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Job Insecurity Shouldn’t Be Created For Teachers Or Lecturers Who Dedicate Their Life For Education Of Students: SC [Read Judgment]

While considering a plea of a teacher in a service-related matter, the Supreme Court has observed that insecurity should not be created in the employment of teachers or lecturers who dedicate their life for the education of the students, which is of utmost importance

The bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul (in Ahalya A Samtaney vs. State of Maharashtra) made this remark while allowing an appeal against Bombay High Court order that had rejected a lecturer’s plea to regularize her pay from 1976 and order for payment of the difference in salary.

The appellant, Ahalya, was appointed as a tutor of English in the H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai (respondent No.6), and she carried on her professional duties from 15.12.1974 to 31.7.1975 in the grade pay-scale of Rs.250-15-400. The then existing pattern of education was of 10 years schooling and 4 years of college. The Mumbai University approved her appointment on 15.5.1975.

Thereafter, she was promoted as a Lecturer of English in the Senior College w.e.f. 1.8.1975. She continued to work in that capacity up to 30.9.1976 in the revised grade pay-scale of Rs.700-50-1600. However, under the new pattern of 10+2+3 introduced in June 1976, she was found fully surplus in the Senior College and hence, the state government acting on a Government Resolution, appointed her as a full-time teacher in English, now in the junior college w.e.f. 1.10.1976, (a day after her services were terminated from the senior college by letter dated 29.9. 1976) in the pay-scale of Rs.500-900.

Ahalya then filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court in 1998 seeking regularization of pay-scale. She rested her arguments on Government of Maharashtra Resolution dated 27.11.1991, which accorded certain benefits to such persons as the appellant.

However, the high court found favour with the submission on the part of the government that her appointment in the senior college was not continuous as her service were terminated on 30.9.1976 and she was reappointed in the junior college from 1.10.1976. The petition was also dismissed on the ground of delay and latches observing that the petition is filed in the year 1998 making grievance about her pay scale in the year 1976.

After that she approached the apex court, which accepted her contention that she had been in continuous service, but for this artificial break of one day, arising from the change in curriculum.

The bench then referred to another Bombay High court judgment in a case of an artificial break arising from the change in the education pattern and observed: “We are in complete agreement with the approach adopted by the High Court in the aforesaid judgment of deprecating such artificial breaks to deny the benefit to an employee, more so a teacher. We cannot lose sight of the fact that security of tenure for a teacher, who dedicates her life for education of the students, is of utmost importance. Insecurity should not be created in the employment of such lecturers or teachers, more so when they are through a process of really a subterfuge of giving artificial breaks. Another plus point is that this artificial break is also the result of a change in the educational curriculum. It is really a matter of internal adjustment arising from the change in curriculum and the appellant has been in continuous service for two decades, but for this one day break. This is how it has been really understood by the college and by the State Government, as they have given pension to her which is admissible after 20 years of service.”

Allowing the appeal, the bench held that she is entitled to be treated in the pay-scale of Rs.700-1600 and is entitled to all the benefits of the Resolution dated 27.11.1991.

The respondents were ordered to calculate the emoluments due to the appellant in the aforesaid terms within three months and remit the same to her within the same period of time.

Read the Judgment Here

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  • Anonymous says:

    There is much delay on the part of the Education department in approving teachers salaries, appointments or grade pays. Teachers are being harassed for their basic rights. I have myself lost six months of salary with my services of leave vacancy being terminated on a false premise that I was not fully qualified while during the period of that notice I was appointed on full time basis with a new date of appointment. Although I have completed 12 years of service in 2010 and training in 2011,the department has been delaying fixation, with a senior auditor raising query which he has been unwilling to give in writing.He has asked me to make an affidavit related to a query which he says is not legal but he would keep it for his own safety since he is signing. There are others who suggest pay him what he wants as he has been threatening with making me lose my job. As teachers who educate the youth asking them to fight against the evils in our society, can we bow down and give in to corruption?Just because I am unwilling to fill his suitcase, I am suffering. The worst part is that there are many educated people who tell me this is the way of the world.I have faced much harassment with neither Mumbai university nor the Department of English where I completed MA degree from ,willing to cooperate with me to provide any proof of having appeared for an exam which was made null as per an ordinance.I have no time to fight a case nor the funds which may be required since I have no support system to take care of my kids as I know court cases continue for years before any judgment is passed. This could be the situation for so many other people who have to undergo stress, insecurity and uncertainty about getting justice in our country. Corruption first needs to be uprooted from the education system. Everything else will then fall in place.

  • p d amarnath says:

    Great. I am happy that the teacher got the justice at least at the doorsteps of the apex courts. The treatment meted out to the community of teachers in India, where teacher is supposed to be treated as great after parents but, even before gid, is very pathetic. Hats off to the supreme court which has rightly pointed out the worthless arguments of artificial breaks given by these greedy unscrupulous managements just to steal from the salary given to teachers.

  • Maunika says:

    SC has so much to say about teachers and lectures but respect PM and our HRD minister are working opposite to the wordings of SC. They have created a rule of reducing the faculty ratio from 1:15 to 1:20 leading to many lectures and teachers unemployment. They are asking to pursue PhD by 2021. Before making this statement they has to check to ratio with availability of seats and completion duration of PhD. I hope our minister has not registered yet so didn’t knew about it.