Unaided Private Educational Institutes Performs Social Responsibility Towards Public and Are Amenable to Writ Jurisdiction: Calcutta High Court

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Case: Bineeta Patnaik Padhi vs Union of India & Ors.

Facts of the Case

The case relies upon Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner is a teacher by profession, was forced into invoking writ jurisdiction of this Court. The petitioner said that, despite fulfilling her responsibilities as head of the army public school in Panagarh and serving as an extended probationer, she had been dismissed in violation of her basic and specific statutory rights. The president of the school made this end of her. On the ahead of the brief facts of the case, both the learned counsel gave their opinions, as such Mr Dastoor stated that this was not accepted since it was a private unaided educational institution, which was run by the Army Welfare Education Society, an organization formed under the Societies Registration Act 1860. Such a writ petition is unacceptable. He further argued that since the school is a private non assisted school and the management of the AWES is not a public body, either the said school or the society overseeing the affairs of this school would not be able to comply with the writ jurisdiction of the Court, given the mandate conferred upon it by the provisions of Article12 of the Constitution of India. Ms Sinha emphasized her intention to write a lengthy note of arguments on the issue of demurrer, and all parties were given this opportunity. 

Arguments by Petitioner

Learned Counsel stated by pointing out the decision taken by The Apex Court in Unnikrishnan, J.P. vs  State of Andhra Pradesh case which clearly claimed that the right to education was a basic right derived from Article 21 of India’s Constitution. In support of the case of a judgment of Unnikrishnan JP, Ms Sinha argued that, in her wisdom, the Indian Parliament approved in 2002 the 86th Amendment Act introducing Article 21A in Part III of the Indian Constitution and enshrining the right to education as a basic right. This amendment established a basic right for all children between the ages of 6-14. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 was approved by Parliament to enforce that basic right. West Bengal further established the Rules for West Bengal on Children’s Free and Compulsory Education in 2012 under Section 38 of the RTE Act. She further argued that Then, while admittedly operating all Army Public Schools throughout the nation, Ms Sinha submitted that, in this case, the individual schools, such as the said school, must comply with the statutory compliance with the RTE Act, the Rules of the AWES, WBRTE and its affiliation to the Central Secondary Education Board, to which these schools are affiliated. Ms Sinha underlined the fact that the petitioner’s employment was controlled in the context of the RTE Act in particular about sections 2, 23 and 24. It was deemed that the connections between the petitioner and the respondent came out of a contract and that it would not close the door to the Court by recalling the competence of the letter referred to in Article 226 of the Constitution. Furthermore to her point in the case, She relied upon two cases regarding the condition of teachers in private unaided educational institutes: Jayanti Mondal vs. State of West Bengal and Sankar Prasad Mukherjee vs. Maulana Abul Kalam Ajad University.

Arguments by Respondents

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The Learned Counsel stated that no infringement is made under Part III of the Constitution of India, as the petitioner asserted, of any statutory rights or basic rights protected. All the Army Public Schools in India has been sponsored by Army Welfare Fund Welfare, a fund privately sponsored by the Army which has no financial input from the Government of the Union or any government of the State. It was further argued that The expertise of the Constitutional Court under Article 226 could only be applied if and only if the element of public law is concerned, that remains an obligation under Article 227 of the Constitution to appeal to the Court and that authority must not simply be treated with enforcement of private contracts between two conscientious contracts between parties. If no legislative criterion is met, an employment contract cannot typically be implemented against an employer and the right remedy not to make a writ application for a contract of employment but instead to sue for damages in the relevant civil court. To give more clarification to his arguments he submitted happened in the following cases: Satya Naranyan Athya vs High Court of Madhya Pradesh and State of U.P. vs Bridge and Roof Co.

Court Analysis

As per the Court observations, If under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, a preliminary objection has been raised to the maintenance of the aggrieved petitioner’s writ application at his own risk, it would well indicate that everybody would recall the fundamental premise under which this power is exercised in the Constitutional Courts. Therefore, if the petitioner feels that her valuable basic right or legal right in this respect has been infringed, it is the responsibility of this Court to give her justice for the events that happened with her.

Court’s Decision

From all the above conclusions, the Learned Court decides that ) Despite being a private unaided educational institution, since it has been discharging a public duty under the prescriptions of a statute and subsidiary rules made under it, that is, the RTE Act and the 33 WBRTE Rules, the said school is amenable to the Court‘s writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, as per the law laid down in Asha Srivastava case.

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Click here to read the full Judgement.


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