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Allahabad High Court quashes madrasa board order cancelling appointment of principal

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The Allahabad High Court has recently quashed the order passed by Special Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Sashan, Lucknow and Registrar / Inspector U.P Education Madrasa Education Board Lucknow.

A single bench of Justice Siddharth passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Basharat Ullah. The Court observed that it is deplorable that the representative of the public compel the public servant to pass illegal orders and the public servant comply with their illegal dictates without any demur.

The writ petition was filed praying for quashing of the order dated 08.09.2021 passed by Special Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Sashan, Lucknow and also the order dated 06.12.2021 passed by Registrar / Inspector UP Education Madrasa Education Board Lucknow.

Further prayer has been made to direct the respondents to not disturb peaceful functioning of the petitioner as principal and pay his arrears of salary and month to month salary as and when due.

As per the petition, Madrasa Darul Uloom Ahle Sunnat Badrool Uloom functions in District Basti under the grant-in-aid list of the State Government. The petitioner was appointed on the substantive vacancy created on the post of Principal on account of superannuation of the earlier incumbent on 01.04.2019. Earlier he was Assistant Teacher in Alia in Darul Uloom Ahle Sunnat, Anwarul Raza Gaura Chowki, Post Babhanjeet, District Gonda from 29.09.2011 to 29.01.2016.

On the basis of aforesaid experience, he applied for the post of principal in the madrasa. After following due procedure, he was selected and an appointment letter was issued in his favour. The petitioner joined his duties on 01.10.2019 and on 05.10.2019, the management committee forwarded the papers for grant of approval to his appointment. Complaint was made against appointment of the petitioner and the State Government directed inquiry into the allegations which led to passing of the order dated 23.07.2020 by the Registrar / Inspector U.P. Education Madrasa Education Board Lucknow. The District Minority Welfare Officer, Basti verified the experience of the petitioner as Assistant Teacher from District Minority Welfare Officer, Gonda and certified the same.

A local MLA sent a letter to the Chief Minister alleging that the conditional order of approval of appointment of the petitioner dated 23.07.2020 is against rules and should be cancelled.

On the letter of the MLA, an order dated 08.09.2021 was passed by the Special Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Shashan, Lucknow and by the order dated 06.12.2021 the aforesaid order was given effect by the Registrar / Inspector U.P Education Madrasa Education Board Lucknow.

A Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner has submitted that both the orders are grossly illegal and have been passed by the State Government without any notice or opportunity of hearing. The approved appointment of the petitioner could not have been cancelled without holding an inquiry and proving the allegations against the petitioner before the inquiry officer by leading reliable evidence. The orders are absolutely arbitrary and have been passed on the diktats of the MLA.

The Court noted,

Counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of respondents, wherein it has been submitted that in pursuance of two letters dated 03.09.2020 and 05.10.2020 sent by Sanjay Pratap Jaiswal, MLA and Swami Prasad Maurya, Labour and Employment Minister, the Secretary / Executive Officer, Haj Committee conducted an inquiry regarding the appointment of the petitioner and it was found to be against the rules and hence the approval granted to the petitioner regarding his appointment was withdrawn by the impugned order.

It has further been stated that one, Jalaluddin Khan, has filed a writ petition before the Lucknow Bench of this court praying for quashing of the appointment of the petitioner, which is still pending. It has further been submitted that in the inquiry the petitioner was given full opportunity of hearing and the Registrar / Inspector UP Education Madrasa Education Board Lucknow, after considering the material on record, had withdrawn the approval granted to the appointment of the petitioner on the post of Principal. Hence order dated 23.07.2020 was withdrawn by the Special Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Sashan, Lucknow.

The Court observed,

After hearing the rival contentions it is clear from the order dated 23.07.2020 that the Special Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Sashan, Lucknow only considered the complaint made by Sanjay Pratap Jaiswal, local MLA and Swami Prasad Maurya, Minister of Labour and Employment, UP and got some ex-parte inquiry report from Secretary / Executive Officer of Haj Committee and thereafter took the decision of cancelling the approval of appointment of the petitioner since he was required to communicate his decision to the State Government.

The illegality in the conduct of the respondents is apparent from the material on record. The orders have been passed in gross violation of Article 14 of the Constitution and are hereby quashed.

“The petitioner is directed to be reinstated in service forthwith and his arrears of salary shall be paid to him within six weeks. The period during which the petitioner was forced out of employment shall not be considered to be break in his service. His month to month salary shall be paid to him from this month.

In case of delay in payment, as directed hereinabove, the petitioner would be entitled to get 9 percent simple interest per annum on the amount due to be paid to him from the date it fell due to the date of actual payment.

The State Government would be free to recover the interest paid to the petitioner from the public servant/servants found responsible for the delay,” the Court ordered.

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