On 11th August 2020, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Tripura High Court Mr. Akhil Kureshi and Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.G. Chattopadhyay dealt with the WA No. 231/2019 The State of Tripura and Ors. Vs Shri Kaushik Majumder dealt with an appeal to decide the effect of past services on new appointments to government education services posts.
Facts of the Case
The petitioners have approached the court by way of an appeal against the single judge bench judgment dated 3rd April 2019 in WP(C) No.192 of 2019. In this judgment, the facts involved are as follows: The petitioners were made to join to the post of postgraduate teacher and on completion of 5 years on fixed pay, a memorandum was issued to accord regular pay scale to the Petitioners. After the selection of Petitioners to the post of postgraduate teacher, they submitted a prayer for technical resignation which was accepted.
After this, the petitioners were again freshly appointed as postgraduate teachers on fixed monthly payments for one year. This process was challenged. On the ground of non-compliance with the law since the government has issued fresh letters of appointment, completely ignoring the past services so rendered by them and treating their service as a fresh from the date of their selection so undertaken according to the terms of the fresh selection process.
The Court referring to Babul Debnath vs the State of Tripura and Tanmoy Nath vs the State of Tripura decided that the past service of the petitioners were to be considered for seniority, pension, and all other benefits.
In the case of Sangita Reang & Ors vs the State of Tripura, the court considered the decisions in the case of Tanmoy Nath vs the State of Tripura and Babul Debnath vs the State of Tripura and elaborated on three kinds of situations that can arise in the case of appointment, disqualification, and reappointment. First is previously and subsequently selected to the same post; Second is subsequently appointed to a post higher than the previous one; Third is subsequently appointed to a post inferior to the earlier post. Court held for the first category, the full benefit of past service could be availed; for the second category, past service rendered by the petitioners will be counted for pension, pay fixation and all other purposes except for seniority; for the third category past service would be counted for the limited purpose of retaining their leave credit, provident fund, pension, and gratuity
Court’s Decision and Conclusion
The Court held that the principles laid down in the case of Sangita Reang vs the State of Tripura would apply for deciding the effect of past services to the new posts. Further, the precedents before the Sangita Reang case have been considered and affirmed in the spirit in the case and would apply to the present set of facts and appeal. The Single judge bench has applied the law correctly and hence the appeal was disposed of.
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