Nagpur: A teacher is an `employee` and is
entitled to service benefits like gratuity, the Bombay High
Court has ruled, rejecting arguments that teachers are not
employed in `managerial` or `administrative` capacity.
The ruling came as a relief to a 65-year-old Pune-based
college teacher after the Nagpur bench of the Court dismissed
an appeal by an educational institution challenging an order
for payment of gratuity claims to him.
"There is no escape but to hold that a teacher is an
`employee` within the meaning of Section 2(e) of Payment of
Gratuity Act, 1972 and hence, its provisions are applicable to
him," a single-judge bench of the court comprising Justice
Ravi Deshpande observed here.
Noting that the Legislature has amended the definition of
`employee` under Section 2(e) of the Payment of Gratuity Act,
1972, with effect from April 3, 1997, the High Court said this
is in tune with the observations made in a Supreme Court
"The objects and reasons of such an amendment make the
definition of the legislature very clear to apply the
provisions of the Act to teachers also," it said.
The High Court also mentioned that the amended definition
is wide enough to cover the category of teachers for the
purpose of applicability of the Act.
"There is no challenge to the judgements and orders
passed by the authorities (controlling and appellate) on
merit. Hence no fault can be found with the view taken by the
authorities," it said.
The Court dismissed the petition filed by Vidarbha Youth
Welfare Institution (Society), an educational institution,
challenging the order of Assistant Labour Commissioner
(controlling authority), Amravati, directing it to pay a
gratuity of Rs 3.5 lakh with interest amounting to Rs
1.2 lakh to Pradip Kumar Lambhate.
The judge also asked the petitioner society to pay an
additional Rs 27,872 as interest at 10 percent per annum.