Minority Schools Won't Be Eligible To Receive Grant For Expenditure Towards Teachers Retained Beyond Retirement Age- SC
A Supreme Court Bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Bela M Trivedi has held that under the Grant-in-Aid Code, any school receiving grants from the Government would not be eligible to receive said grants towards the expenditure of those teachers that are employed beyond the age-bar stipulated by the Code.
In that context it was said that "any registered minority Secondary School receiving Grant-in-Aid from the State-Government, then such school would not be entitled to receive any grant in respect of the expenditure incurred for continuing such employee or teacher beyond the age of 58 or 60 years, as the case may be".
Advocate Archana Pathak Dave appeared for the Appellants, while Advocate PK Manohar appeared for the Respondents.
In this case, Respondent No. 1 was a Minority Institution running a government-aided school. They sought permission to continue having Mr Kapadia as the Principal after he attained the age of 58 years. The permission was granted to continue him as the Principal up to the age of 60, on the condition that his salary would be paid by the institution. Thereafter, Respondent No. 1 sought another extension of service for Mr Kapadia beyond the age of 60 years, which was rejected.
The decisions of the Government were challenged before the High Court, where it was held that the action on the part of the Appellants in stopping the grant was violative of Article 30(1) of the Constitution, that Respondent No. 1 had the right to continue Mr Kapadia as the Principal of the school beyond the age of 60 years. It was further held that the Appellants were obliged to pay the Grant-in-Aid towards his salary.
Aggrieved, the Government approached the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court perused the relevant provisions contained in the Constitution, the Gujarat Secondary Education Act, the Regulations framed thereunder and the Grant-in-Aid Code.
The Court observed that as per Paragraph 81.1 of the Grant-in-Aid Code, a secondary school teacher receiving grant-in-aid would ordinarily retire from service at the age of 58, and the management may grant to the teachers extensions up to the age of 60. Therefore, it was observed that "the minority educational institutions like the respondents could not continue the employees/teachers beyond the age of 58 years or 60 years as the case may be. If an employee or a teacher is continued in service by the management of any registered minority Secondary School receiving Grant-in-Aid from the State-Government, then such school would not be entitled to receive any grant in respect of the expenditure incurred for continuing such employee or teacher beyond the age of 58 or 60 years, as the case may be."
The Court also observed that "There is also nothing on record to show that the appellant-State had discriminated against the respondent-institution on the ground that it was under the management of a minority, attracting Article 30(2) of the Constitution of India. The High Court therefore had committed gross error in holding that the respondent-institute had a right to continue the Principal of its school beyond his age of 60 years, and in directing the appellants to calculate and pay the requisite amount towards the arrears of grant".
Therefore, the order of the High Court was set aside and the appeal by the State was allowed.
Cause Title: The State of Gujarat & Ors. v. HB Kapadia Education Trust & Anr.