“We must remember that teachers are the backbone of the society and it is through their contribution, dedication and hard work which has moulded us to become what we are today; be it a Judge, a Minister, a Lawyer, a Doctor or an IAS Officer etc., and that, we can never forget”
In a huge relief to many teachers in the state, the Meghalaya High Court has held that both government school and college teachers as well as deficit/adhoc/aided are equally qualified and giving equal service, and they are entitled to equal pay, pension and other benefits.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice SR Sen was considering the writ petitions filed by the Meghalaya College Teachers Association raising the issue of denial of pension to the deficit/adhoc/aided college teachers serving in the state. It observed that if pension is extended only to teachers of government college keeping aside the teachers of government deficit/adhoc/ aided colleges is nothing but arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India and the Directive Principles of State Policy.
In its judgment, the bench observed: “Government should remember that teachers should not be considered as beggars, they are one of the most respected citizens of the country and the backbone of the society. It is also known to all of us that in different parts of the world, teachers are respected and well paid.”
Further emphasizing the role of teachers, Justice Sen said: “We must remember that teachers are the backbone of the society and it is through their contribution, dedication and hard work which has moulded us to become what we are today; be it a Judge, a Minister, a Lawyer, a Doctor or an IAS Officer etc., and that, we can never forget. Though government has got the power to make a policy but such policy should not go against the common people’s interest. We all know that the retired teachers and employees of the government deficit/adhoc/aided colleges suffer due to non-availability of the pension and live a very uncomfortable inhumane life, some even die due to starvation and cannot get proper treatment due to financial constraints.”
The bench added that equal pay for equal work is mandatory and the government cannot shut their eyes on the miserable life condition of the teachers due to non-availability of proper/adequate pension and other benefits. We always see very often teachers sitting on Dharna and claiming their rights for adequate salary, pension and other benefits, but no one has the time to think for those depressed and oppressed class of teachers which is really unfortunate and is a shame for all of us, it said.
The bench disposed of the writ petitions by issuing several directions to the state for addressing the miserable service conditions of the teachers.