Allahabad High Court: While allowing a writ petition and upholding the right of children to free and compulsory education between the age of six to fourteen which has been statutorily recognized in Section 3(1); of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and is also a fundamental right under Article 21-A of the Constitution, the division bench of D.Y. Chandrachud C.J. and P.K.S Baghel J. directed the State and the District Administration that it shall not requisition the services of the teachers in primary schools for carrying out the work of verification of card holding families on the basis of criteria for inclusion and exclusion under the National Food Security Act, 2013 which is without the authority of law. The Court further elaborated that burdening a teacher with duties, after school hours in carrying out ministerial duties such as verification of eligible families would only affect their ability and capacity to teach students.
The Counsel for the petitioner V.C. Srivastava, contended that under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, Section 27 specifically prohibits on deployment of teachers for non-educational purposes other than the decennial population census, disaster relief duties or duties relating to elections to the local authority, or to the State Legislatures or Parliament as the case may be, and on the other hand Counsel for the State A.K. Yadav has submitted that teachers are involved in the process on a clear understanding that they would participate as and when they are free from their duties at the schools.
The Court discussed the argument raised by the State that teachers are involved in the process after they are free from their school duties and held that teachers after the completion of the hours of work in a school is expected to spend time in preparing for the classes for the next day and to pursue his or her own process of enhancing knowledge to impart education to the children.
However, the Court has given liberty to State to make all appropriate arrangements including by recruiting contractual employees if it is so considered necessary for carrying out ministerial duties, such as verification of eligible families for the allotment of ration cards. Sunita Sharma v. State of U.P., 2015 SCC OnLine All 271, decided on 25.03.2015