The Supreme Court held yesterday that teachers appointed in self-financing engineering colleges under Mahatma Gandhi University are entitled to same payscale and benefits as permanent teachers of the University.
The University refused to implement pay revision to the teachers so appointed describing them as appointed temporarily.
The single bench of the High Court of Kerala had accepted the teacher's claim. It was held that the Statutes of the University contemplated only regular appointments; and that whenever any appointments were supposed to be temporary the notifications made specific reference in that behalf.
However, Division Bench set aside the single bench's decision in University's appeal.It was concluded that the appellants were not teachers of the University within the meaning of Section 2(30) of Mahatma Gandhi University Act, 1985 and that the source of funds to meet the entire expenditure of the Self Financing Institutions was the funds generated by such Financial Institutions out of the fees collected from the students. The Division Bench observed that mere statement that that the appellants would be governed by the University Statutes would not confer any benefit upon the appellants and that the University could not be compelled to treat the appellants on par with teachers of the University.
Against this judgment of the Division Bench, appeal was filed in Supreme Court.
The SC bench of Justices U U Lalit and Indira Banerjee set aside the Division Bench judgment to restore the single bench's judgment.
"It is interesting to note that even after such stand was taken by the University in the year 2001, in its communications with AICTE, at every stage the faculty position in said College of Engineering was always referred to and described as permanent faculty. Progress Profile of the existing Technical Institution prepared by AICTE which was referred to by the Single Judge is very clear that the appellants were shown to be part of permanent faculty and were projected to be permanent employees of the University. It would not therefore be proper on part of the University to brand the very same faculty to be on contractual basis or for a limited duration of time", observed the SC.
It was concluded that the facts point only in one direction that the appellants were appointed against substantive posts and were always treated to be on permanent basis.