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Teacher appointed as per qualification is to receive salary if passed TET examination: Patna High Court

Those intending to be appointed as teachers in Class VI to VIII must minimum complete Paper I, whilst those wishing to be appointed in Class I to V must minimum pass Paper II. Any candidate who passes both Papers I and II will be eligible to apply for teaching positions in all classes is upheld by the High Court of Patna through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ASHUTOSH KUMAR in the case of Chandani Kumari Vs. The State of Bihar (Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.9786 of 2019)

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner has requested the Court to order the respondents to accept her certificate of Teacher Eligibility Test (in short the TET) as valid and genuine because it was issued by the Bihar School Examination Board, Patna (in short the BSEB) after the petitioner passed the TET Examination, 2011 successfully, and also to order the respondents to pay the arrears of salary owed to her since November, 2018 – to date because it has not been paid.

The petitioner stands accused of obtaining employment on the basis of a forged and fabricated TET certificate. The basis to this case is that it was discovered in one of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) cases that unqualified individuals with forged degrees had obtained employment. An investigation is conducted on the Court’s directions with the goal of locating and identifying teachers who had obtained such positions using fake academic qualifications. As a result, an F.I.R. was filed, in which the petitioner was also named as one of the defendants.

The complaint against the petitioner is restricted to the fact that she is stated to have passed Paper-II of the TET test, despite the fact that she was proved to have failed Paper-I. It has been argued on behalf of the petitioner that as she failed Paper-I, it was assumed that her passing in Paper-II was questionable, implying that the certificate was forged; for the reason that anyone who has failed the first paper will not be permitted to appear in the second paper, and even if he or she is permitted to appear in the second paper, the result will not be published unless both papers have been cleared.

The petitioner’s counsel has drawn this Court’s attention to the entire framework of the TET examination, which states that persons intending to be appointed as teachers in Class VI to VIII must pass only Paper I, whereas those who want to be appointed in Class I to V must pass both Papers. This entails that if the petitioner passes Paper-II, she is qualified to be appointed as a teacher in classes VI to VIII. During the course of the investigation, even when the F.I.R. was lodged no concrete evidence could be gathered against the petitioner to suggest or substantiate the petitioner’s charge of having obtained employment on a forged degree.

In reviewing the investigation records, it became apparent that it was discovered that two of the officers signed the reports mechanically without verifying the TET examination scheme. An inquiry was established after the petitioner and filed a complaint with the Director General of Police about the erroneous investigation and before the inquiry committee, the negligence on the part of police officials were acknowledged as to signing such reports mechanically without verifying the accuracy of the allegation or the petitioner’s defence.

Through way of counter affidavit, Mr. Anjani Kumar, the learned Senior Advocate representing the Vigilance Department, has informed the Court that the Vigilance Officer’s conduct was found to be absolutely unpardonable, and that he was subjected to a departmental proceeding as well as a punishment of one black mark. Further, the BSEB also admits that the petitioner is indicated to have passed the Paper-II examination in their database, making her qualified to be recruited as a teacher.

Thus, in the current litigation, i.e., the petitioner’s salary being held in dilemma since November 2018 under the pretext of an ongoing inquiry into her, the concerned respondent shall investigate the matter and issue necessary orders, including resuming the petitioner’s salary, which has been suspended since November 2018 only due to the ongoing investigation, and the decision of the concerned respondent shall be subject to the final outcome of the case investigation. If the petitioner is found guilty, the necessary punishments will be imposed. Additionally, the police have also been ordered to complete the inquiry as soon as possible.

Click here to read the judgment

Judgement reviewed by – Pooja Lakshmi

 

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