‘Be a guru, not a goonda’
Observing that a teacher has to be a role model for the society, the Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a Kendriya Vidyalaya teacher who slapped his principal seriously injuring his right eye.
“A person who physically assaults the principal of an institution is, in our opinion, not fit to be a teacher. He is more like a goonda,” a bench of Justices HK Sema and Markandey Katju said while upholding the dismissal of the teacher, Satbir Singh Mahla.
“A teacher has to be a role model in the society. He is a guru who sets an example for the students,” the bench emphasised while delivering the verdict on Saturday.
Mahla, a Maths teacher at the Kendriya Vidyalaya No 1 in Suratgarh district, Rajasthan, had physically assaulted the principal of his school, RD Shah, in his office room on February 23, 1999 causing injury on his right eye. The very next day, Mahla, however, submitted a written apology.
The school administration instituted an inquiry and filed a chargesheet against Mahla. The inquiry held him guilty and accordingly, he was removed from the service with effect from May 1, 2000.
Mahla filed an appeal against the removal order passed by the disciplinary authority but the appellate authority dismissed it.
The teacher then challenged it before the Central Administrative Tribunal (Jaipur) which observed that his misconduct was an act committed under “mental tension” for which he had already submitted a written apology.
The school authorities went to the High Court that maintained the tribunal’s order.
However, the apex court set aside the judgment of the High Court as well as the tribunal and restored the removal order.