Terming the decision to shift teachers’ salary accounts from Thane District Central Cooperative Bank to Thane Janata Sahakari Bank as “unreasonable, arbitrary and malafide,” the Bombay High Court quashed a government resolution of 2017, which allowed the move.
A division bench of Justice B R Gavai and Justice B P Colabawalla, while hearing a petition filed by the Thane Zilla Madhyamik Shikshan Sangh and others opposing the move, said that “the decision making process is vitiated, unreasonable, arbitrary and malafide”. “There seems to be some ulterior motive behind allotting this work from Thane District Central Cooperative Bank to Thane Janata Sahakari Bank. The decision is not sustainable in law and the government resolution is set aside,” said the court.
The court referred to the correspondence by the finance department in this regard and pointed out that the department had continuously advised against it. The finance department had said that there was no rationale behind making such a shift of teachers bank accounts.
“Despite this, the school education department was determined to allot work to Thane Janata Sahakari Bank. It is
difficult to appreciate the reason behind this when the finance department observed there was no specific complaint with regard to Thane District Central Cooperative Bank,” said Justice Gavai.
The decision was taken by the minister of education on October 5, 2016. The court also recorded that several elected representatives had spoken against such a move as the Thane Janata Sahakari Bank did not have reach in rural areas. Despite this, a government resolution was brought about to initiate the shift on June 14, 2017.
“The government resolution is not based on any rationale or sound reason. It is affected by only one factor of allotting work to Thane Janata Sahakari Bank,” added the court.