The Madras High Court Bench here has come down heavily on Kanyakumari District Educational Officer (DEO) for refusing to approve the appointment of an economics teacher in a Government aided school in 2007 by giving “highly arbitrary and absurd” reasons.

Petition allowed

Allowing a writ petition filed by the teacher, A. Lovely Rani of Christucoil LMS Higher Secondary School in Palliyadi, Justice D. Hariparanthaman directed the DEO to approve the petitioner's appointment and pay salary arrears since April 1, 2003.

The judge pointed out that the petitioner, a post graduate in economics, had also completed M.Phil. and B.Ed. courses.

She was appointed as a Post Graduate Assistant in economics in the school following the vacancy caused due to the transfer of the existing teacher on March 31, 2003.

After her appointment, the school sent a proposal to the DEO seeking approval.

It was pointed out that her appointment was necessary as the teachers in the school were expected to evaluate the answer scripts of Standard XI students from other schools.

Rejecting the proposal for approving the appointment and sanction of grant towards payment of salary, by his order dated November 13, 2003, the DEO asked the school to return the answer scripts received from other schools by stating that there was no teacher to evaluate them.

Thereafter, the school resubmitted the proposal.

This time, the DEO passed an order on May 20, 2004 stating that the classes for Standard XI and XII were over before March 31, 2003 and therefore there was no necessity to fill the vacancy on April 1.

He stated that such appointment would result in financial loss to the Government.

Not in agreement with the reasons given, the judge said that special classes were conducted for students graduating to Standard XII even during summer vacation.

Only PG Assistant in Economics

“The petitioner is the only P.G. Assistant in economics in the school. It is not in dispute that the post is a sanctioned post.

Once the post is sanctioned, the fourth respondent (DEO) has no right to return the proposals giving these reasons.

These reasons are highly arbitrary and absurd,” he added.

For giving “absurd” reason while disapproving appointment