Amendments in relevant Rules, insofar as they prescribe absorption of Shiksha Mitras as Assistant Teachers, held ultra vires

Allahabad High Court- Deciding on writ petitions wherein relief was sought to set aside two notifications issued by the Government of Uttar Pradesh as a result of which Rule 16-A was introduced in Uttar Pradesh Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011 to reserve to the State Government the power to relax the minimum qualifications prescribed for the appointment of assistant teachers in junior basic schools in the case of shiksha mitras for the purpose of their appointment in regular service and also absorption of shiksha mitras working in junior basic schools, the bench of D.Y Chandrachud CJ, Dilip Gupta and Yashwant Varma JJ held held Rule 16-A to be ultra vires the rule-making authority of the State Government since the power to grant a relaxation from the minimum qualifications is vested exclusively in the Central Government. It was further observed by the Court that State Government has acted in a manner which is arbitrary and ultra vires the governing central legislation and in breach of the restraint on the limits of its own statutory powers in assuming to itself to relax the minimum qualification and thereafter diluting the minimum qualifications in the case of shiksha mitras.

In the instant case, Additional Advocate General submitted that shiksha mitras were appointed in pursuance of a scheme implemented by the State Government and hence their appointments cannot be regarded as a backdoor entry. The Court disapproved the submission and stated that the absorption of Shiksha Mitras as Assistant Teachers in the regular service of the State cannot be justified as they were at all material times appointed as and continued to be engaged as contractual appointees and their appointments were not against sanctioned posts. The Court further accepted the contention of the petitioners that the grant of regularisation is fundamentally violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution as qualified candidates fulfilling the NCTE norms are being denied the equality of opportunity to seek appointment as Assistant Teachers.

The Court, hence, quashed and set aside all consequential executive orders of the State Government providing for the absorption of Shiksha Mitras into the regular service of the State as Assistant Teachers. Anand Kumar Yadav v. Union of India,  decided on 12.09.2015

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