Prior Approval Of Director Of Education Is Mandatory While Dismissal Of Employee Of Recognised Institution- SC
The Supreme Court recently held that prior approval of the Director of Education was mandatory in case of dismissal/removal of an employee of a recognized institution and the contrary view which the Larger Bench of the Rajasthan High Court took in the case of Central Academy Society Vs. Rajasthan Non-Govt. Educational Institutional Tribunal; (2010) 3 WLC 21 to that extent was not a good law.
The Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar observed that “Therefore, on true interpretation of Section 18 of the Act, 1989, it is specifically observed and held that even in case of termination/removal of an employee of a recognized institution after holding departmental enquiry/proceedings, prior approval of the Director of Education has to be obtained as per first proviso to Section 18 of the Act, 1989.”
In this case, the appellant was an employee of the respondent and disciplinary enquiry was initiated against him under provisions of the Rajasthan Non-Governmental Educational Institutions Act, 1989 (the Act). The services of the appellant were terminated after charges of misconduct were proved. This order of termination was challenged before the Tribunal. The Tribunal had set aside the order of termination.
The present appeal was preferred against the impugned judgment of the Division Bench of Rajasthan High Court wherein allowing the appeal preferred by the respondent management, the High Court had upheld the order of termination and has set aside the order of the Tribunal and Single Bench of the High Court.
Advocate Ruchi Kohli appeared for the appellant while Advocate Shraddha Deshmukh appeared for the respondent.
Section 18 of the Rajasthan Non-Governmental Educational Institutions Act, 1989 provides that “no employee of a recognised institution shall be removed, dismissed, or reduced in rank unless he has been given by the management a reasonable opportunity of being heard against the action proposed to be taken and that no final order in this regard shall be passed unless prior approval of the Director of Education or an officer authorised by him in this behalf has been obtained.”
The Apex Court observed that before commenting upon the decision of the Apex Court in the case of Raj Kumar, the Division Bench should have thoroughly read or considered the decision of Raj Kumar.
“Even after making the incorrect observations that in the case of Raj Kumar (supra) this Court had not considered the decision of this Court in the case of T.M.A. Pai Foundation (supra) the Division Bench of the High Court has considered few decisions of judicial discipline which were not applicable at all. Judicial discipline also requires that the judgment/decision of this Court should be considered and read thoroughly.” said the Apex Court.
The Apex Court further observed that under Section 18 of the Act in case of termination of an employee of a recognised institution prior approval of the Director of Education or an officer authorised by him in this behalf had to be obtained and said that “In Section 18, there is no distinction between the termination, removal, or reduction in rank after the disciplinary proceedings/enquiry or even without disciplinary proceedings/enquiry.”
Therefore, the Apex Court observed and held that “Under the circumstances, taking a contrary view that in case of dismissal/removal of an employee of a recognised institution which is after holding the departmental enquiry the prior approval of the Director of Education is not required is unsustainable and to that extent the judgment of the Larger Bench of the Rajasthan High Court in the case of Central Academy Society (supra) is not a good law.”
Accordingly, the Apex Court allowed the appeal and the order of Division Bench of High Court was set aside.
Cause Title- Gajanand Sharma v. Adarsh Siksha Parisad Samiti & Ors.