Principals are teaching staff too, rules Patna high court | Patna News

PATNA: The Patna high court has ruled that the principals are not non-teaching but teaching staff as per the definition of teacher in Bihar State Universities (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2012 and Patna University (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2012.
The high court has also ruled that all those principals who were forced to retire between 2012 and 2017 at the age of 62, be deemed to have continued on the posts of principal till they attained the age of 65 years and shall be entitled to all consequential benefits, including pay and emoluments as well as continuity in service.
A bench of Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, who delivered the judgement on October 8, has also directed that the recoveries made from certain persons by concerned authorities be returned forthwith.
Petitioner principals had to wait for at least four long years for the final judgement as the court, on April 2, 2018, had observed that arguments are concluded and listed matter under the heading ‘For Orders’ on April 9, 2018.
A battery of lawyers including senior counsels Jitendra Singh, PK Shahi, Mahesh Narayan Parbat with Harsh Singh, Abhinav Srivastava, Raushan, Namrata Mishra and several others had represented the petitioners in the case.
The order, which came in public domain on Sunday evening, brought major relief for more than 20 principals who were handed over superannuation when they attained the age of 62 years by May 18, 2017 instead of actual retirement age of 65 years.
The Bihar State Universities Act, 1976 was amended and the 2012 Act was brought into force in which the word principal was absent from the definition of teacher. The Act was deemed to have come into effect from October 5, 1991, the day when UGC Regulations 1991 came into force.
“Teacher means person holding the post of only University Professor/ Professor, Reader, and Lecturer and such sanctioned posts in the teacher’s grade on the basis of regulations issued by the U.G.C. from time to time,” the definition reads.
Amendments were made again and Bihar State University (Amendment) Act, 2017 was enacted and came in to force on May 18, 2017 with word ‘principal’ inserted once again for clarity. Same follow up changes were in Patna University (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2012 and then in Patna University (Amendment) Act, 2017.
Petitioners’ counsels had extensively argued that the amendments in 2012 were made in order to synchronise the Acts with UGC guidelines of 1991 and further amendment in 2017 was made for clarity. They had also submitted that state government nowhere had made any cabinet decision or had rolled out any other order declaring principals as non-teaching staff.
After inclusion of word principal in definition of teacher, education department authorities issued communication to university authorities those principals who had attained or exceeded 62 years age on May 18, 2017 would stand relieved assuming that they were non-teaching staffs from 2012 to 2017.
Following this, the affected principals moved high court in 2017 for setting aside of the education department order for superannuating principals at 62 years age assuming them to be non-teaching staffs.

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