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A guest faculty working under a government university have the right to not be replaced by other guest faculty: High Court of Chhattisgarh

Although guest faculty are employed on a temporary basis, they still have the right to not be replaced by fresh guest faculty unless there have been serious shortcomings in their services. This was upheld by single-member bench of the High Court of Chhattisgarh consisting of Honorable Justice Sam Koshy in the case of Khorin Markam v State of Chhatthisgarh [WPS No. 2807 of 2021] on 23rd June 2021.

The petitioner, Miss Khorin Markam was working as a Guest lecturer for sociology at Government Naveen College Bhairamgarh in Chhatisgarh for the year 2020-21. The petitioner brought to the notice of the court that she went through a rigorous selection process to be appointed as a guest lecturer, was always competent in her role and never had any complaints against her performance. For this reason she contended that the respondents should not be permitted to replace her with new guest lecturers now that the academic year was finished. The petitioner’s counsel cited the case of Manju Gupta & others v State of Chhattisgarh [WPS No. 4406/2016] where the court held that  “True it is, that the Petitioners’ status is that of a Guest Lecturer but that does not mean that they do not have any right. There is always a legitimate expectation of the Petitioners that since the filling up of the posts has not been initiated by way of a regular appointment or by contractual appointments; the Petitioners would be permitted to continue”. The respondents argued that the matter was premature since no harm had been caused to the petitioner yet and so the petition should be rejected outright.

The High Court noted that it was inclined to accept the same analogy as in the case cited by the petitioner and accordingly the petitioner’s rights need to be protected. Honorable Justice Sam Koshy concluded that “unless there is any complaint received against the performance of the petitioner, the respondents are restrained from going in for any fresh recruitment of a Guest Lecturer for the said subject under the respondent No.3-college against which the petitioner was engaged”. It was also added however, that “This would not preclude the State Government from going in for filling up of the post by way of a regular appointment or by way of engaging contractual teachers under the rules for contractual employment”.

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