SC declared teachers not eligible for gratuities under the 1972 Act

Must Read

SC: Under-21 Convicts Can Be Given Less Than Minimum Sentence, Resorts To Probation of Offenders Act

The Supreme Court resorted to the Probation of Offenders Act to sidestep the mandate under Section 397 of the Indian Penal Code that mentions a sentence of not less than 7 years to those convicted of armed robbery, to give a chance to two young convicts to reform their lives.

Environment Protection Act Passed at the Instance of Foreign Powers: NHAI in Karnataka HC

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) claimed in a submission that the Environment Protection Act 1986 was passed not only for the protection of the environment by the parliament but also at the instance of foreign powers. This statement was made while referring to a UN conference and got the NHAI into great trouble in the Karnataka High Court.

Delhi High Court To Implement a Hybrid System Through Virtual and Physical Hearing

On Friday the Delhi High Court said that they have initiated steps to implement a mode wherein hearing can be done by virtual as well as physical mode. The Delhi High Court is aiming to implement the Hybrid mode. It stated that when the particular bench is conducting a virtual hearing the lawyer may opt for this mode after giving prior intimation about the same.

Mercy Plea of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case To Be Decided in Four Weeks, TN Governor To Supreme Court

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday told the Supreme Court that a decision on the mercy petition of one of the convicts serving a life sentence for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, AG Perarivalan will be taken within four weeks. The petition has been pending with the Governor since December 30, 2015.

Bombay High Court Questions FIR Over Journalist Alleged of Communist Comment on WhatsApp

An FIR lodged against the editor of Marathi newspaper, Rajkumar Chhajed has been questioned by the Bombay High Court. The Maharashtra Police has accused Chhajed of creating a rift between the two communities based on a WhatsApp message.

Allahabad High Court Expresses Dissatisfaction on Counsels Seeking Unnecessary Adjournments

The petition had been filed by Smt. Radha prayed to issue directions to Judicial Magistrate-I in Faizabad. The petition...

Follow us

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the appellant Institute and declared that the teacher could not be considered as an employee under Section 2(e) of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 and hence he cannot claim gratuity payments from his employer as per the provisions of the said Act.

Facts of the case

In this case the appellant Institute, Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Jharkhand was aggrieved by the decision of the High Court of Jharkhand at Ranchi and approached Supreme Court with an appeal against the lower court’s 02/04/08 verdict. Respondent No.4 in this case had worked as Assistant Professor in BIT. After retirement, he claimed gratuity payments from the appellant Institute which was denied to him by BIT. He then filed a complaint under controlling authority for the grant of his payment which he believed was payable to him by the appellant under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. The appeal was accepted and the Respondent No.4 was allowed the said payment.

Aggrieved by this decision the appellant Institute went to court but lost the appeal. The appellant Institute then moved to High Court where a Single Judge again dismissed the appeal. Subsequently, the appellant Institute filed a Letters Patent Appeal (LPA) before the Division Bench of the High Court against the order passed by the Single Judge which was also dismissed. Being frustrated by the whole situation the appellant Institute then filed a special leave petition in the Apex Court against the lower court’s decision in the LPA.

Court ruling

The case was heard by Two-Judge Bench of the top court, Honourable Justices A. M. Sapre and Indu Malhotra and the judgment was delivered on Monday, January 7, 2019. After hearing the arguments of both the sides the Apex Court relied on a previous judgment in the case of Ahmadabad Pvt. Primary Teachers Association vs. Administrative Officer and Others (2004) 1 SCC 755 and ruled in favour of the appellant Institute.

The top court pointed out that in the Ahmadabad Pvt. Primary Teachers Association (supra), Justice D. M. Dharmadhikari discussed at length on the same point of contention and “held that a teacher is not an employee within the meaning of the expression “employee” as defined under Section 2(e) of the Act and hence he/she is not entitled to claim any gratuity amount from his employer under the Act.” The Court quoted the previous verdict stating –

Trained or untrained teachers are not skilled, semi−skilled, unskilled, manual, supervisory, technical or clerical employees. They are also not employed in managerial or administrative capacity. Occasionally, even if they do some administrative work as part of their duty with teaching, since their main job is imparting education, they cannot be held employed in managerial or administrative capacity. The teachers are clearly not intended to be covered by the definition of employee.

If the legislature intended to cover all categories of employees for extending benefit of gratuity under the Act, specific mention of categories of employment in the definition clause was not necessary at all. The legislature was alive to various kinds of definitions of the word employee contained in various previous labour enactments when the Act was passed in 1972. If it intended to cover in the definition of employee all kinds of employees, it could have as well used such wide language as is contained in Section 2(f) of the Employees Provident Funds Act, 1952. Non−use of such wide language in the definition of employee in Section 2(e) of the Act of 1972 reinforces our conclusion that teachers are clearly not covered in the definition.

