A two Judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed the appointment of 1.78 Lakh Assistant Teachers in Junior Basic Schools. The appointments were done by the Government by absorbing of Shiksha Mitras into the regular service.
The Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit was hearing appeals against the judgment of the Allahabad High Court in which the Full Bench of High Court held as follows;
(i) The amendment made by the State Government by its notification dated 30 May 2014 introducing the provision of Rule 16-A in the Uttar Pradesh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011 by the Uttar Pradesh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (First Amendment) Rules 2014 is held to be arbitrary and ultra vires and is quashed and set aside;
(ii) The Uttar Pradesh Basic Education (Teachers) Service (Nineteenth Amendment) Rules 2014, insofar as they prescribe as a source of recruitment in Rule 5(2) the appointment of Shiksha Mitras; the academic qualifications for the recruitment of Shiksha Mitras in Rule 8(2)(c) and for the absorption of Shiksha Mitras as Assistant Teachers in junior basic schools under Rule 14(6) are set aside as being unconstitutional and ultra vires; and
(iii) All consequential executive orders of the State Government providing for the absorption of Shiksha Mitras into the regular service of the State as Assistant Teachers shall stand quashed and set aside.”
The Supreme Court has considered the following questions;
The Bench held as follows;
We are in agreement with the above observations. We are unable to agree that even unqualified teachers ought to be allowed to continue ignoring the legislative mandate or that we should exercise our jurisdiction under Article 142 to undo the said mandate.
According to the Bench, the consideration for career of 1.78 lac Shiksha Mitras, over and above their legal right, cannot be at the cost of fundamental right of children to free quality education by duly qualified teachers in terms of legislative mandate.
“In view of clear mandate of law statutorily requiring minimum qualification for appointment of teachers to be appointed after the date of Notification dated 23rd August, 2010, there is no doubt that no appointment was permissible without such qualifications.
The bench held that Appointments in the present case are clearly after the said date. Relaxation provision could be invoked for a limited period or in respect of persons already appointed in terms of applicable rules relating to qualifications.
Dismissing the appeals the Court held as follows;
“On the one hand, we have the claim of 1.78 Lakhs persons to be regularized in violation of law, on the other hand is the duty to uphold the rule of law and also to have regard to the right of children in the age of 6 to 14 years to receive quality education from duly qualified teachers. Thus, even if for a stop gap arrangement teaching may be by unqualified teachers, qualified teachers have to be ultimately appointed. It may be permissible to give some weightage to the experience of Shiksha Mitras or some age relaxation may be possible, mandatory qualifications cannot be dispensed with. Regularization of Shiksha Mitras as teachers was not permissible. In view of this legal position, our answers are obvious. We do not find any error in the view taken by the High Court”.