Mohamed Imranullah S.

MADURAI: D. Devaraj Athisayaraj, a Tamil teacher in a Government-aided higher secondary school, was terminated from service in August 2008.

Alike other government servants, this teacher too moved the Madras High Court Bench here. But the difference was that he argued the case on his own, without engaging a lawyer, and also won it after 21 months.

Allowing a writ petition filed by him, Justice K. Venkataraman quashed the termination order issued by the Correspondent of Schwartz Higher Secondary School at Ramanathapuram and directed the authorities concerned to reinstate him in service forthwith. The judge said that the teacher, who was on the verge of superannuation, need not be asked to face the departmental enquiry afresh.

The court held that an enquiry already conducted against the teacher, after levelling as many as 32 charges, was marred with irregularities. The enquiry officer was biased against the petitioner

Mr. Justice Venkataraman also said that the Church of South India, Madurai and Ramnad Diocese, which manages the school, would have terminated the petitioner because it was irked over his action of approaching the High Court in 2006 seeking a direction to the District Registrar, Madurai (south) to hold an enquiry into conduct of election to the CSI Church Pastorate Committee.

The petitioner said that he originally worked as a Post Graduate Assistant in Tamil at Pasumalai Higher Secondary School in Madurai for nearly 15 years. He was transferred to Ramanathapuram only after the filing of a case in 2006 pointing out certain irregularities in the election to the Pastorate Committee.

Subsequently, he was suspended from service for two months from April 19, 2007. The Correspondent extended the suspension period for two more months. The suspension was revoked only on September 17 and he was asked to join duty on the next day without conducting any enquiry.

Mr. Athisayaraj was placed under suspension once again on December 19, 2007. The petitioner filed a writ petition seeking a direction to pay him subsistence allowance and it was also ordered accordingly. But the management did not disburse the money until he filed a contempt of court application and a notice was issued to the Diocese and the school correspondent in July 2008.