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In a judgement that could become a legal benchmark for minority-run educational institutes in India, the Gujarat High Court recently said that such institutes could not be subjected to the state government’s rule on superannuation of employees.

The court in its order said that employees of such educational institutes can serve beyond 60 years—the age of retirement fixed by the Gujarat government—provided they are mentally and physically fit, as certified by medical authorities.

The court instructed the state government that it must continue to bear the salaries of such employees if the concerned institute/school finds them good enough for students and the community at large. It observed that the government would be violating Article 30 (1) of the constitution if it played any role in the retirement of teaching and non-teaching staff at such institutes. All minority educational institutes are granted autonomy under the Article.

The court gave its ruling in a case wherein the Gujarat government had refused to pay salary to a principal of a minority school in Ahmedabad on the ground that he had reached superannuation. The school authorities wanted him to continue even after he had turned 60.

By India Legal Bureau

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