HC holds teacher eligible for promotion as Master
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 9
In a significant judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that an ETT teacher was eligible for promotion as Social Studies Master, even though he did not possess subject combination approved by the government.
Justice Mahesh Grover also ruled that the state and other respondents were “more than arbitrary” in their approach; and imposed costs of Rs 10,000. The amount is to be paid to the teacher. The rap came on a petition by Sanjeev Arora. He had moved the court as the rules made it mandatory for an incumbent to possess BA with subject combination approved by the government from time to time for a social studies Master. His counsel claimed promotion as a Master was declined as the petitioner did not possess the approved combination.
During the course of hearing, Justice Grover noticed that the reply to the petition submitted by the respondents was silent on the issue; and repeated opportunities for clarifying the aspect failed to yield results.
The court even expressed its inclination to impose costs on the respondents for “impeding the progress of the writ petition”. But then the state counsel stated that the subject combination in the relevant advertisement had been approved and “should be construed valid for the purpose of answering this writ petition”.
Referring to the petitioner’s qualifications, Justice Grover asserted he had improved his qualification by acquiring MCom and BEd degrees. “In this way, the petitioner acquired and accomplished the requisite qualification in terms of the rules and was, thus, eligible for being promoted as social studies Master”.
Justice Grover added: “The respondents’ plea that the petitioner did not possess the subject combination approved by the government from time to time, without even indicating to the petitioner the deficiencies in this regard, was arbitrary.
“Assuming that the petitioner did not possess the requisite qualification in terms of the rules, he should have at least been apprised of the deficiency. Rather the respondents chose to leave this aspect to ambiguity forcing the petitioner to come to this court…. I am of the opinion that he has been unjustly kept away from the benefit of promotion which in the meantime has been given to most of the persons who are junior to him….”
Holding him eligible, Justice Grover disposed of the petition with a clear mandate to the respondents to consider his case for promotion from the date his juniors were promoted.