The Bombay High Court has ruled that trained teachers should be given pension applicable to employees in their grade as it would be illegal and unjustified to give them pension of untrained teachers.
Accordingly, justices SJ Vajifdar and MS Sonak recently directed the civic body in Mumbai to pay pension to an assistant trained teacher, who retired from the same post after 27 years of service in a municipal school, on the basis of the pension applicable to a trained teacher.
Charumathi Kannappa Mudaliar, right from the date of her appointment and up to the date of her retirement, upto October 31, 2009, was paid salary and other benefits payable to an assistant trained teacher.
There is no dispute that the service conditions of Mudaliar entitled her to draw pension upon superannuation.
However, for a period of about two years, no pension was paid to her. Ultimately, pension payments commenced on the basis that she had superannuated as an assistant untrained teacher.
There is a difference in the pay scales of assistant trained teachers and assistant untrained ueachers. This difference naturally persists in the pensionary benefits as well.
After hearing the arguments, the court ruled that she is entitled to pension applicable to trained teachers and hence asked the municipal authorities to pay pension accordingly.
They have been asked to pay her the difference in the pension amounts of trained and untrained teachers and also pay interest of 12 per cent on these arrears by September 2015.
The impugned action was defended, saying Mudaliar's initial appointment as an assistant trained teacher was defective. The qualifications for appointment of assistant trained teacher was SSC/HSC with Diploma in Education (D.Ed), while she had B.A. and B.Ed (Physical Education and History) degrees.
Mudaliar's qualifications were not only valid in the relevant field, but were higher than requisite qualification. Despite the same, her initial appointment 27 years prior to the date of her superannuation was not only virtually annulled, but the respondents even sought recovery of the difference in pay between trained and untrained teachers.
They also resisted payment of pensionary benefits commensurate to the post of a trained teacher.