Delhi School Tribunal Dismisses Contractual Maths Teacher's Appeal

Delhi School Tribunal Dismisses Contractual Maths Teacher's Appeal

Delhi School Tribunal dismisses appeal of terminated maths teacher, citing non-applicability of regularisation rules. Teacher directed to receive three months' salary and experience certificate.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 02:09 PM IST
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The Delhi School Tribunal has dismissed the appeal of a contractual maths teacher against his termination in February 2021 by a private unaided school, saying rules on regularisation of services was not applicable in his case. The tribunal was hearing the plea for quashing the termination order, besides reinstating the teacher with immediate effect, along with other benefits, including back wages.

Presiding Officer Satinder Kumar Gautam, however, directed the school, recognised by the Delhi government’s directorate of education, to pay three months’ salary and issue an experience certificate to the teacher. Noting the facts of the case, he said the teacher, Tek Ram was appointed as a teacher in White Leaf Public School, Bawana on a contractual basis for a limited period for a fixed salary and which was being extended from time to time.

In an order dated February 6, the tribunal noted that the teacher was appointed “purely on a contractual basis to fill a temporary vacancy” and according to the Delhi School Education Act and Rules (DSEAR), regularisation of services was not applicable in the case of such employees. It said the teacher’s appointment was not statutory and after completion of the period of contractual service, he could be removed.

“It is not as if the person who accepts an engagement either temporary or casual is not aware of the nature of his employment. He accepted employment with an open eye,” the tribunal said. “It may be true that the appellant (Ram) may not be in a position to bargain – not at arm’s length – since he might have been searching for some other employment to eke out his livelihood and accept whatever he gets,” it added.

But, disparity in bargaining positions could not be the only reason to “jettison the constitutional scheme” and direct that the services of a casual or temporary employee can be continued permanently, the tribunal said. The tribunal said such directions would create “another mode of public appointment, which was not permissible.” It said given the exigencies of administration, a complete embargo on appointing such temporary employees could not be created and this would also prevent people from securing employment which brought them “at least some succour”.

“After all innumerable citizens of our vast country are in search of employment and one is not compelled to accept casual or temporary employment if one is not inclined to go in for such employment,” the tribunal said. “Appellant has to show his appointment statutory which he has failed. The appellant at the same time was not on probation and the appellant has also not pleaded that his employment was a sham,” it added.

The tribunal, however, said termination can only be given after providing sufficient notice period to an employee for obtaining alternative employment. “Instead of awarding lump sum damages to the appellant, three months salary should be paid,” it said adding, that an experience certificate should also be issued.

“The present appeal does not find any merit. Accordingly, the appeal is hereby dismissed,” the tribunal said.

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