Uttarakhand High Court: There Cannot Be Estoppel Against the Statute

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The petitioner is an Assistant Teacher at a Government Junior College in Udham Singh Nagar. Directorate of Urban Development issued an advertisement for some posts. The petitioner applied for it and got selected. She was made an offer for the post with a letter dated 13.09.2019 for three years.

The Additional Director of Education, Udham Singh Nagar (“ADE”) issued a letter dated 16.09.2019 to the petitioner. It directed the Chief Education Officer to not allow the petitioner to join the Urban Development Department without permission from the Education Department. The petitioner prays for directions to the Education Department to allow her to join the new post offered to her. Hence, this writ petition.

Petitioner’s Arguments

Petitioner contended that as a Physical Education Teacher, the provisions of Section 27 of Right to Children to Free & Compulsory Education Act, 2009 do not apply to her.

Further, the petitioner had also obtained No Objection Certificate from the Education Department before making the application. It said that the Educational Department is now estopped. So, it cannot refuse to allow the petitioner for joining on deputation.

Respondent’s Arguments

ADE filed a counter-affidavit. It stated that the petitioner cannot discharge duties for any non-educational purposes. This is in Section 27 of the Act. Also, Government Orders issued by the State Government prohibit grant of permission to any teacher of the Education Department for deputation.

Court’s Observations

Justice Manoj K. Tiwari observed that Section 27 of the Act places an absolute restriction on teachers for deployment in any non-educational purposes. Thus, the exceptions under the Section do not apply to the present deployment.

The Court stated that the scheme of the Act makes no distinction between teachers based on the subject they teach. Rather, the Act also covers students up to the age of 14 years. As an Assistant teacher requires to teach up to 10th grade. Hence, covered under the provision.

Justice Tiwari remarked that there can be no estoppel against the statute. Section 27 of the Act provides that teachers cannot be deployed for any other duty which is not mentioned in the provision. Petitioner requests for relieving from the Education department for a duty not covered under the said Section of the Act. Thus, obtaining a No Objection certificate from the Education department cannot give the right to get relief from her current duty.

Even otherwise, also for a deputation to happen, the willingness of three parties is necessary. Parties here
are the lending organization, the borrowing organization and the employee concerned. In the present case, lending organization i.e. the Education Department is also unwilling to release the petitioner for going on deputation to some other organization.

Court’s Decision

Therefore, the Court concluded that there is no enforceable right for the petitioner. The deputation requested cannot stay. Hence, the Court dismissed the petition.


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