P V SUTER PAUL Vs. MANAGER
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
P V Suter Paul
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A.K. Basheer, J. -
(1.) IS a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution maintainable against the Manager of a recognized unaided school? In view of the difference of opinion, this question has been referred to the Division Bench by a learned Single Judge. Before we consider the above question, it may be useful to refer briefly to the relevant facts of the case.
(2.) THE petitioner was working as a Physical Education Teacher in Sobhana English Medium High School, Kothamangalam. It is admittedly a recognized unaided School. In March 1999, the Manager of the school, respondent No. 1, issued a notice to him to show cause why his service should not be terminated in view of several allegations of misconduct and, in particular, in the light of a complaint received from the parent of a student. The explanation given by the petitioner was not found to be satisfactory. A domestic enquiry was conducted by the management. By the report dated 8th June 1999, the Enquiry Officer found that all the charges except one, leveled against the petitioner were proved. By Ext. P7 communication dated 15th June, 1999, the Manager of the school terminated the services of the petitioner with effect from 16th June, 1999. Petitioner challenged the order of termination before the District Educational Officer. An enquiry was conducted by the District Educational Officer. The Manager and the Headmistress of the school were also heard. In the enquiry report dated 10th August 1999, the District Educational Officer took the view that the charges leveled against the petitioner were only "partially" proved and therefore only a minor penalty was warranted against him in the facts and circumstances of the case. The District Educational Officer, therefore, directed the Manager to revoke the order of dismissal and reinstate the petitioner in service. The enquiry report of the District Educational Officer is on record as Ext. P9.
(3.) THE Manager did not comply with the direction of the District Educational Officer. According to him, the District Educational Officer had no right or authority to direct the Manager of an unaided school to reinstate a teacher who was dismissed from service after conducting an enquiry. The petitioner therefore moved the Deputy Director of Education, the next higher authority. By Ext. P11 communication dated November 3, 1999, the Deputy Director informed the Manager that termination of the services of the petitioner was not proper in as much as the petitioner was not given an opportunity of being heard before the action was taken against him. In the meanwhile, the petitioner approached the Government with a prayer to set aside the order of termination. By order dated January 28, 2000 it was held by the Government that the punishment of termination was too excessive. The Manager was therefore directed to reinstate the petitioner in service. The District Educational Officer was further directed by the Government to ensure that the order is complied with by the Manager. He was also authorized to take appropriate further action against the Manager in the event of non -compliance. The order of the Government is on record as Ext. P15.;
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