The Times of India | TNN | Jan 9, 2017 | Pvt engg college staff gets SC relief |
Aurangabad: The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the judgment of the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court, directing a private engineering college management, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the state to ensure that teachers and non-teaching staff get pay according to the sixth pay commission recommendations. In 2012, the Supreme Court had stayed the high court verdict following an appeal by the Jawaharlal Nehru Engineering College (JNEC), a private engineering institute here, that argued that the government norms could not apply to the college as it was a private institution. The state had issued a government resolution on August 8, 2009, revising pay scales for teaching staff in government-aided engineering colleges and prescribing the date of revision effective from January 1, 2006. But, the managements running unaided engineering colleges, including the MGM Trust that runs the JNEC, were reluctant to implement the recommendations of the sixth pay commission.
Consequently, JNEC employees’ association president Ashok Pawar and secretary Murlidhar Sase approached the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court in 2012 through lawyer Sanjay Choukidar. They sought directions to all the concerned institutes, including the AICTE, the state and the Dr Bahasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (Bamu) to implement the sixth pay commission recommendations and pay salary and the arrears accordingly. The divisional bench comprising Justice N H Patil and Justice T V Nalawade had allowed the writ petition on February 10, 2012, directing the state, AICTE and the university to ensure that the college management – MGM Trust – “implements recommendations of the sixth pay commission for teaching and non-teaching staff with effect from January 1, 2006.” “The HC also directed that the aforesaid directions be implemented within three months from the date of judgment. Failure to do so will result in withdrawal of recognition granted to the JNEC,” Choukidar said.
Dissatisfied with the HC ruling, the MGM Trust filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, raising several issues, especially the issue that the government and statutory bodies could not encroach upon the autonomy available to them. Following this, the apex court in 2012 granted a stay to the high court judgment. The matter came up for hearing before the SC bench omprising Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre on January 5, which has dismissed the MGM Trust’s special leave petition. The court observed that the GR dated August 12, 2009 confers legal right on the teaching staff of affiliated colleges irrespective of whether they are aided or not. “We see no justification in excluding non-teaching employees of unaided educational institutions while extending the benefits of the revised pay scale to non-teaching staff of aided educational institutions. Such a classification, in our opinion, is clearly violating Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.” – Courtesy