Hindi Primary School Vs. Pal Hariram Ramavtar and Ors.  INSC 80 (1
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.
1095 OF 2010 (Arising out of SLP(Civil)No. 21627 of 2005) SHANTINIKETAN HINDI
PRIMARY SCHOOL .... Appellants(s) Versus PAL HARIRAM RAMAVTAR AND ORS. ....
Respondent(s) JUDGEMENT K.S.Radhakrishnan, J.
Shantiniketan Educational Trust claiming to be a minority
institution is running two primary unaided schools, one in Gujarati medium and
the other in Hindi medium, in State of Gujarat. Respondent nos. 1- 4 were
working as teachers in those schools. Their services were terminated on
05.07.1996 on the ground that they had absented from duties without informing
the Management which according to the management amounted to gross
indiscipline. Against the order of termination of service they filed Application
no. 241 of 1996 before the Gujarat Primary Education Tribunal.
were in service they had filed Application nos. 3 of 1993, 30 of 1993 and 193
of 1994 before the said Tribunal claiming parity of pay and allowances as per
government rules applicable to the untrained teachers.
applications were heard together by the Tribunal and a common order was passed
on 14.07.2000 quashing the termination orders and directing reinstatement with
full salary and other benefits from the date of termination till the date of
the order with a further direction to pay the salary and other benefits
applicable to untrained teachers as per Government Rules, from the dates of
their appointment. The Management filed a Writ Petition being Special Civil
Application No.6918 of 2001 which was dismissed by learned Single Judge of the
Gujarat High Court on 19.02.2002 which was affirmed by the Division Bench vide
order dated 30.10.2004. Aggrieved by the same this appeal has been preferred by
the employer school.
Ms. Manisha T. Karia, learned counsel appearing for the appellant
submitted that the Tribunal as well as the High Court has committed a grave
error in ordering reinstatement with back-wages and also giving a direction to
the Management to pay the salary from the date of appointment as per Government
Rules. Learned counsel also submitted that the appellant institute is a
minority institution entitled to protection under Article 30 of the
Constitution of India. Learned counsel further submitted that respondent nos.
1- 4 were unqualified, appointed as temporary teachers purely on adhoc basis on
a fixed salary of Rs.724/- per month and they were not qualified trained
teachers falling under para 6 of the Schedule `F' of Bombay Primary Education
Rules 1947. Further it was also stated that the Trust was managing two primary
schools, one in Guajarati medium and the other in Hindi medium. Owing to
paucity of funds and due to lack of requisite number of students, the schools
had to be closed down for the years 1995-96 and 1996-97. Learned counsel
further submitted that the direction given by the Tribunal to pay the full
salary and other benefits to respondents as per Govt. rules would cause
considerable financial strain on the schools and might lead to the closing down
of the schools. Learned counsel further submitted that respondent nos. 1 to 4
were untrained and unqualified teachers and the direction given to reinstate
those teachers are illegal. Learned counsel further submitted that the
Management had followed relevant rules before terminating the services of
respondent nos. 1 to 4.
Mr. Nachiketa Joshi, learned counsel appearing for respondent
nos.1- 4 submitted that the Management has committed a grave error in
terminating the services of the respondents on flimsy reasons. Learned counsel
further submitted that respondents' services were terminated since they had
approached the Tribunal for pay and allowances as per Government Rules
applicable to untrained teachers. He also submitted that the procedure laid
down under the Bombay Primary Educational Act and Rules were not followed before
terminating the services of respondents and hence the Tribunal was justified in
ordering reinstatement with full salary and allowances and also giving a
direction to the Management to revise the pay and allowances as per Government
Rules applicable to untrained teachers.
The appellant is a recognized unaided Primary School governed by
the provisions of the Bombay Primary Education Act 1947.
Respondent, herein a graduate was appointed as Assistant Primary Teacher in the
Hindi Medium of the School on 5.6.1987. 2nd respondent, who was possessing the
qualification of SSC was appointed in the school as a Teacher for the course of
Handicraft and Book binding on 8.7.1985.
respondent was appointed as Assistant Teacher in the Gujarati 5 Medium of the
school on 22.6.1986 and the 4th respondent was appointed on Assistant Primary
Teacher in the Gujarati medium on 5.6.1987. They were discharging their duties
without any complaint from any quarters.
that they were not getting the pay and allowances as per Government Rules
applicable to untrained teachers, they approached the Tribunal and filed
application nos.3 of 1993 and 30 of 1993 for a direction to the Management to
pay the salary and allowances as per Government Rules. Apparently, irked by
such demand, their services were terminated by the Management on the ground
that they had absented from duty without informing the Management which
amounted to gross indiscipline.
Tribunal after an elaborate discussion of the various contentions raised by the
parties and also examining the provision of Bombay Primary Educational Act,
1947 and the Gujarat Amendment Rules 1978 came to the conclusion that the order
of termination was bad since the Management had not followed by proper
procedure in terminating their services. Further, it was also found that the
respondents were entitled to get the pay and allowances as per Government Rules
applicable to untrained teachers.
The main contention raised by the Management before us was
respondents were unqualified to hold the post and also that they were 6 not
trained teachers. We notice that the reason for termination of services was not
that they were unqualified or untrained teachers but that they had absented
from duties. Assuming that they had absented from duties even then admittedly
procedure laid down under Clause 13 and 18 of Schedule `F' of the Bombay
Primary Education Rules, 1949 had to be followed before terminating their
services. The Tribunal and the High Court had therefore rightly held that the
orders of termination of services of the respondents was bad in law.
Rule 106A of the Bombay Primary Education Rules deals with the
application for recognition. Sub-rule 2 of Rule 106-A states that every
application under sub-rule 1 shall be sent to the authorized officer by
registered post with acknowledgment due together with an undertaking in writing
that the conditions of employment of teachers in the private primary schools
shall be those as specified in Schedule 'F' appended to these rules. Schedule
'F' deals with the model conditions of employment of teachers in the private
schools in the State of Gujarat which forms part of Rule 106A of the Rules.
Clause (v) of sub-rule 4 states that no primary school shall be recognized or
continued to be recognized unless the rates of tuition fee, pay-scales and
allowances of the teaching staff shall be such as may be approved by the
Government from time to time. Following the above mentioned provisions, the
Tribunal, on facts found that the respondents were working as teachers in the
School for over ten years but they were paid only a consolidated monthly pay of
Rs.724 per month, which was found to be not in accordance with rules. Tribunal
in our view has correctly come to the conclusion that the respondents-teachers
are entitled to get pay and allowances which are applicable to untrained
teachers as per Government Rules.
Under the above circumstances, we find no reason to interfere with
the order passed by the Tribunal which was confirmed by the High Court.
Further, we notice that when this court had granted stay of the judgment vide
orders dated 13.1.2006, recorded the statement of counsel for the management
that it had disbursed Rs. 2 lakhs towards arrears of salary. Needless to say
that amount would be adjusted towards salary due to the respondents.
Considering the financial difficulties pointed out by the counsel appearing for
the Management and the fact that the School had to be closed down for the years
1995-96 and 1996-97, and considering the fact that there were unauthorized
absences, we are of the view that the respondents 1-4 are entitled to get only
50% of the salary and other benefits applicable to the untrained teachers as
per Government Rules from the date of appointment till the date of
reinstatement after adjusting the above-mentioned amount. Ordered accordingly.
The appeal is disposed of as above.