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Allahabad HC rebukes UP govt for stepmotherly treatment to Sanskrit

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The Allahabad High Court has pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government on the recruitment of Sanskrit teachers in schools, stating that the state government cannot treat Sanskrit, one of the oldest languages of Indian civilization, as a stepmother.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal passed this order on January 7, while hearing a petition filed by one Badri Nath Tripathi, challenging his removal from the District Institute for Education and Training (DIET), Bansi, Siddharth Nagar, where he was teaching as Guest Lecturer.

According to the instant Writ Petition, Tripathi was teaching Sanskrit in DIET, Bansi from 2012. Since there was no post of lecturer of Sanskrit in the institute, the petitioner was appointed on a contractual basis.

The plea said the Director of DIET, on July 14, 2021, wrote to various institutions situated at Mainpuri, Bijnore, Saharanpur, Hardoi, Lakhimpur Khiri, Chandauli, Sonbhadra, Maharajganj, Deoria, Kushinagar, Chittrakoot and Siddhartha Nagar, regarding appointment of 1230 teachers for various subjects.

However, there was no mention of appointment on the post of lecturer for Sanskrit. A further direction was issued that teachers appointed on contractual basis for subjects where regular appointments were being made, be removed.

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On February 11, 2021, an order was passed by the Deputy Director/Principal of the institute, removing the petitioner from his service.

The Counsel for the petitioner said that when the Sanskrit subject was being taught in the institute, the petitioner ought to have been continued on contractual basis till such time as there was a post created and a regular selection made.

The court said it founds this strange that when the subject of Sanskrit was being taught in the institution, then why a post for Sanskrit Teacher was not being created.

Stranger still was the fact that when a person on contractual basis was being made to teach in the institution, then why he was not being allowed to continue on a contractual basis.

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The High Court ordered the Standing Counsel to reply within a week, as to:

I. Why no post of lecturer (Sanskrit) has been created in DIET, Bansi, Siddharth Nagar, and why the petitioner was not being allowed to continue on a contractual basis.

II. When there was no regular selection made on the post of lecturer in Sanskrit then why as per the letter of the Director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, the teacher who was teaching on contractual basis in the subject of Sanskrit was being removed.

III. Why there was no post for Sanskrit Lecturer in the Rules of 2013.

The Court said that if by the next date, no substantive instructions were produced, the Court would consider passing an interim order.

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The Court said it was amazed by the action of the State Educational Authorities as to the justification for not creating the post of Lecturer (Sanskrit).

The Court said despite there being no sanctioned post of Lecturer, the State Authorities were inducting/appointing lecturers for teaching Sanskrit in various institutions on contractual basis, but no reason has been assigned by the State Authorities as to why step-motherly treatment has been given to the language ‘Sanskrit’ in the State of UP.

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It said the stand taken by the State in its instructions that a Lecturer appointed to teach ‘Hindi’ can also teach ‘Sanskrit,’ does not appeal to the Court as Sanskrit is a specialized subject and the state should include the same in its list and make proper appointment after creating and sanctioning the post.

The Court observed that the State cannot give such step motherly treatment to language Sanskrit, which is one of the oldest languages of Indian civilization and appointing teachers only on contractual basis and when the regular appointments are made, such contractual appointments are made to suffer at the whims and fancy of the State Educational Authorities, who are entrusted to take decision for the welfare of the State and protecting language.

“Looking at the gravity of the matter, the State is directed to come up with an affidavit of respondents within three weeks from today. Till the next date of listing, the petitioner shall continue as Guest Lecturer on contractual basis,”

-the court ordered.

The Court fixed the next hearing of petition on February 21.

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