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HC directs Shiroda school management over senior teacher’s promotion

Panaji: The High Court of Bombay at Goa has directed the management of Kamakshi High School, Shiroda-Ponda to issue orders to promote the petitioner Shubhangi Manerkar to the post of headmistress on regular basis forthwith.

It was the case of the petitioner Shubhangi Manerkar that she was appointed as a teacher at the Kamakshi High School on June 19, 1985. In the seniority list, finalised by the school on March 28, 2018, Shubhangi’s name appears at serial number 1, she being the senior most teacher, having completed 33 years of service as on the date of finalisation of the seniority list. For all these 33 years of service, there was no complaint of whatsoever as regards the conduct of Shubhangi in the matter of discharge of her duties as a teacher, however, being senior most teacher she was denied post of headmistress, on regular basis. On July 31, 2018, then incumbent headmaster P V Dessai retired and there was a regular vacancy to the post of headmaster at the school.

The High Court division bench, comprising Justice M S Sonak and Justice M S Jawalkar observed that “the school management, in the present case, not only issued charge memoranda against the petitioner Shubhangi after she was appointed as incharge headmistress, but further without even minimum compliance of the natural justice and fair play, removed her from the position as incharge headmistress and appointed respondent number 5, Prakash Naik to the position as headmaster.

“Obviously, such appointment creates no right in any party including, in particular, respondent number 5. Such an appointment, in any case, is ex facie illegal and deserves to be set aside. Now that the petitioner Shubhangi is directed to be promoted on regular basis to the post of headmistress, there is no question of respondent number 5 insisting upon continuing as incharge headmaster which was nothing, but some ad hoc arrangement, pending regular promotion.”

The High Court said that the school management to issue such orders latest within 7 days to take effect from the date of this judgement and order. In case the school management fails to issue such orders, then the Director of Education to issue such orders within a period of seven days thereafter.

Vithal Naik, counsel for the respondents-school management prayed for stay on the implementation of this order. The High Court said, “In the peculiar facts of this case, we do not deem it appropriate to stay our order at the behest of the school management. Accordingly, the prayer for stay is not granted.”

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