State to pay Teachers’ arrears of salary

Supreme Court: In an appeal against Allahabad High Court’s decision wherein the appellant-teachers’ appeal against non-payment of their salaries was dismissed, the Division Bench of J.K. Maheshwari and K.V. Viswanathan*, JJ. directed the State to pay the appellant teachers their unpaid salaries.


The Director of Education (Basic) sanctioned two additional posts of Assistant Teacher in the School. The District Basic Education Officer by his letter of 20-11-1998 gave permission to issue an advertisement for the appointment of three posts of Assistant Teachers. The three appellant teachers were selected for the post. They were appointed on 25-06-1999 and were working continuously, however, from October 2005, their salaries were stopped from being disbursed. The appellant teachers filed a Writ Petitions in the High Court, seeking a writ of mandamus to direct the respondents to pay the arrears of salary from July, 1999 to January, 2002 and continue to pay salary from October, 2005. The appellant-teachers’ case was that from the date of appointment till January 2002, their salaries were not released.

The District Basic Education Officer’s case was that only two additional posts of Assistant Teacher were created by the Joint Director of Education and that the management in collusion with the appellant-teachers had manipulated to show that three posts of Assistant Teacher were sanctioned.

The Single Judge held that since forgery was committed by the appellant-teachers involved in the selection of Assistant Teachers and since the selection process was not fair, the candidates who were selected in the selection process are not entitled to be appointed and retained on the post of Assistant Teacher. The appeal against the Single Judge’s decision was dismissed by the Division Bench, forming the impugned orders.


Was the State justified in abruptly and without anything more, stopping the salary of the teachers?

The Court referred to the findings of the inquiry report initiated pursuant to the directions of the High Court in the writ petitions, wherein, it was concluded that the District Basic Education Officer, Jaunpur and his office, in collusion with the Manager of the School, had taken steps for appointment/approval and that there was involvement of the Principal, Manager and other officials of the District Basic Education Officer, Jaunpur. It was also found that the Manager of the School had fraudulently changed the number of posts from two to three.

The Court noted that there was not an iota of material or any mention against the appellant-teachers, who were applicants from the open market, in any way responsible for the forgery. The Court also noted that in the departmental inquiry, the appellant-teachers were not given any opportunity of representation and said that in the inquiry held behind their backs, there were no findings of collusion or blameworthiness against them for the alleged manipulation.

The Court also noted that the appointment order dated 25-06-1999 and the approval order of 09-06-1999 were not revoked, but their salaries were stopped, and they were prevented from signing on the regular attendance register, admittedly from October, 2005.

On perusal of the FIR against the School Manager, the Court noted that there were no allegations against the appellant- teachers. Therefore, the Court held that the stopping the Salary of the appellant-teachers was not justified, keeping in view that no allegations or proof of commission of any malpractice by the appellant teachers was found or established.

The Court referred to Chief Engineer, M.S.E.B. v. Suresh Raghunath Bhokare, (2005) 10 SCC 465, a case on the similar lines, wherein it was observed that in the absence of any overt act being attributed to the respondent, it could not be inferred that the respondent had a role in sending fraudulent list, solely on the basis of the presumption that he got the job.

Therefore, the Court said that the present appellant teachers had no blameworthy conduct, they were bonafide candidates from the open market and the alleged mischief or fraud was at the end of the School and its manager. The Court stated that it would be travesty of justice if relief is denied to the appellant teachers.

Thus, the Court set aside the impugned Judgments of the High Court and directed the State to pay the salaries of the appellant teachers from 25-06-1999 till January, 2002 in full and for the period from October, 2005 till the date of Judgment, the State shall pay the 50 percent of the backwages. The Court had also directed that all the consequential benefits, including seniority, notional promotion, if any, and fitment of salary and other service benefits due, be granted to the appellant teachers.

[Radhey Shyam Yadav v. State of U.P., 2024 SCC OnLine SC 10, Decided on 03-01-2024]

*Judgment Authored by: Justice KV Viswanathan

Advocates who appeared in this case:

For the Appellants: AOR Surender Kumar Gupta, Advocate Chitvan Singhal, Advocate Muskan Gupta

For Respondents: Advocate Dhawal Uniyal, Advocate Naresh Kumar, AOR Krishnanand Pandeya, Advocate Sansriti Pathak, Advocate Dhawal Unyal

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