(Prayer: Writ Petition is filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records relating to the impugned proceedings issued by the fourth respondent Block Educational Officer in O.Mu.No.517/a2/2019 dated --.11.2019, quash the same and further direct the respondents herein to sanction forthwith the annual increments and other allowances towards the salary of petitioner as Secondary Grade Teacher in the fifth respondent School from the date of here appointment i.e., 03.01.2011.)
The prayer sought for herein is for a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records relating to the impugned proceedings issued by the fourth respondent Block Educational Officer in O.Mu.No. 517/a2/2019 dated --.11.2019, quash the same and further, to direct the respondents herein to sanction forthwith the annual increments and other allowances towards the salary of petitioner as Secondary Grade Teacher in the fifth respondent School from the date of her appointment i.e., 03.01.2011.
2. The short facts leading to filing of this writ petition are that, the petitioner was appointed at the fifth respondent School as Secondary Grade Teacher on 03.01.2011. On such appointment, the School had sent a proposal for approval of such appointment and on considering the said proposal, the third respondent vide proceedings in Ni.Mu.No. 3681/A4/2011, dated 28.06.2011 has given approval to such appointment and in order to appreciate the said approval order, the relevant portion of the said order is usefully extracted hereunder:
3. By the said approval order, dated 28.06.2011, the third respondent approved the appointment of the petitioner as Secondary Grade Teacher at the fifth respondent School from the date of appointment i.e., on 03.01.2011. Thereafter, the petitioner has been continuously working in that School.
4. However, the present grievance of the petitioner is that,the petitioner even though has been working in the approved post from 03.01.2011, he has not been given the annual increment, for which, she is entitled. When such request was made to the respondent to grant the annual increment of pay to the petitioner, the same has now been rejected through the impugned order, dated 29.11.2019, by the fourth respondent in a short/cryptic order, which reads thus:
Challenging the said order, the present writ petition has been filed.
5. Ms.A.Amala, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has brought to the notice of this Court that, the one and only reason cited in the impugned order for denying such annual increment to the petitioner is that, the petitioner has not completed the 'Teacher Eligibility Test' (for brevity 'TET') qualification and without TET qualification since the petitioner was appointed and she was approved, in order to give the annual increment, is there any Government order was issued in that effect, that should be produced.
6. In this context, the learned counsel would further submit that, the very reason cited in the impugned order does not hold good, because the TET qualification itself was prescribed by the National Council for Teacher Education (for brevity NCTE) originally on 23.08.2010 and subsequently, by amendment, as per NCTE (Determination of Minimum Qualifications for Recruitment of Teachers in Schools) Amendment Regulations 2011, by way of notification, dated 27.09.2011. Therefore, from that date only the said qualification of TET prescribed by NCTE has become a mandatory one. In other words, the Teachers, who are appointed on or after 27.09.2011 should have the qualification of TET, without which, their appointment cannot be approved and they will not be entitled to get service benefits. However, according to the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, the petitioner admittedly was appointed on 03.01.2011 and the same having been approved by the third respondent vide his proceedings dated 28.06.2011, such appointment obviously is prior to the cut-off date i.e., 27.09.2011. Therefore, the said reason of having the qualification of TET as prescribed by the NCTE insofar as the petitioner is concerned, may not be applicable and therefore, citing the said reason since the impugned order has been passed, it cannot be sustained. Hence, the learned counsel seeks indulgence of this Court.
7. I have heard Mr.N.Shanmugaselvam, learned Additional Government Pleader appearing for the official respondents, who would submit that, the TET have become the necessary and mandatory qualification for every Teacher to be appointed both in Government as well as the Government Aided Schools and without such qualification, no appointment of Teacher can be made and if at all, any appointment is already made, those Teachers have been given time to complete the TET qualification and without having qualified with the TET qualification, the petitioner cannot seek for any additional service benefits like the annual increment. Therefore, it has rightly been rejected by the fourth respondent through the impugned order. Therefore, the said order may not be interfered with by this Court.
8. I have considered the said submissions made by the learned counsel appearing for the parties and perused the materials placed before this Court.
9. The only controversy which arises in this writ petition is, whether the reason cited in the impugned order that, the petitioner should have qualified with TET qualification, even though she was appointed on 03.01.2011 and from that date, her appointment has also been approved by the 3rd respondent, for getting the benefit like the annual increment, is hold good or not.
