Allahabad High Court Orders for the Payment of Arrears in Salary and Future Benefits to Part-Time Lecturer, Upholds Contempt of State and Committee for Management

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The case in hand is Dr. (Smt.) Saroj Kumari v. Smt. Aradhna Shukla, Chief Secretary, Ministry of Education (Madhyamika) & Ors.

Facts of the Case

A Hindi lecturer in L.T. Grade, Sidd Nath Gupta, had retired from the position. The next seniormost Assistant Lecturer was promoted to the position. This promotion led to vacant in the Assistant Teacher position.  Two newspapers, “Aaj” and “Nispaksh Kashi” advertised the vacancy, in the year 1997. The Selection Committee found the petitioner to be a suitable candidate. She was then chosen to be appointed for the post. Later, the District Inspector of Schools rejected her appointment.

The Petitioner approached the Court, filing a writ petition. The Court quashed the order of rejection by the District Inspector of Schools.  The Court ordered the District Inspector to pass a fresh order. The District Inspector of Schools rejected the approval once again.

The Court then granted an interim order setting aside the order passed by the Inspector. The Court ordered the payment of arrears in salary to the petitioner within three months. The Court also ordered the payment of her future salary.

Arguments by the Petitioner

The Counsel submitted the resolution of the controversy relating to the petitioner’s appointment. Also, the finding that the petitioner was not entitled to a salary, was against the material on record.

Counter Affidavit Filed by Committee for Management

The Committee for Management brought on record, the attendance registers from 2000-2008. The Petitioner’s name appeared in the said regular Attendance Register. The petitioner was a part-time teacher. Thus, she was entitled to the fixed wages for the period she worked.

Arguments by the State

The Counsel for the State relied on the counter affidavit filed by the Committee. The petitioner, being a part-time teacher was to receive only fixed wages. She does not have a right to a regular salary.

The letter of appointment issued also confirms the nature of the appointment. The management is thus liable to pay the salary. Thus, the State exchequer is not to shoulder this liability.

Judgement

The Court found that the basis of rejection of payment was the attendance register. Additionally, it observed that the petitioner was a part-time teacher. Thus, she should not payment from the State exchequer.

Against the short-term vacancy, the petitioner’s appointment was on an ad hoc basis. This appointment complied with the provisions of Removal of Difficulties Order, 1981.

The Court also stated that it was wrong to reject the financial approval of the Petitioner. Moreover, the Court observed the regular attendance of the petitioner. Committee for Management did not deny the same as well.

Held

The Court ruled that the government should pay the petitioner all the arrears in salary. Additionally, she has rights over all the consequential benefits arising thereto. The Court ordered the payment to take place within three months and allowed the petition.

Further, the Court acknowledged the prima facie case of contempt. After the delivery of the certified copy to the opposing parties, they did not comply with it. The Court provided one more opportunity to the opposing parties to follow the order. It provided a time of four weeks.


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