Karnataka & Ors. Vs. Gadilingappa & Ors.  INSC 34 (11 January
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 819-851
_of 2010 [Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 26171-26203 of 2004] State of Karnataka
& Ors. .... Appellants Versus Gadilingappa & Ors. .... Respondents
Mukundakam Sharma, J.
By this appeal, the appellants herein have challenged the Order
dated 26.07.2004 passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka at
Bangalore allowing the Writ Petitions filed by the respondents herein. The High
Court had, by the said Order, set aside the decision of the KAT and allowed the
claim of the respondents for regularization of their services.
The relevant facts in brief are set out here. The respondents
herein were appointed as Primary School Teachers on honorary basis in the
Government run schools. The respondents, however, did not possess the T.C.H.
qualification, which was the minimum prescribed qualification for the post of a
teacher. The respondents, in view of the fact that they had rendered long continuous
service as honorary teachers without any break, claimed regularization of their
appellant no.1 rejected the claim of the respondents on the ground that any
consideration for regularization or absorption can be made only in regard to those
candidates who possessed the minimum prescribed qualification for the post of
the teachers and as the respondents did not posses the minimum prescribed
qualifications of T.C.H., they could not be considered for regularization or
absorption and that if they were regularized or absorbed despite their not
possessing the minimum prescribed qualifications, it would amount to hostile
discrimination and would be in violation of Articles 14 and 16 of the
Feeling aggrieved, the respondents herein approached the KAT.
Their applications were, however, rejected by the KAT. Against the decision of
the KAT, the respondents herein filed Writ Petition Nos. 45859- 891 of 2003
(S-KAT) before the Division Bench of the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore.
The Division Bench disposed of the aforesaid Writ Petitions in terms of a
judgment of that Court in Writ Petitions 33173-33220 of 2003 (S-KAT) thereby
allowing the Writ Petitions filed by the respondents herein.
We have heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties and
carefully perused the documents on record before us. The crux of the
submissions of the learned counsel appearing for the appellants is that the
High Court had erred in allowing the claims of the respondents for
regularization of their services, for the respondents herein did not fulfill
the minimum required qualification for being appointed as Primary School
Teachers as they did not possess the T.C.H. qualification.
On the other hand, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents
supported the decision of the High Court and endeavoured to persuade us to
uphold it by dismissing the present appeal.
Admittedly, the respondents herein were working as Primary School
Teachers for a long period of time and they had rendered service as such
continuously without any break. However, after perusing the relevant documents
on record what comes to light is the fact that none of the respondents had
undergone the T.C.H. course, which was the minimum prescribed qualification at
the relevant time for being appointed to the post of a teacher. Since the
respondents did not possess the minimum prescribed qualification and because of
which their appointment was in contravention of the Cadre and recruitment
Rules, we are of the considered view that their appointments were illegal
appointments. Furthermore, neither has it been brought to our notice nor was it
specifically stated before the High Court by the respondents in the Writ
Petition Nos. 45859-891 of 2003 that the respondents belonged to the Scheduled
Castes or Scheduled Tribes category, which was the case of the petitioners in
Writ Petitions Nos. 33173-33220 of 2003 (S-KAT) as well the main factor taken
into consideration by the High Court of Karnataka while allowing the claims of
the petitioners therein for regularization of their services. Besides, the
Constitutional Bench had, in Secretary, State of Karnataka and Others v.
Umadevi (3) and Others reported in (2006) 4 SCC 1, clarified in explicit terms
that the decisions which run counter to the principles settled and the
directions given in the Uma Devi's (supra) case will stand denuded of their
status as precedents. Here, we also wish to point out that it is a well settled
principle of law that even if a wrong committed in an earlier case, the same
cannot be allowed to be perpetuated.
Thus, in view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, together
with the decisions of this Court in Uma Devi's case (supra) and Official
Liquidator v. Dayanand and Others reported in (2008) 10 SCC 1, the claim of the
respondents for regularization cannot be sustained.
therefore, of the considered view that the present appeals are entitled to be
allowed, which we hereby do. Liberty is, however, granted to the respondents to
seek any other remedy under any other law, if such a remedy and right is
available to the respondents.
.....................J. [V.S. Sirpurkar]
......................J. [Dr. Mukundakam Sharma]
January 22, 2010