Title: BHARAT MATA SARASWATI BAL MANDIR SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL vs VINITA SINGH AND ORS.
Date of Decision: 07th July, 2023
+ LPA 601/2022 & CM APPLs. 45446-45447/2022
CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE MINI PUSHKARNA
Delhi High Court dismissed the appeal filed against the judgement dated 14th December, 2021, whereby the writ petition filed by three teachers seeking payment of 7th Central Pay Commission (hereinafter referred to as ‘7th CPC’) has been allowed and held that teachers of unaided private schools are entitled to the same pay and emoluments as those of government schools, in terms of the obligation enjoined upon the private recognized schools under the DSE Act, 1973. The schools cannot evade their statutory responsibility and are bound to pay the statutory dues.
Facts of the case
The pertinent information is that respondents 1 through 3 have been regularly employed by the appellant institution. Respondent No. 5/Directorate of Education (DOE) issued a notification on October 17, 2017, requesting that all private recognised schools adopt the recommendations of the 7th CPC. Respondents 1 to 3 sought this Court by filing a writ case after the appellant school refused to extend the benefit of the 7th CPC. By the impugned judgement on 14th December 2021, the learned Single Judge found that the respondents 1 through 3 herein were entitled to arrears of their benefits/salaries beginning on January 1, 2016, and also required the school to give them in accordance with the 7th CPC’s rules. Hence, the current appeal has come to be filed by the school.
Analysis of the court
The Delhi High court held that the writ petition filed by the three teachers was maintainable as it involves a public law element, inasmuch as, the original writ petitioners were seeking the implementation of Section 10(1) of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 (DSE Act, 1973)
In reality, the writ petitioners sought implementation of the circular/order/notification dated October 17, 2017 issued by DOE requiring the schools to pay teachers’ wages in line with the 7th CPC through the underlying writ petition. In reality, the Supreme Court has unequivocally stated the following in the case of St. Mary’s Education Society (Supra):
“75.1. An application under Article 226 of the Constitution is maintainable against a person or a body discharging public duties or public functions. The public duty cast may be either statutory or otherwise and where it is otherwise, the body or the person must be shown to owe that duty or obligation to the public involving the public law element. Similarly, for ascertaining the discharge of public function, it must be established that the body or the person was seeking to achieve the same for the collective benefit of the public or a section of it and the authority to do so must be accepted by the public.”
Hence the present writ was maintainable.
This Court further believes that, given the recurrent nature of the claim, the writ petition submitted by the original writ petitioners is not precluded by laches or delay.
In Union of India v. Tarsem Singh (supra), the Supreme Court itself said by way of an example that remedy should be given regardless of delay if the problem relates to pay payment as it does not impact third party rights.
Furthermore, because the decision in Rushibhai Jagdishbhai Pathak v. Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (above) deals with a matter of a higher grade pay scale in the following promotional post, which is not the situation in the present issue, it is of no use to the appellant.
To sum up, it should be stated once again that the respondents in the writ case requested the payment of their entire salaries in accordance with the 7th CPC’s recommendations. According to Section 10 of the DSE Act, a recognised private school’s pay scale and allowances, medical services, pension, gratuity, provident fund, and other permitted benefits must not be less than those of the employees in the same position at the public school. According to a statement from the DOE dated October 17, 2017, all recognised schools are required to follow the 7th CPC’s recommendations in compliance with the DSE Act, 1973. at light of this, it is unquestionable that instructors at unassisted private schools are entitled to the same pay and benefits as emoluments as those of government schools, in terms of the obligation enjoined upon the private recognized schools under the DSE Act, 1973. The schools cannot evade their statutory responsibility and are bound to pay the statutory dues.
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Written By – Shreyanshu Gupta