SAVITHRI Vs. MANAGER, T. E. M. HIGH SCHOOL
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Manager, T. E. M. High School
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V.BALAKRISHNA ERADI,J. -
(1.) THE petitioner was appointed as a Craft Teacher with effect from 6th July 1956 in the upper primary section of a secondary school by name T.E.M.High School managed by the 1st respondent.She was continuously working in the said post till June 1969 when by an order dated 2nd June 1969 passed by the Manager the petitioner was appointed as an Upper Primary School Assistant.In view of her having acquired the T.T.C.qualification in the meantime,the said appointment was approved by the District Educational Officer,Kottarakkara(2nd respondent)with effect from 2nd June 1969 itself.Since the vacancy in which the petitioner was absorbed as a U.P.S.A.continued only till the last day of the academic year 1968 -69,the petitioner was reverted as a Craft Teacher on the termination of the said vacancy.The result was that by virtue of the approved service put in by the petitioner as an Upper Primary School Assistant during the academic year 1968 -69,the petitioner acquired a preferential right to be reappointed in the said capacity in the next vacancy arising in the school by reason of the operation of rule 51 A of Chapter XIV A of the Kerala Education Rules.
(2.) TWO vacancies of Upper Primary School Assistants arose in the 1st respondent's school at the commencement of the academic year 1972 -73.Instead of appointing the petitioner in one of those vacancies what the 1st respondent did was to fill up those vacancies by appointing respondents Nos.3 and 4 herein who were till then working as Craft Teachers in the said school but were juniors in relation to the petitioner in the said category.On coming to know of these appointments,the petitioner made a representation to the District Educational Officer as per Ext.P -3 dated 4th September 1972.Since no reply was received thereto and the petitioner apprehended that the appointments so given to respondents 3 and 4 were imminently likely to be approved by the 2nd respondent,the petitioner has come up to this Court on 25th September 1972 by filing this writ petition seeking the issuance of a writ of mandamus to the 2nd respondent to dispose of her representation evidenced by Ext.P -3 in accordance with law and to set aside the appointments of respondents Nos.3 and 4.There is a further prayer in the writ petition for the issuance of a writ of mandamus to the 2nd respondent compelling him to issue an appropriate direction to the manager of the school to appoint the petitioner against the earlier of the two vacancies that arose in the school during the academic year 1972 -73.
Counsel appearing for the petitioner strongly relied on the provisions of rule 51 -A of Chapter XIVA of the Kerala Education Rules and contended that a right had become vested in the petitioner to be appointed in the next vacancy of Upper Primary School Assistant arising in the school after the academic year 1969 -70 by virtue of the approved service put in by the petitioner as an Upper Primary School Assistant from 2nd June 1969 till the close of the said academic year.He also laid stress on the fact that in the category of Craft Teachers respondents Nos.3 and 4 had been admittedly juniors in relation to the petitioner and they had no prior service as Upper Primary School Assistants in the school so as to entitle them to any preferential right under rule 51 -A.Counsel submitted that there is no provision in the rules which justifies such a supersession of a senior Craft Teacher who was duly qualified for absorption as Upper Primary School Assistant and who had already worked as such and that hence the action of the manager in appointing respondents Nos.3 and 4 in the two vacancies that arose during the year 1972 "73 was clearly contrary to the provisions of the Kerala Education Rules.
(3.) IN the counter -affidavit filed on behalf of the 2nd respondent an attempt has been made to justify the manager's action by relying on the provisions of a Government Order dated 31st May 1967,a copy of which has been produced and marked as Ext.R -1.In that order the Government have referred to six suggestions made by the Director of Public Instruction for meeting the situation which had arisen due to the introduction of the revised syllabus in schools from 1962 -63 and also the introduction of Hindi in Standard V from 1964 -65 as a consequence of which steps,periods allotted for craft had suffered considerable reduction and a number of full -time Craft Teachers had been either thrown out of appointment or reduced as part time. By the said order,the Government announced its decision to accept those suggestions of the Director of Public Instruction thereby making those proposals virtually a part of the Government Order itself. Reliance is placed by the Government Pleader on suggestions Nos.4 and 5 of the Director extracted in the Government Order and it is said that the manager's action in appointing respondents 4 and 5 in preference to the petitioner is consistent with the principles incorporated by the Director in those two suggestions of his.However,on going through paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Government Order incorporating the aforesaid suggestions of the Director I fail to see how they lend any support to the action taken in this case by the manager. All that is mentioned in those two paragraphs is that existing posts of Craft Teachers should be allowed to continue if the number of periods justify such continuance and if there is a teacher continuing in the post he is entitled to protection. It is further said that if the teacher concerned is eligible for protection as per an earlier G.O.dated 20th July 1965 the post may be continued even if the number of periods do not justify its continuance.It is further provided by paragraph 5 that in the case of such teachers continuing under protection without necessary number of periods,they should be absorbed against the posts of P.D.teachers when vacancies arise if they have S.S.L.C.qualification.;
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