranted attitude of DSGMC management, some employees preferred to move the court of law.  But neither the Court Orders passed from time to time directing to pay the arrears amount were complied nor the management adhered to its own affidavits regarding payment schedules filed by them from time to time in the Hon’ble Courts.  Then the process of Contempt of Court started.  

It is worthwhile to note that the Hon’ble Delhi High Courts in its Orders passed on November 16, 2021 issued directions to the management to implement 6th and 7th Pay Commission and to pay full arrears to the staff before May 16, 2022.

Due to non-compliance this time also, the present DSGMC President Mr. Harmeet Singh Kalka and other concerned Office-bearers were asked to personally present in the Court on May 24, 2022 and during that hearing the Hon’ble Justice Subramanium Prasad orally told the management to get ready to go to jail for a longer term due to their act of repeatedly doing contempt of court and also directed to file the details of the School Management Committee (SMC) along with the names of members, constituted by all the 12 branches of GHPS since 2014 and also the details of formation of GHPS School Society before the next date of hearing fixed for June 2, 2022.

The Office-bearers of the erstwhile DSGMC since the year 2000 are mainly responsible for such bad condition of the GHPS schools. Had they paid the arrears at stipulated time frame, the present reported liability of Rs. 200 crores could not have been accumulated. Whereas the callous attitude of the management has created a bad image of DSGMC, the GHPS schools are also at the verge of closure which is very unfortunate for Sikh community.

About the author:
Inder Mohan Singh

Inder Mohan Singh Inder Mohan Singh, an expert in Delhi Gurdwara elections is a member of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. While in government service with the Delhi government he was behind the conduct of Gurdwara body polls from 1977 to 2006. He takes active part in religious deliberations in the Delhi Gurdwara body.

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