Mumbai, Jun 6: The Bombay High Court has set aside an order of the Education Officer of Akola Zilla Parishad refusing to grant approval to appointment of a teacher on the ground that he was not qualified as per the Maharashtra Government notification.
The aggrieved teacher, Govind Mahale, had filed a petition in the High Court seeking a declaration that the order dated October 8, 1996, passed by the Education Officer, refusing approval to his appointment was bad in law and should be struck down.
He also sought consequential relief of protecting his employment. The High Court, on March 31, 1998, while issuing notice in the matter, had granted the petitioner interim relief. Hence, the petitioner even today continues in service.
Petitioner's Counsel, P B Patil, relied upon a Government Resolution of May 31, 1993, and also on a Division Bench Judgement of the High Court to prove that he was qualified for the appointment.
He urged that the petitioner had joined the course for Diploma in Teaching conducted by Sagar University in Madhya Pradesh on July 16, 1991, and completed it on April 30, 1993, much prior to issuance of the said Government Resolution.
It was pleaded that the Diploma in Education procured by him must be treated as equivalent to said Diploma granted by any Institute in the State of Maharashtra.
The lawyer contended that the impugned order refusing to grant approval to the petitioner was unsustainable and liable to be quashed and set aside.
The lawyer also invited the attention of the Court to an order dated July 22, 2009, passed in a writ petition to urge that in somewhat similar circumstances, this Court had called upon the competent authority to take decision upon the question of equivalence in relation to such course conducted by the Institutes outside the State of Maharashtra.
The Court was informed that such a decision had already been taken on December 16, 2010.
The lawyer contended that the Government Resolution had been issued after the petitioner joined his services and hence the employment of the petitioner is protected in the light of earlier decision and earlier adjudication.
Assistant Government Pleader K Joshi did not dispute the developments and submitted that entitlement of the petitioner to continue in service must be looked into as per the latter Government Resolution dated December 16, 2010.
Justices B P Dharmadhikari and A B Choudhari noted, “We find that the petitioner had joined the course of Sagar University and completed it before May 31, 1993. Hence, the law laid down by a Division Bench of this Court squarely protects it. Accordingly, he has been given interim relief and he continues in service.”
A perusal of Government Resolution dated December 16, 2010, reveals that it is not applicable retrospectively, said the judges.
“The State Government has superseded paragraph 3 of G.R dated May 31, 1993, and has further stated that person seeking benefit must be resident of State of Maharashtra for minimum 15 years and after his selection as Primary Shikshan Sevak, he must pass the examination of Marathi language being conducted by the Board constituted for the said purpose.”
“Besides, he has to also clear the computer examination authorised by the M.S.C.I.T. It is obvious that these requirements cannot operate retrospectively,” the bench noted.
“We, therefore, hold that the case of the petitioner is covered by the Government Resolution dated May 31, 1993, and in the light of Division Bench, we set aside the impugned communication dated October 8, 1996”, the bench observed.
“Because of interim order passed by this Court, the concerned education officer has already considered the entitlement of the petitioner and provisional approval i.e subject to adjudication of this petition is already given to him. In view of the finding recorded above, the provisional approval is hereby confirmed and made to operate as permanent approval,” the judges further noted.