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S.AROCKIAM versus THE DISTRICT ELEMENTARY EDUCATIONAL OFFICER

High Court of Madras

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S.Arockiam v. The District Elementary Educational Officer - W.P.(MD)No.836 of 2007 [2007] RD-TN 2036 (21 June 2007)

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED: 21/06/2007

CORAM:

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE K.CHANDRU

W.P.(MD)No.836 of 2007

M.P.Nos.1&2 of 2007

S.Arockiam ... Petitioner

Vs.

1.The District Elementary Educational Officer,

Ramanathapuram, Ramanathapuram District.

2.Assistant Elementary Educational Officer,

Paramakudi, Paramakudi Union,

Ramanathapuram District.

3.Correspondent,

R.C.Middle School,

Melakavanoor, Paramakudi Taluk,

Ramanathapuram District.

4.Rev.Fr.Arul J.Prakasam,

Correspondent, R.C.Middle School,

Melakavanoor, Paramakudi Taluk,

Ramanathapuram District. ... Respondents PRAYER

Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying for the issue of a Writ of Certiorari, to call for records pertaining to the order passed by the third respondent in his proceedings No.Nil, dated 05.12.2006 and quash the same.

For Petitioner ... Mr.T.Sellapandian

For Mr.S.Mani

For Respondents1&2 ... Mrs.V.Chellammal

Special Government Pleader For Respondents3&4 ... Mr.Isaac Mohanlal

:O R D E R



The petitioner was working as a Secondary Grade Teacher in the third respondent school. He had also worked as a part time clerk in the Alankaramadha Teachers' Co-operative Thrift & Credit Society, Paramakudi.

2. Certain charges were framed against the petitioner dated 05.12.2006, which is impugned in the present Writ Petition. He was also placed under suspension pending enquiry into charges. His attempt to challenge the charge memo was not successful, since the Writ Petition No.7376 of 2006 filed by the petitioner was dismissed by this Court as early as on 17.11.2006. Now he is at his turn to challenge the charge memo on certain grounds.

3. Mr.T.Sellapandian, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has submitted that the charge memo is vitiated on the following three grounds.:- a.The Correspondent has mala fide framed charges, even though there is a complicity on him in all these transactions.

b. The charges framed against the petitioner will not come under the Code of Conduct of Rule 16(1) of the Tamil Nadu Recognized Private Schools, (Regulation) Rules, 1974. Since the petitioner has not committed any misconduct or violated any Code of Conduct, the question of taking any disciplinary action against the petitioner does not arise, in view of Section 21 of the said Act. c. The first and second charges are the subject matter of the criminal case in which FIR is pending before the Sub-Inspector of Crime Branch, Paramakudi. If the petitioner's defence is disclosed in the enquiry, he cannot get a fair trial before the Criminal Court.

4. The petitioner was working in an aided Primary School. The said school is run by a Minority Management, which has the protection under Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India. The right to administer the Minority school is with the Management and in exercise of its power, if action is taken, the rights of the teachers, who are working under the said school, can be traceable only to the provisions of the School Act. Whether the authority or the Correspondent allegedly has a complicity in the case or not and against whom the complaint is given, is for the authorities who are investigating the case to take note of. Even after that, the Criminal Court has still power to decide the issue summons/warrant against the persons who have complicity such as offence. At this stage, the Court cannot go into the said issue.

5. The second submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the Code of Conduct is not violated has to be rejected. In the present case, charges framed against the petitioner are so serious i.e., using the protection of the school and while discharging his functions in a Co-operative Society run for the benefit of the teachers, false certificates have been produced or fabricated and that loans have been taken on that basis. Further allegation was that no such teachers in whose names loans were taken are working in the said R.C., School. It is needless to state that it is a serious misconduct. To take umbrage under the Code of Conduct by stating that the petitioner has not committed any misconduct in terms of the Code of Conduct is certainly not available to the petitioner. If the petitioner's argument is logically accepted, then even if he has committed any murder or any other felony, then the school cannot take action in respect of such conduct, as it has not been codified in Annexure-II. Even such an argument has no basis because under Paragraph 1 of the Code of Conduct, it is clearly stated that a teacher employed in a Private School shall discharge his duties efficiently and diligently and conform to the Rules and Regulations. The Rules and Regulations mentioned therein relates all the laws of this Country which has a bearing on the teachers. Therefore, the petitioner cannot take the plea that there is only for a specific misconduct listed under the Code alone, action can be taken against him.

6. The third argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that since a criminal case is pending, the first and second charges cannot be gone into at this stage. As rightly contented by the learned counsel for the respondents that in the memo itself, a footnote has been appended stating that since the enquiry held by the Co-operative Department is still pending, the management is not taking any action temporarily and proceedings will be taken later in respect of those charges. Even in the light of the said guarantee, the learned counsel for the petitioner argues that the subject matter of the criminal case and the domestic enquiry are same. Therefore, the Court can stay further proceedings atleast in respect of those two charges. This Court can examine whether the charges of domestic enquiry and the criminal case are the same, only when a final report is filed by the Investigation Officer and at the FIR stage, the Court cannot determine the possible deprivation of the Constitutional rights of the petitioner.

7. In view of the above, this Writ Petition is misconceived and hence, the same is dismissed. Consequently the connected M.P.No.1 of 2007 and the Vacate Stay petition No.2 of 2007 are also dismissed. No costs. To

1.The District Elementary Educational Officer,

Ramanathapuram, Ramanathapuram District.

2.Assistant Elementary Educational Officer,

Paramakudi, Paramakudi Union,

Ramanathapuram District.




Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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