Guest lecturers may not be permanent employees but they still have certain right by law. The state cannot replace a guest lecturer with another guest lecturer unless there are complaints regarding their performance or competence. This was held in the case of Kanchan Gupta v State of Chhattisgarh & others [Writ Petition (S) No. 3568 of 2021] by a single member bench of the High Court of Chhattisgarh consisting of Justice P. Sam Koshy on the 14th of July 2021.
The petitioner, Kanchan Gupta was working as a guest lecturer for the Government Rani Durgawati College Wadrafnagar in Chhatisgarh through the academic year 2020-21. In the present writ petition, she prays that the respondents should not be permitted to replace the petitioner with another set of contractual guest lecturers. It was further contended that the petitioner has undergone a due process of selection before being appointed as a guest lecturer and furthermore that there was never at any point any complaint about the petitioner’s performance or competence. The state counsel opposed the petition stating that the petitioner filed the present writ petition only on apprehension and that since there was no cause of action, the matter was premature and deserved to be rejected.
The petitioner cited the very similar case of Manju Gupta & others v State of Chhattisgarh & others [WPS No. 4406/2016], where it was held that a guest lecturer working under a government institution was granted protection from being replaced by another guest lecturer. The High Court in that case stated that “It is directed that the Respondents would not be entitled for filling up the posts of Guest Lecturer by replacing the Petitioners unless the Respondents come up with a stand that the services of the Petitioners were dis-satisfactory. The quashment of the advertisement issued by the Respondents would also not come in the way of the Respondents for filling up of the sanctioned vacant posts by regular recruitment or by way of contractual appointment for which the Respondents shall be free”.
Drawing the same analogy Hon’ble Justice P. Sam Koshy stated “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”. However it was also added that “the protection to the petitioner would be only to the extent of not being replaced by another set of Guest Lecturers. 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”.