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Disciplinary action against teachers

Disciplinary action against teachers Disciplinary action against teachers

The appointment of teachers of the university and the teachers of the affiliated or associated colleges is done by the Executive Council or the Management of the affiliated or associated college, as the case may be, on the recommendations of the Selection Committee.

The manner of selection has been laid down in the U.P. State Universities Act 1973.  The Act also provides in the proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 31 that the termination of services of a teacher cannot be passed except after notice to the teacher concerned, giving him an opportunity of explanation in respect of the grounds on which his services are proposed to be terminated.  This applied during the probation or extended probation also.

Sub-section (2) of Section 35 of the Act 1973 provides that every decision of the management of an affiliated or an associated college to dismiss or remove a teacher or to reduce him in rank or to punish him in any other manner, shall, before it is communicated to him, be reported to the Vice Chancellor and shall not take effect unless it has been approved by the Vice Chancellor. 

Sub-section (3) of section 35 provides that the provisions of sub-section (2) shall also apply to any decision to terminate the services of a teacher, whether by way of punishment or otherwise, but shall not apply to any termination of service on the expiry of the period for which the teacher was appointed.  The proviso to the sub-section (3) is in respect of minority institutions.  It says that the decision of the management dismissing, removing or reducing in rank or punishing in any other manner any teacher shall not require the approval of the Vice Chancellor, but, shall be reported to him and unless he is satisfied that the procedure prescribed in this behalf has been followed, the decision shall not be given effect to.

Sub-section (4) provides that nothing in sub-section (2) will be deemed to apply to an order of suspension pending enquiry, but any such order may be stayed, revoked or modified by the Vice Chancellor.

Similar provision exists for teachers employed in Intermediate Schools/Colleges.  Intermediate Education Act 1921 governs the entire procedure for recruitment and termination, besides other conditions of service of teachers employed in a recognized intermediate college, higher secondary school or high school and includes a part of an institution.  Section 16-G provides that every person employed in a recognised institution shall be governed by such conditions of service as may be prescribed by Regulations and any agreement between the management and such employee in so far as it is inconsistent with the provisions of this Act or with the Regulations shall be void.

Chapter III of the Regulations under the Intermediate Education Act 1921 governs the conditions of service of the Principal and other teachers.  Section 16-G of the Act lays down the conditions of service of the Principals and teachers.  Regulations 24 and 25 are with regard to teachers appointed on fixed term and on temporary basis.  Regulation 26 is with regard to permanent employees.  Regulation 31 is with regard to punishment, enquiry and suspension of the employees.  Regulation 32 defines the misconduct which may warrant dismissal from services as punishment.  Before awarding punishment, the disciplinary procedure, including a domestic enquiry is laid down.  The report of the enquiry officer and recommendations after being produced by the Managing Committee, will have to be referred to the Director or Divisional Director for their approval of the proposed punishment.

Therefore, it is seen that the management of affiliated educational institutions from primary stage to the degree stage, are not independent enough to award punishment to the guilty teachers, but their actions are always subject to approval from the Directors, Divisional Directors or Vice Chancellors.  It is well known that the entire system is infested with corruption.  The guilty teachers, in most cases, manage to stall the approval and thereby continue to serve in the institution.  This adversely affects not only the management, but the students also who are deprived of being educated in a disciplined institution by honest and disciplined teachers.  The parties who are empowered to grant approval are not judicial authorities.  They are not able to examine the documents of a domestic enquiry or misconducts in a judicial manner.

It is suggested that the system of seeking mandatory approval for proposed punishments should be done away with.  An independent judicial body should be constituted for teachers of all categories.  Like the employees in industries and in government seek redressal against their wrongful termination in Labour Courts, Industrial Tribunals or Administrative Tribunals etc, such a tribunal should be there, especially for teaching staff in all the institutions.

The Government of Maharashtra legislated an enactment in the year 1977 called the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act 1977.  The preamble of the Act says that it is being legislated to regulate recruitment and conditions of service of employees in certain private schools with a view to providing such employees security and stability of service to enable them to discharge their duties toward the pupils and their guardians in particular and the institution and the society in general, effectively and efficiently

As per Section 3 of the Act, the Act applies to all private schools in the state of Maharashtra whether receiving any grant in aid from the state government or not.  Sub-section (2) of section 4 provides that every employee of a private school shall be governed by such Code of Conduct as may be prescribed.  On the violation of any provision of such Code of Conduct, the employee shall be liable to disciplinary action after conducting an enquiry in such manner as may be prescribed.  Section 8 provides for constitution of one or more Tribunals called the ‘School Tribunals.’  Section 9 provides that notwithstanding anything contained in any law or contract for the time being in force, any employee in a private school, who is dismissed or removed or whose services are otherwise terminated or who is reduced in rank by the order passed by the management or who is superseded by the management while making an appointment to any post by promotion and who is aggrieved, shall have a right of appeal and may appeal against any such order or suppression to the Tribunal constituted u/s 8.

Based on the same lines, a special Tribunal for schools should also be constituted in the state of U.P. also to which the employees in private schools may approach against the order of punishment and which the management has to provide, in accordance with the code of conduct and the principles of natural justice.  The interference of the government officers or Vice Chancellor should be totally removed and be handover to judicial forums.

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Mukesh Saxena

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