In a setback to about 4 Lakh Niyojit Teachers (contract Teachers) in Bihar, the Supreme Court has set aside a Patna High Court judgment which had held that they are entitled to a salary at par with regular permanent teachers.
Allowing the appeals filed by the State, the bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit observed that such a situation could create tremendous imbalance and cause great strain on budgetary resources.
However, the court made a suggestion to the State that it may consider raising the scales of Niyojit Teachers at least to the level suggested by the Committee.
The court noted that the pay structure given to the Niyojit Teachers was definitely lower than what was given to Government Teachers but the number of Government Teachers was considerably lower than the number of Niyojit Teachers. It also observed that mode of recruitment of Niyojit Teachers is completely different from that of the Government Teachers, the latter being a vanishing category. The Court said:
"The attempt in making over the process of selection to Panchayati Raj Institutions and letting the cadre of State Teachers to be a dying or vanishing cadre were part of the same mechanics of achieving the spread of education. These issues were all part of an integrated policy and if by process of judicial intervention any directions are issued to make available same salaries and emoluments to Niyojit Teachers, it could create tremendous imbalance and cause great strain on budgetary resources."
Observing that the teachers must be entitled to decent emoluments, the bench said that the State may consider raising the scales of Niyojit Teachers at least to the level suggested by the Committee, without insisting on any test or examination advised by the Committee. Those who clear such test or examination, may be given even better scales, it said.