HC to UT: Why haven’t you set up SC-ordered Education Tribunal?

Justice Rajesh Bindal gives Administration 24 hours to explain why it has not followed 11-Judge Constitutional Bench’s October 2002 judgment.

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh | Published: September 5, 2012 12:58 am

Justice Rajesh Bindal gives Administration 24 hours to explain why it has not followed 11-Judge Constitutional Bench’s October 2002 judgment

In October 2002 a Constitutional Bench comprising of 11 Supreme Court Judges had passed a detailed judgment making it mandatory for all States to have an Education Tribunal. The Tribunal,as per the Supreme Court’s judgment,will decide all disputes pertaining appointment/ removal of teaching staff and other administrative decisions. Referring to the said judgment,the Punjab and Haryana High Court today questioned the UT Administration as to why despite a Supreme Court order,an Education Tribunal has not been set up.

Justice Rajesh Bindal today gave 24 hours time to the Administration to explain why the Tribunal has not been set up by the authorities. A UT counsel was summoned by the High Court today who informed the High Court that no educational tribunal has been set up by the Administration till now. The directions were passed today by Justice Rajesh Bindal on a petition filed by the Managing Committee of S D High School,Sector 24. The school has moved the High Court challenging an order passed by the Director Public Instructions (DPI),wherein he had set aside the removal orders of a headmistress of the school.

The school had removed the headmistress holding her conduct and work unsatisfactory on September 16,2010. Aggrieved,the headmistress had filed an appeal before the DPI,who on August 28,2012 set aside the orders and directed the school to reinstate the headmistress.

The school has now moved the High Court against the order of the DPI. The High Court has adjourned the case to Wednesday for resumed hearing. No notices have been issued by the Court on the petition. Before going into the merits of the case,the Bench was told by the counsel for the petitioner (school) that the Chandigarh Administration has not set up an Education Tribunal as directed by the Apex Court. The counsel also stated that an Education Tribunal has been set up by the Punjab government to redress such administrative issues.

Taking note,the High Court has given one day’s time to the Administration to explain the reason behind not setting up the Tribunal.

In its detailed judgment,the 11-Judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court had held,“In the matter of day-to-day management like appointment of staff,teaching and non-teaching and administrative control over them,the management should have the freedom and there should not be any external controlling agency. However,a rational procedure for selection of teaching staff and for taking disciplinary action has to be evolved by the management itself. For redressing the grievances of such employees who are subjected to punishment or termination from service,a mechanism will have to be evolved and in our opinion,appropriate tribunals could be constituted,and till then,such tribunal could be presided over by a judicial officer of the rank of District Judge.”

The Supreme Court judgment further reads,“The State or other controlling authorities,however,can always prescribe the minimum qualifications,salaries,experience and other conditions bearing on the merit of an individual for being appointed as a teacher of an educational institution. Regulations can be framed governing service conditions for teaching and other staff for whom aid is provided by the State without interfering with overall administrative control of management over the staff,government/ university representative can be associated with the Selection Committee and the guidelines for selection can be laid down. In regard to unaided minority educational institutions such regulations,which will ensure a check over unfair practices and general welfare of teachers could be framed.”

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