The Supreme Court has directed the Rajasthan government to reimburse within four weeks 70 per cent of the salary paid to teachers of a government-aided school that was shut in 2011. A bench of justices RF Nariman and B R Gavai closed the contempt proceedings against the state education department officials for non-compliance of its 2019 order directing reimbursement of 70 per cent of the salary to the teachers.
The bench noted that the trust running the school has since paid a sum of Rs 52.26 lakh according to the Sixth Pay Commission to the teachers of the institution and according to the order of the court, the state was to reimburse the institution with 70 per cent of this amount.
“Admittedly, the state has reimbursed the institution only to the extent of 70 per cent of Rs 10.41 lakh thereby leaving 70 per cent of the balance which is Rs 41.85 lakh. This state is to do within a period of four weeks. The contempt petitions stand closed. We have made this order in order to do complete justice between the parties,” it said.
Advocate Dushyant Parashar, appearing for petitioner trust ”Managing Committee Bishambhar Lal Maheshwari Education Foundation” told the court that the top court”s 2019 order is still not complied with by the state government.
He said that the September 30, 2019 order was passed by the top court while invoking its plenary power under Article 142 of the Constitution and state need to comply with it.
The bench noted its 2019 order and said that the state government has to comply with its direction within four weeks.
In May, the top court had issued notice to the state government education officials seeking their reply as to why contempt action be not initiated against them for non-compliance of its 2019 order, directing reimbursement of 70 per cent of the salary paid to teachers of a government-aided school which was shut in 2011.
It has been said that the state government officials have done absolutely nothing and sought their response on the contempt plea filed by the trust, which used to manage a school.
Parashar had earlier argued that even after the legal notice was served on the state government on September 9, 2020, no compliance of the direction in an order dated September 30, 2019, has been made by the state government.
He had contended that on March 12, another legal notice was issued to the state government for compliance with the 2019 order but they “willfully” and “deliberately disregarded”, “disobeyed” and did not comply with the order.
The top court had on September 30, 2019, passed the order while exercising its plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution and said, “We are of the view that the institution needs to be reimbursed to the extent of 70 per cent of the amount that has been paid out pursuant to our order dated May 10, 2016.”
It had directed the Rajasthan government to comply with its order within a period of 12 weeks from the date of the order. The top court had also taken on record an affidavit filed by the trust, which was directed to pay the entire salary of teachers employed in the school as per the sixth pay-commission as per the order passed on May 10, 2016 and then seek reimbursement from the state government.
It has also referred to another verdict passed in 2016 by the top court regarding teachers of the same school in which it had directed the school management to pay 30 per cent of their liability towards salary and further directed the government to pay the remaining 70 per cent of grant-in-aid to them.
The top court had also directed the state government to absorb the teachers of the same school, who were before the court, into the state services. On May 10, 2016, the top court had directed the trust to comply with the directions of the high court, with regards to payments to the teachers concerned, within six weeks of the order.
The trust, which was an aided institution as per provision of the Rajasthan Non-Government Education Institution Act of 1989, was receiving 70 percent of grant-in-aid from the state government.
The plea said that due to a substantial decrease in the strength of students as well as surmounting deficit, the managing committee of the school was forced to get the stoppage of grant-in-aid with effect from April 1, 2008, by the state government.
The teachers of the school then moved to the high court for a grant of selection scale with arrears, which directed the school management to pay the entire salary to them from April 1, 2008, till April 30, 2011. It gave liberty to the school management to claim reimbursement of grant-in-aid payable to them from the state government.