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Himachal Pradesh High Court dismisses school principal petition challenging transfer

Without a dedicated and disciplined teacher, even the best education system is bound to fail. Therefore, it is the duty of the teacher to take care of pupils as a careful parent would take care of its children.

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The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday, while dismissing the petition filed by the principal of government school challenging his transfer on the ground that the petitioner has crossed the age of 55 years, rermarked that “Education Department is probably one of the biggest litigant before this Court and majority of these petitions only relate to the transfer and adjustment of the teachers.”

The petitioner Milap Chand, after rendering service for a considerable time came to be promoted as headmaster on 24.04.2018 and was posted at government High School Naila, Tehsil Churah, District Chamba. Thereafter, the petitioner on 29.09.2020 was appointed as Principal and posted at government Senior Secondary School, Dugli, Tehsil Churah, District Chamba, where he is serving till date.

The petitioner has approached the High Court seeking direction to the state to decide the representations for transfer from hard area to soft area/station of the petitioner as he has completed the normal tenure in the hard area and crossed the age of 55 years and family compelling circumstances, and post him either at GSSS Chadhiar, Sub-Tehsil Chadhiar, District Kangra, H.P. or GSSS Dhupkiara, Tehsil Jaisinghpur, District Kangra, H.P. where the post will be vacant on 31.03.2021 and 31.08.2021 due to the retirement of present Principals or newly upgraded 10+2 School Haler Tehsil Jaisinghpur, district Kangra, which will be notified in the month of March, 2021.

Sanjay Jaswal Counsel for the petitioner submitted that “The wife of the petitioner is suffering from hearing problem and under treatment from Rajiv Gandhi Post Graduate Ayurvedic College and Hospital Paprola, District Kangra, H.P. Beside this the wife of the petitioner is also suffering from Gall Bladder stone and required proper medication and surgery and there is none in the house to look-after her as their son is employed in private sector in Noida Uttar Pradesh and two daughters are pursuing their own studies” the counsel stated.

The Division Bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia while considering the petition cited the Judgement of Apex Court in Avinash Nagra vs. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti and others (1997) 2 SCC 534, in which the requirement of education for girls and the functions of a teacher have been dealt with and explained by the Supreme Court.

The High Court held that “The teacher in Indian society has been elevated as God. A teacher creates knowledge, learning, wisdom and equip the students with ability and knowledge, discipline and intellect to enable them to face challenges of the life. A teacher is preserver of learning and destroys ignorance. Therefore, as a member of the noble teaching profession, he should be a role model. Without a dedicated and disciplined teacher, even the best education system is bound to fail. Therefore, it is the duty of the teacher to take care of pupil(s) as a careful parent would take care of its children.”

It was noted by the Court that “The headmaster, who are later on promoted as principals, are in all likelihood bound to be above 55 years of age, and on being promoted as such, are liable to be transferred/served anywhere in the State”. “Therefore, no exception can be taken against the transfer on the ground that the petitioner has crossed the age of 55 years” the court said.

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“We may with conviction state that Education Department is probably one of the biggest litigant before this Court and majority of these writ petitions only relate to the transfer and adjustment of the teachers. However, it is not the teachers alone, who are to be blamed for this, as even the government despite imposing ban on transfers by issuing notification(s) to this effect blatantly violates these notification(s).”, the Court remarked while dismissing the petition.

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