Eligibility test a must for teachers in unaided, minority schools, says Bombay high court
Court upholds government resolution’s prerequisite, says it does not affect the rights of minority institutions to appoint staff of their choicemumbai Updated: Dec 18, 2017 12:25 IST
Private, unaided minority educational institutions cannot appoint anyone who has not cleared the Teachers Eligibility Test, conducted by the Maharashtra government, as a teacher. The Bombay high court held, last week, that the government resolution of August 2013, prescribing the test as a prerequisite for the appointment of teachers, was applicable to these institutes as well.
The government resolution does not affect the rights of minority institutions to appoint staff of their own choice, the division bench of Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice BP Colabawalla said, while rejecting a petition filed by Azad Education Society from Miraj in Solapur district.
The society had approached the high court challenging the government resolution on the grounds that it affected the fundamental right of private, unaided minority educational institutes, which is guaranteed under Article 30 of the Indian Constitution.
Senior advocate Atul Damle, who represented the petitioner, argued that the resolution violated Article 30 as it infringed on the rights of minority institutions to run the institute according to their own choice.
Damle also pointed out that the government resolution had been issued under provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, but as held by the Supreme Court time and again, the 2009 Act is not applicable to unaided, minority educational institutions.
His arguments, however, failed to impress the bench. The government resolution only states that there has to be an eligibility test for those applying for the teacher’s post, it said. “It appears that the said has been done so that there should be uniformity in the eligibility towards the state for making teachers eligible to be appointed,” the bench said.
The bench dismissed the petition, quoting the apex court’s observations that “the state cannot interfere with the rights of minority institutions to administer the institutions, however the state would always be empowered to provide minimum eligibility either with regard to the qualifications of the staff or the eligibility of students being admitting to various courses.”