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The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal challenging the decision of Kerala High Court wherein the appellant was claiming to continue in service till he attains the age of 60 years in view of the definition of “teacher” as defined in the Kerala University Act, 1974.

The case of the appellant was that he was working as a reader in the Education Department, University of Kerala thereafter he was appointed as Project Officer in the Centre for Adult Continuing Education and Extension (CACEE) which had the retirement age of 56 years, since the appellant was initially appointed in Kerala University which had the retirement age of 60 years for teacher so he should be allowed to work till reaching age of 60 years.

The appellant further stated that UGC way back in 1993 directed that the staff working in CACEE be treated at par with other Teaching staff working in other faculties of the Universities and the High Court of Kerala has delivered several judgments declaring that the staff of CACEE particularly posts of Project Director, Assistant Director etc. are ‘Teachers’ and entitled to continue till the age of 60 years.

Counsel appearing for university said that the appellant was employed but not a Statutory University Department of study and research as defined in the statutes of the University and CACEE is not affiliated to the University, is one of the many Schemes sponsored by outside funding Agencies like UGC. He also said that the normal date of the retirement of the employees of CACEE is 56 years, some of the employees of CACEE who were allowed to continue upto to the age of 60 years wherever there was direction of the High Court in respective cases and appellant was never appointed on a teaching post rather he was appointed on an administrative post which was a temporary post.

The case was heard by the division bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan & Justice M. R. Shah which observed that the CACEE is being run as a Centre under the administrative control of the University and the definition of Teacher of University in Section 2(28) also refers to a person employed as Teacher in any institution maintained by the University, thus the appellant is not covered by definition of Teacher under Section 2(27) and 2(28) of the Kerala University Act, 1974 and he cannot claim its applicability.

The court also said that the Centre is not maintained by the University and it is Self-Financing Centre and in no manner supports the case of the appellant and dismissed the appeal.

India Legal Bureau

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