Delhi High Courts’s order striking down the S. 8(2) of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 held bad in law

Supreme Court: Upholding the validity of Section 8(2) of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 the Court held the said provision is a procedural safeguard in favor of an employee to ensure that an order of termination or dismissal is not passed without the prior approval of the Director of Education in order to avoid arbitrary or unreasonable termination orc dismissal of an employee of a recognized private school.

The bench of V. Gopala Gowda and Amitava Roy, JJ held that the Delhi High Court’ decision of striking down the said provision in Kathuria Public School v. Director of Education, 113(2004) DLT 703 (DB) is erroneous as wrong reliance was place on TMA PAI Foundation v. State of Karnataka, (2002)8 SCC 481, by the division bench as the subject matter in controversy therein was not the security of tenure of the employees of a school, rather, the question was the right of educational institutions to function unfettered. It was further said that while the functioning of both aided and unaided educational institutions must be free from unnecessary governmental interference, the same needs to be reconciled with the conditions of employment of the employees of these institutions and provision of adequate precautions to safeguard their interests. Section 8(2) of the DSE Act is one such precautionary safeguard which needs to be followed to ensure that employees of educational institutions do not suffer unfair treatment at the hands of the management.

In the case where the matter related to retrenchment of a driver, the Court held that the respondent-Managing Committee in the instant case, did not obtain prior approval of the order of termination passed against the appellant from the Director of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi as required under Section 8(2) of the DSE Act hence, the termination order passed against the appellant is thus, bad in law. [Raj Kumar v. Director of Education, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 317, decided on 12.04.2016]

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