In their concurrent verdict the Apex Court held “the aforementioned principle of law” and decided that “respondent No.4, who was also a teacher and worked with the appellant as such, was not eligible to claim gratuity amount from the appellant (BIT) under the Act. The Court did not make any distinction between the teachers inter se and nor made any distinction as to in which type of educational institute the teacher is working for determining his entitlement to claim the gratuity under the Act.”

The Court also reiterated that “the High Court was, therefore, not justified in making a distinction between the teachers working in the primary schools and the teachers working in other educational institutions. We cannot, therefore, concur with the view taken by the High Court. As a result, the appeal succeeds and the impugned order is set aside.”

Impact of the judgment

The verdict pointed out that there should not be any misconception that the Court is against teachers receiving any gratuity benefits. The Supreme Court also categorically emphasised “it is for the legislature to take cognizance of situation of such teachers in various establishments where gratuity benefits are not available and think of a separate legislation for them in this regard. That is the subject−matter solely of the legislature to consider and decide.” This judgment brought home the fact that there are extensive lacunae in various areas of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 and it needs to be modernised with respect to current situations so that such problems do not come up in the future. The teaching profession is one of the noblest professions where teachers are entrusted to carve the future generations through meticulous guidance and support. The shining light of knowledge in our path that firmly roots our dreams in the hard concrete of reality and ingrained in us the value system that stood us in good stead throughout our lives; the contribution of our teachers in shaping our life goals and helping us to realise our true potential is beyond simple platitudes and affirmation of their services. The Court also recognised this fact and urged the legislative authorities to take up this cause of changing legislations or making new laws so as to be able to give teachers their dues in the form of both awards and monetary rewards.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

SC: Under-21 Convicts Can Be Given Less Than Minimum Sentence, Resorts To Probation of Offenders Act

The Supreme Court resorted to the Probation of Offenders Act to sidestep the mandate under Section 397 of the Indian Penal Code that mentions a sentence of not less than 7 years to those convicted of armed robbery, to give a chance to two young convicts to reform their lives.

Environment Protection Act Passed at the Instance of Foreign Powers: NHAI in Karnataka HC

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) claimed in a submission that the Environment Protection Act 1986 was passed not only for the protection of the environment by the parliament but also at the instance of foreign powers. This statement was made while referring to a UN conference and got the NHAI into great trouble in the Karnataka High Court.

Delhi High Court To Implement a Hybrid System Through Virtual and Physical Hearing

On Friday the Delhi High Court said that they have initiated steps to implement a mode wherein hearing can be done by virtual as well as physical mode. The Delhi High Court is aiming to implement the Hybrid mode. It stated that when the particular bench is conducting a virtual hearing the lawyer may opt for this mode after giving prior intimation about the same.

Mercy Plea of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case To Be Decided in Four Weeks, TN Governor To Supreme Court

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday told the Supreme Court that a decision on the mercy petition of one of the convicts serving a life sentence for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, AG Perarivalan will be taken within four weeks. The petition has been pending with the Governor since December 30, 2015.

Bombay High Court Questions FIR Over Journalist Alleged of Communist Comment on WhatsApp

An FIR lodged against the editor of Marathi newspaper, Rajkumar Chhajed has been questioned by the Bombay High Court. The Maharashtra Police has accused Chhajed of creating a rift between the two communities based on a WhatsApp message.

Allahabad High Court Expresses Dissatisfaction on Counsels Seeking Unnecessary Adjournments

The petition had been filed by Smt. Radha prayed to issue directions to Judicial Magistrate-I in Faizabad. The petition sought a speedy decision in...

[Delhi Riots] When the IT Ministry Calls Us, We Will Go Says Harish Salve To Delhi High Court

The Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook, Ajit Mohan told the Supreme Court that when the representatives of the company are called by the Information Technology Ministry they will come and record their statements.

Allahabad High Court Seeks Response on Compensation of Cutting Trees From National Highways Authority of India (Nhai) 

The Order had come in the form of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a bunch of law students in Uttar Pradesh. The...

Doctrine of Proportionality Must Adhere to Reasonableness Principal Test: Madras High Court

Young Men's Christian Association built a commercial complex and leased it without having due permission. The District Collector & Tahsildar issued a show-cause notice...

Delhi High Court Refuses To Stay Release of ‘The White Tiger’ on the OTT Platform Netflix

A plea requesting a stay on the release of the film ‘The White Tiger’ by the American producer, John Hart Jr. alleging copyright violation was rejected by the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -