Libertatem Magazine

Himachal Pradesh High Court Rejects Change of Promotion Route in Academia From Postgraduate Teacher to Headmaster

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Brief Facts 

The Petitioner was appointed as a TGT (Trained graduate teacher) in 1990 in the Respondent’s institution. At the time of promotion, 2 available options were provided to the Petitioner. One option regarding promotion was to the post of PGT(Postgraduate teacher) and the other was of a Headmaster. The Petitioner chose that of the PGT and an application was sent to the respective department, but on 22.1.14, before the actual Order for promotion was to be issued, the Petitioner vide a letter expressed his intention to withdraw his promotion as a PGT and claim it under the post of Headmaster. The request of the Petitioner was ignored and on 22.2.14 an Order was issued for the promotion of the Petitioner and others to PGT. Aggrieved by this Order, Petitioner approached the High Court to pass a Writ of Certiorari quashing the order dating 22.2.14 and a Writ of Mandamus directing the Respondents to consider the promotion of Petitioner as Headmaster.

The contention of the Petitioner

The Petitioner contended that the previous Order of the Respondent dated 22.1.14 had not been implemented by the time Petitioner presented a letter regarding a change of option, therefore, his request should be adhered to. The Petitioner also contended that the option could be withdrawn till the time it was not acted upon. Further, the Petitioner contended that TGTs who were promoted as PGTs in the Education Department were still considered for the post of Headmaster, therefore, leading to discrimination against the Petitioner.

The contention of the Respondents

The Respondents relied on the judgment titled Neelam Kaushal v State of H.P and others, where it was held that once an employee was given an option for promotion and in furtherance of the same had chosen an option, he/she would not be permitted to change that option. Further, the judgment clarified that once the employee had chosen to be a lecturer, they could not be considered for any other post.

The decision of the Court

The Court dismissed the petition filed by the Petitioner.

Reasons for decision 

The Court also relied on the Judgement of Neelam Kaushal v State of H.P and Others which laid down that in a case where 2 promotional avenues were present for promotion, the concerned department must provide options to its employees and once an option had been chosen by the employee, it could not be reverted. Further, the Court rejected the argument of the Petitioner that he should be offered to change the option of promotion because he sent the letter before the actual Order was passed relying on the directions passed in Neelam Kaushal v State of H.P. and Others. The Court negatived the contention of Petitioner that he was being discriminated against other TGTs who were considered for the post of Headmaster by clarifying that those TGTs did not receive an option for choosing promotional avenues and they were permitted to change their option as per the above-mentioned judgment.

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