10. In this context, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has relied upon a decision of the learned Judge of this Court, exactly on the same point, made in a batch of writ petitions in W.P(MD).Nos.5626 to 5630 of 2017 etc., dated 08.03.2019 in the matter of M.Maharani Vs. State of Tamil Nadu rep., by its Secretary, Department of School Education and others. In the said order, the learned counsel for the petitioner relied upon para No.10, which reads thus.
“10. However, there is no cut off date specified in the said G.O.Ms.No.181, with regard to acquiring the qualification of pass TET to continue in service as B.T.Assistants/Secondary Grade Teachers, who are working as such in the respondent Schools. In this regard, a cursory glance at Clause (5) of the notification dated 23.08.2010 and its amended notification dated 29.07.2011 issued by the NCTE, the contents of which are reproduced at paragraph Nos.8.2 and 8.4 above, would reveal that if the http://www.judis.nic.in process of appointment of teachers was initiated prior to the date of notification by issuing advertisement, such appointments have to be made in accordance with NCTE (Determination of Minimum Qualifications for Recruitment of Teachers in Schools) Regulations 2001, there is no qualification prescribed with regard to possession of TET certificate, for appointment to the post of B.T.Assistant and Secondary Grade Teachers. The qualification of passing TET was first introduced by the notification dated 23.08.2010 and it was amended vide notification dated 27.09.2011 and the teachers, who were appointed prior to that date need not pass TET and even in the case of the teachers who were appointed after that date, if the advertisement to initiate the process of appointment of teachers was made prior to that date, then, their appointments also can be in accordance with the NCTE Regulations 2001 and they need not acquire the TET qualification.“
11. From the reading of the said judgment, it has become clear that the NCTE prescribed the qualification of TET originally from 23.08.2010 and subsequently from 27.09.2011 by way of notification. Therefore, the actual date, on which, the said qualification become mandatory is 27.09.2011. Therefore, those teachers, who were appointed prior to 27.09.2011 cannot be put against the said prescription of the NCTE and this has been exactly decided by the learned Judge in the said judgement, referred to above.
12. In the case of the petitioner, she was appointed on 03.01.2011 in the sanctioned vacancy as Secondary Grade Teacher at the fifth respondent School and the said appointment, having been considered, was approved by the third respondent vide his proceedings, dated 28.06.2011, where it has been specifically stated that, the petitioner was appointed on 03.01.2011 and approval is also given from 03.01.2011.
13. Therefore, it has become quite clear that, the appointment of the petitioner as on 03.01.2011 having been approved by the third respondent through the said approval order, the applicability of the prescription made by NCTE to have such qualification, insofar as the petitioner is concerned, cannot be made or applied. Therefore, the said reason cited in the impugned order by the fourth respondent, in the considered opinion of this Court, may not hold good. Therefore, on that reason, the petitioner's service benefit like annual increment cannot be denied.
14. Moreover, once the appointment is approved by the authority and the same still holds good, the petitioner has been brought under regular time scale of pay. When that being the position, the annual increment is part and parcel of the time scale of pay system being adopted for permanent employees/Teachers of the Government is concerned and when such is the position, the fourth respondent cannot insist upon any Government Order, which cannot be created by the petitioner.
15. More over, if at all, any such request is made by the petitioner for annual increment, that should have been decided by the respondents by taking into account the relevant Rule position, Service Law and the Government order, if any available with the respondent, instead, off late, it has become a practice that some of the officials/authorities would raise a question stating that, in order to get the benefit sought for by the employees/Teacher/incumbent, whether any Government order is available in their favour.
16. Whether any Government order is available in their favour or not, whether they are entitled to have such a benefit or not, can be decided only by the authority and not by the
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person, who seeks it. Therefore, that kind of questions being raised by the authorities would show that they abdicate their responsibility on the very employee or Teacher concerned, which kind of practice cannot be approved by this Court. 17. Therefore, this Court is of the considered view that, the reason cited in the impugned order cannot be sustained in the eye of law. Hence, it is liable to be interfered with. 18. In the result, the impugned order is quashed and the respondents are directed to reconsider the request of the petitioner with regard to her plea for grant of annual increment as her appointment dated 03.01.2011 having been approved by the third respondent vide his proceedings dated 28.06.2011, this Court feels that, there can be no further impediment for the petitioner to get such benefits. Therefore, suitable order to that effect shall be passed by the official respondents within a period of eight (8) weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. 19. With these directions, the Writ Petition is ordered accordingly. No costs. Consequently, connected Miscellaneous Petitions are closed.