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Vacancies in open category posts also need to be advertised under the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977: Bombay High Court

A decision that vacancies in open category posts also need to be advertised under the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977 was pronounced by the Bombay High Court through the Bench of Justice Rohit B. Deo in the case of Late Sanjay Gandhi Shikshan v. The Deputy Director of Education (WRIT PETITION No.856 OF 2018)

FACTS OF THE CASE:
The respondent was fired from the petitioner institution for failing to follow Section 5 of the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977 (the “Act”), not having the required education at the time of the employment, and intentional absence from work. The School Tribunal rejected the aforementioned arguments and ordered the respondent’s readmission to the petitioner’s school.

JUDGEMENT:
The Bench stated that job advertisements are not restricted to reserved positions. Under the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977, it is also obligatory to advertise the positions in the open category. It derives from the fundamental rights enshrined in Articles 14 and 16.

The High Court largely addressed the Act’s need to advertise the position in the open category. The purpose of releasing advertising while making open category appointments is to ensure that every eligible person is aware of the available position. This move would give effect to the idea of equality enshrined in Articles 14 and 16 of the Indian Constitution.

On the issue of acquiring eligibility qualification subsequent to the appointment, the Bench said that ‘it is trite law that the employee must be eligible to hold the post as on the date of the appointment if not on the date of the advertisement, as the case may be’ and ‘an employee, who was not qualified as on the date of the appointment, cannot be treated as regularly appointed with effect from the date on which he acquired the eligibility qualification’.

Even if it is accepted that the employee, in this case, was dismissed, he did not have the right to maintain the position and so could not file a grievance or pray for relief. The High Court ruled that the School Tribunal’s decision was incorrect and quashed it. There was no order for compensation since it is only admissible when the order of termination is deemed illegal or improper.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY

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