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HC dismisses 84 Teachers’ challenge of seniority list

Gauhati High Corut Kohima Bench

DIMAPUR, JUNE 10: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court has dismissed a challenge mounted by 84 Graduate Teachers against a Nagaland Government seniority notification on which the petitioners were placed below Teachers appointed on regular basis or whose services were already regularised.
“Accordingly, this Court does not find any merits in any of these writ petitions for which the instant batch of writ petitions stands dismissed. However, no costs are imposed in the peculiar facts of the cases”, stated Justice Devashis Baruah in a common judgment and order issued on Monday.
In two separate petitions, the aggrieved Teachers (26 from 2010 SSA batch and 58 from 2013 SSA and RMSA batch) had challenged the Government notification dated September 2, 2022, “to the limited extent whereby the seniority of the petitioners, who were recruited in the year 2010 and 2013, have been placed below the teachers appointed on regular basis or whose services have been regularised”.
In his judgment, Justice Baruah noted that the petitioners were appointed under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, both Centrally-Sponsored Schemes.
Relying on two Supreme Court verdicts ~ Dhyan Singh (supra) and Parmeshwar Nanda (supra) ~ the Judge stated that the engagement of an employee under a specific scheme cannot be held as employment under any establishment of the State Government “inasmuch as employment under such schemes cannot be treated to be a part of the formal cadre of the Government”.
He further noted that as per the Schemes, salaries were to be paid out of the funds of the Central Government; and only if the Schemes were discontinued, Nagaland Government would have paid it from its coffers.
“Under such circumstances, applying the ratio laid down in the case of Dhyan Singh (supra) and Parmeshwar Nanda (supra), it is the opinion of this Court that the petitioners herein cannot be regarded as having entered into the State Education Cadre of the Government of Nagaland till the notification was issued on September 2, 2022 wherein they were brought within the service of the State Education Cadre of the Government of Nagaland w.e.f. April 21, 2022.
“The consequential effect of the said opinion is that the petitioners’ inter-se-seniority have to be taken into account on the basis of the said notification dated September 2, 2022 and for which the impugned notification dated September 2, 2022 cannot be interfered with”, the order read.
Also, the Judge took note of the submission made by the petitioners’ Counsel that some of the aggrieved Teachers were granted with that financial upgradation under the Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme, which the State Government denied.
The Government Advocate contended that if such grants have been made, “the same was done mistakenly”.
“This Court is of the opinion that as the petitioners only entered into the State Education Cadre of the Government of Nagaland by virtue of the notification dated September 2, 2022 that too w.e.f April 21, 2022, the mere granting of the financial upgradation in terms with the Modified Assured Career Progression Scheme would not amount to bringing the petitioners who were granted the financial upgradation (if any) within the fold of the State Education Cadre of the Government of Nagaland.
“Accordingly, this Court does not find any merits in any of these writ petitions for which the instant batch of writ petitions stands dismissed”, the judgment read.
However, the Judge added that if the State Government “under mistaken belief” had permitted the petitioners to subscribe to the Pension Scheme “and taking into account the submission of the learned Additional Advocate General of Nagaland that the benefits which had accrued by subscribing to the Pension Scheme would not be disturbed, this Court leaves it to the wisdom of the State Respondents being the welfare State”.
(Page News Service)

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