Justice Pankaj Bhatia of Allahabad High Court took a serious view of the matter, where the Petitioners, who were working as Instructors, were paid even less than minimum wages which are prescribed for Class IV Post.
Seven persons filed a Wit Petition A No.6356 of 2020, claiming that in pusuance of the constitutional goal as enshrined under Article 21-A of the Constitution, the Central Government has framed “Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009”. Under the said Act, the State Government issued Government Order dated 31.01.2013 sanctioning 41307 posts of part-time instructors for imparting education i.e. Health Education,Art Education, Work Education and Physical Education.
In pursuance of the aforesaid Government Order an advertisement was issued inviting applications for appointment on the post of instructors. The petitioners being eligible applied appointment as instructorsfor and after facing selection were appointed in the said post.
It was further submitted that the aforesaid Government Order provided that the instructors shall be appointed for 11 months subject to renewal in every academic session. The petitioners claimed that their appointments were renewed from time to time and they continued without any break and were paid the honorarium up to May 2019.
However, the renewal of petitioners was denied on the ground that less than 100 students are in the Institution, as such there is no need for Instructors.
The Counsel for Petitioners submitted that the petitioners were paid a meagre honorarium of Rs.7,000/- per month, which was revised to Rs.17,000/- by the Central Government but despite that the petitioners were paid @ Rs.7,000/- per month upto May 2019.
Further, the appointment of the teachers @ Rs.7,000/- per month may be as per the terms of Constitution under Article 21A but it clearly violates the mandate of Article 23 which prohibited exploitation. The Counsel argued that Rs.7,000/- is enough for minimum standard prescribed even for labourers and as such, paying teachers Rs. 7000/-, who are qualified is nothing but exploitation by the State and violation of protection guranteed under Article 23.
The Court found a prima facie case and granted interim relief to the effect that the operation and effect of the order dated 27.02.2020 shall remain stayed and an interim mandamus has been issued directing that the petitioners shall be permitted to continue as instructors in terms of Government Order dated 31.01.2013 till the pendency of writ petition and shall be paid their honorarium in terms of the Government Order.
It is further observed that the question raised by the petitioners that the renewal of the services continuously for more than eight years and non- payment of minimum wages which are prescribed even for Class IV Post is exploitation by the State, shall be considered on the next date of hearing. Court has granted three weeks time to file Counter Affidavit and two weeks for Rejoinder.