Minority institutions should frame regulations: Madras HC

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 23:38

Chennai: Madras High Court has said Tamil Nadu
Government should initiate steps to ensure that minority
institutions framed regulations for staff selection and a
procedure for taking disciplinary action and related matters.

Allowing an appeal by B Devashanthini, a teacher in a
minority institution, a Division Bench comprising Justices
Elipe Dharma Rao and K K Sasidharan observed that in spite of
a Supreme Court direction in the T M A Pai Foundation case,
minority institutions had not framed the regulations.
The Judges said that the Apex court in the Pai Foundation
case had clearly indicated that minority institutions should
evolve necessary guidelines in the appointment of teachers and
the headmaster.

Even though being conscious of the fact that minorities
enjoyed considerable freedom in establishing and administering
educational institutions, the Supreme Court had considered it
fit to direct them to evolve a rational procedure for
appointment of teachers, the Judges said.

In her appeal, Devashanthini, a post graduate teacher of a
Higher Secondary School at Melpalai in Kanyakumari District,
challenged an order of a single Judge of September 2008
rejecting her request to refix the seniority list and to
consider her for promotion as Headmistress.
Devashanthini said even though she was senior to another
teacher S Egbert Jelestin, she was regularised from October
25, 1981 and Jelestin from October 24,1981.

Originally, a writ petition filed by her relating to
refixing seniority was disposed of with a direction to the
Director of School Education (DSE),to consider and dispose of
her representation on merits and as per law.

The DSE said that the request for refixing seniority could
not be considered as the school was a minority institution.

Meanwhile,the school had appointed one C S Xavier as
Headmaster. Aggrieved, she had challenged the DSE`s order of
August 2004.

The school justified the appointment of an outside teacher
as Headmaster on the ground that the managing committee was of
the opinion that he was the most suitable candidate.

A single Judge dismissed the petitioner`s plea against
which the present appeal was filed.

The minority institution was given the right to self
administration. "Administration does not mean
maladministration," the Judges said adding that the right to
administer the institution had been taken as an absolute right
even without framing service regulations.

The Bench quashed the DSE`s order. It declared that the
appellant was senior to Egbert Jelestin. It directed the
school to consider Devashanthini`s claim for promotion as
Assistant Headmistress or Headmistress in the next available
vacancy.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 23:38

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