The Calcutta High Court on Monday directed the concerned authorities to grant higher scale of pay to an assistant teacher for mathematics, on and from March 1, 2010, on enhancement of the petitioner’s qualification to master’s degree in the subject.
Justice Shampa Sarkar ordered: “…it is an admitted fact that the petitioner was not an in-service candidate when he started his course.
“The petitioner did not take part-2 examination behind the back of the authorities. The impugned memorandum does not cover such a situation, in as much as, the question of taking prior permission did not arise. Moreover, the petitioner had already completed part of the postgraduate course before he took appointment.”
The order adds: “In view of the pandemic situation, the time limit to be granted to the authorities to complete the entire exercise is leniently taken note of and the respondents are granted three months time to complete the entire exercise.”
The fact of the case is that the petitioner Susanta Halder was appointed as an assistant teacher for mathematics in Naihati High School in the Hooghly district. At that point of time Halder was just an honours graduate. He completed his master’s degree in mathematics during his tenure as an assistant teacher. The part II examination was completed when he was serving in the school. Halder informed his employer that he was going to take the examination and got leave without pay, but did not take prior permission from the district Inspector of Schools. The prayer of the petitioner for higher scale of pay on enhancement of his qualification of master degree in mathematics was turned down by the state respondents by a memo dated January 16, 2020. Aggrieved by it, the petitioner approached the court.
The contention of the petitioner was that when he started his MSc course he had not yet been appointed as teacher of the school. That meant that he was not an in-service candidate. Thus, when he started to pursue his postgraduate course there was no occasion for him to take prior permission from the district Inspector of Schools. Nor was there any scope for him to mention that he was pursuing MSc in mathematics in the job application form.
It was only during the part II examination that he became an in-service candidate. Halder appeared for the post graduate examination and qualified. Thus, the petitioner prayed that the order impugned passed by the state respondents be set aside in terms of the order already passed by several co-ordinate benches of the high court.
Chaitali Bhattacharya, advocate for the state respondents, very fairly submitted that the state government has not preferred any appeal against this order.