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Neither the recruitment rules nor the offer of appointment can override the service rules, regulations and statutory provisions: Tripura High Court

Neither the recruiting rules nor the advertising nor the offer of appointment will circumvent the service rules, legislation and regulatory requirements. Even if the advertising provided that an appointee shall be put under fixed salary for a term of 5 years, never explained that even if the laws and regulations so include, the past service of a career aspirant who has been a Government servant already for over 5 years will be wiped out, nor could it have been so recommended. The judgement was passed by the High Court of Tripura in the case of Aparna Chowdhury v. The State of Tripura [WP(C) No.290/2020] by Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice MR. Akil Kuresh.

The petitioner was selected and offered an appointment to the post of Postgraduate teacher in English in a Government school on a fixed monthly payment of Rs.22,785 under office memorandum. The petitioner accepted such appointment and after rendering her resignation which was accepted by the employer. Her grievance is that in her new assignment as a Government teacher her pay has been downgraded. She would point out that as a teacher in a grant-in-aid school. Therefore, this petition praying that her past service in grant-in-aid school is counted for her pay fixation as a Government teacher.

Learned counsel for the petitioners strenuously urged that both the petitioners were placed in proper pay scales prescribed by the Government for teachers. They were teachers in grant-in-aid schools where the grant of salary to the teaching staff would come from the Government funds. Such teachers are paid at the same rate as Government teachers. Their service conditions are governed by the grant-in-aid code of the State of Tripura which envisages proper selection and appointment of teachers as well as their tenure protection. Their engagements were thus akin to Government service. They had applied for selection with prior objection from their employers and joined the duties after tendering technical resignations.

Learned counsel for the respondent the petitions contending that the petitioners had applied in response to the advertisement which clearly specified that the appointee would be expected to discharge duties for 5 years on a fixed salary basis before he/she would be brought over to the regular scale. The petitioners accepted appointments with this clear stipulation in mind. Further, they were working in private schools. Merely because the schools received grant-in-aid from the Government would not mean that the petitioners were Government servants. CCS Rules and the instructions relied upon by the petitioners would apply only in case a Government servant from one department tenders technical resignation and joins another Government department which is not the situation in the present case.

“It can be seen that interdepartmental migration of the employees is not discouraged, be it the Government of India or the State. Specifically Rule 26(2) of CCS Rules protects the past service of an employee of the Government even after his technical resignation and joining a new post. Though this is limited for pensionary benefits of an employee, it is impossible.”

While dismissing the petition the cord observed that “the objection of the Government that the petitioners accepted their appointments with full knowledge and, therefore, they are estopped from raising their grievances is possible of the summary disposal. Neither the recruitment rules nor the advertisement nor the offer of appointment Page 12 of 13 can override the service rules, regulations and statutory provisions.”

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