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State Not Obliged To Pay Salary To Teachers Whose Appointments Are In Violation Of Education Rules: Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court has held that the state government is not required to pay the salary of teachers at aided schools whose appointments are in violation of the Kerala Education Rules and the Kerala Education Act through a Division Bench of Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar and Justice C.S Sudha in the case of State of Kerala & Ors. v. Manager & Ors. (Writ Appeal No.264 of 2022)

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The petition made mentioned the manager of Niduvaloor AUP School in Chuzhali, Kannur, appointing two teachers to the school. The Educational Officer did not approve their appointments since they were made notwithstanding two other teachers’ claims of preferential treatment. One of the two initially appointed instructors were appointed in accordance with the government’s instructions, and the teachers with favored claims were afterwards appointed.

The writ petition was submitted in challenge to those orders. The petitioners also asked the government to order the educational officer to approve the employment of the second petitioner from June 4, 2004, to October 4, 2005, and the third petitioner from January 7, 2005, to June 1, 2010, for payment of salaries because they had worked at the school during the relevant periods.

The Educational Officer filed a counter affidavit in which he claims, among other things, that petitioners 2 and 3 are not entitled to pay for the time they spent working in the school as a result of unapproved appointments.

JUDGEMENT:

The Court ruled that an aided school manager could only make an appointment in line with the terms of the Kerala Education Rules, and the government’s obligation to pay the wage arises only after the appointment is officially approved. The court also stated that the government is under no duty to pay a teacher’s salary just because he or she worked under the appointment.

The bench continued, stating that if the appointments were void and illegal, the Kerala Education Act and the Rules’ design contemplated that the government had no duty to pay the teachers’ wages and that doing so would amount to condoning the manager’s actions in violating the law.

Accordingly, the appeal was allowed and the decision of the Single Judge was set aside.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY

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