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It Is Obligatory By Law That Every Employee of Any Field Must Get His Desired Scale of Pay: Orissa High Court

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Case: State of Odisha & Others Vs Purna Chandra Chand

Facts of the Case

Here the opposite party Purna Chandra Chand asks the State to pay him a scale (salary) of a Headmaster position from the date 01-06-1996 to the date he was holding the position Madhabananda Sikshya Niketan, Mahulia in the district of Balasore. Further, when the selection process was going on Mr Chandra Chand was appointed as a Trained Graduate Teacher by the Managing Committee of Sikshya Niketan on 28-08-1989, and the following day Mr Chand joined the duty. There was also an available vacancy for Headmaster at Sikshya Niketan. Following that, the managing committee appointed him as the Headmaster, then he joined his duty from 01-10-1993. As an educational facility, as defined under Section 3(b) of the Odisha Education Act, 1969, and effective from 1 June 1994, Sikshya Niketan was advised. According to the request of State authorities, so that Sikshya Niketan may receive their employees’ salaries by State Government under Rule 9 Odisha Education Rules, 1974, the Managing Board presented a proposal to approve the teaching and non-teaching services of Sikhya Niketan including the authorized petitioner as headmaster. The Schools inspector via order of 28.08.1997 authorized the appointment of Sikhya Niketan’s educational and non-teaching employees. And with effect from 01.10.1994 instead of 01.07.1994, the services of the writ petitioner have been recognized as Headmaster in charge of Sikshya Niketan. Because of the error on the approval date, Sikhya Niketan has submitted a change in the sequence of approval to the Inspector of Schools. The Sikshya Niketan Headmaster, who was on duty from 01.06.1994, however, the writ petitioner was not provided with the Headmaster’s scale, but the graduate salary scale was issued. The case of the petitioner was that he had worked as the headmaster for over eighteen years without the pay level related to the role and made multiple observations for granting the Headmaster salary with effect from 1 June 1994 to the State Authorities, but that outcome was not the same.

Arguments by Petitioner

Learned Counsel stated that since the other party did not receive a degree of B.Ed. or training, his appointment was granted in the intermediate pay range of Rs.1350-2200/-  from 01-06-1994 to 30-09-1994. Further, he argued that the instructions issued by the Bench Divisions of this Court to pay the Headmaster’s rights to him throughout his time as Headmaster in charge are contradictory to Chapter IX Regulation 17(2) of the Board Regulation of High School Odisha on appointments to Headmaster. Then the learned counsel relied upon Pabitra Mohan Dash -Vrs.- State of Orissa, It was held that a person appointed to the position of headmaster cannot claim any rights under such appointment, even if any Competent Educational Authority approved the same as the headmaster appointed is uncharitable as the headmaster of the school, and that he merely entitles a person to continue to be the responsible person and fulfil the duties of the headmaster. He further stated that the promotion of a person by the Managing Committee of the writ petitioner to be head of Sikshya Niketan conflicted with the law handed down in the matter of Pabitra Dash by the Apex Court.  The individual was never got the position of Headmaster, but rather he served as headmaster in charge of the Sikshya Niketan under a stop-gap arrangement. So he can’t claim the payment for the Headmaster position.

Arguments by Respondents

The Learned Counsel stated that the order of the Division Bench is very limited in nature and when it comes to reviewing petitions, the scope of the order is limited. He further submitted that the observation of the Apex Court in the case of Pabitra Mohan Dash that the appointment of a Headmaster, even if such appointment has been approved, is not entitled to get the scale of pay attached to the post. Further, in support of his arguments, he submits other such cases to prove his point

Court Analysis

As per the court observations, Petitioners say promotion to Headmaster in-charge should be given to someone with eligibility criteria for promotion to the post of Headmaster. They claim that such criteria have not yet been prepared by the Select List as mentioned in Rule 8(3) of 1974 Rules. The review petition filed by the petitioners claims that such a rule came into force i.e. 03.06. 1988 and has not been prepared. The State Government in its capacity as a model employer in a welfare State is not expected to take advantage of its position, they say. The petitioners say the opposite party is entitled to get the Headmaster scale of pay from 01.10.2001 onwards and is not deprived of getting the Headmaster’s scale of pay.

Court’s Decision

From all the above conclusions, the Learned Court decides that the petitioner will pay the Headmaster’s scale of pay to Purna Chandra Chand from 01.10.2001 onwards as stated he was getting a scale of pay of Trained Graduate Teacher. Furthermore, The said amount must also be subject to interest at a rate of 7% per annum from the date of filing the writ petition by the opponent.

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