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Bombay High Court tells teachers’ to move govt to challenge principals’ appointment

The teachers' body had claimed in a petition that the appointment of principals in 59 private colleges was not in conformity with the norms related to qualification and procedure.

By: PTI | Mumbai |
Updated: January 11, 2017 1:21:35 pm

The Bombay High Court has asked the Maharashtra Under Privileged Teachers Association to make a representation to the state government and the University of Mumbai about their grievance over appointment of principals in several private colleges in the state.

The teachers’ body had claimed in a petition that the appointment of principals in 59 private colleges was not in conformity with the norms related to qualification and procedure.

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“Such a representation should give details as to how the selection committee has allegedly made a mistake with the established procedure, ignoring qualification and other requirements to be considered for the appointment for the post of principals in these colleges,” said a bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the association challenging the selection process for appointment of principals.

The bench asked the petitioner or individual teachers to make representations as directed by it within two weeks from the date of the order passed on January 5.

The representations have to be decided by the Higher and Technical Education Department of the state government and the university concerned within four weeks from receipt of such representations, the bench said.

The high court also made it clear that the Higher and Technical Education Department or the University shall give a hearing to the candidates already selected as principals and working in this post and also the managements concerned before passing an order.

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The petitioner said they had approached the authorities concerned and made representations listing their grievances and “illegal” procedure allegedly adopted for selection of Principals but did not get any response despite an order from the Information Commissioner. Hence, they had approached the high court.

While disposing of the petition, the HC ordered the individual teachers and the association to make separate representations to the state government and the University of Mumbai.

The petitioner argued they are espousing the cause of teachers who are deprived of their right or privilege which they are supposed to enjoy in normal course of selection.

The court ruled, “It is a well-settled law that service matters cannot be decided in a PIL. However, if it is with regard to writ of quo warranto, wherein challenge is made to qualification of the person to be appointed to a particular post contending that there was violation of procedure, then in such a case alone, a PIL touching service matter can be entertained.”

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