R.C. Patnaik, J.
1. The petitioner invokes our extra-ordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the constitution of India for a direction to the opposite parties for payment of his arrear salary from 17.9.1973 when he was suspended till his reinstatement on 1.7.1975 and the increaments due to and earned by his from year to year in the scale.
2. The petitioner was the Headmaster of Ekagharia Middle English School in the district of Dhenkanal. On 1.9.1973 a set of charges was served on him by the Secretary of the school as per Annexure-1. It has been alleged that the petitioner thereupon intimated the Secretary that he had no authority to frame charges, the Managing Committee being the only competent authority. He was placed under suspension with effect from 17.9.1973 and the matter was reported to the District Inspector of schools. By memo dated 1.10.1973 (Annexure-3), the District Inspector of Schools refused to approve the suspension of the petitioner. Towards the end of October, 1973, the District Inspector of Schools informed the Managing Committee that he would conduct an enquiry into the matter of suspensions of the petitioner. Enquiry was conducted on 3.11.1973 and report was submitted to the Director of Public Instruction (Schools) to the effect that suspension was not called for. Months rolled by and the petitioner was reinstated by resolution dated 28.6.1975 of the Managing Committee. .
3. Admittedly, the disciplinary proceeding initiated with the framing of charges as per Annexure-2 ( it is unneccessary to decide whether the same was with or without authority) was aborted. Hence, the petitioner was entitled to the salary for the period during which he was under suspension, i.e., from 17.9.1973 to 1.7.1975. The petitioner, however, has not invoked our extra-ordinary jurisdiction with utmost expedition. The claim is purely a monetary one. He slept over the matter for more than four years. We, therefore, decline to grant him the relief. His claim, however, for the increments as and when due cannot be brushed aside. An employee appointed on a graded scale is entitled to his salary according to the scale. He is entitled to the increments at regular intervals according to the scale of pay. His entitlement to increments can only be taken away in accordance with law, for example, if the increment is withheld by way of penalty in a disciplinary proceeding or where the rules authorise such withholding on failure of the employee to comply with or satisfy a particular requirement, namely, passing a specified examination or test etc. Therefore unless deprived by law the employee is entitled to increments at regular intervals.
4. An employee of an aided educational institution whether the Headmaster or a teacher or member of the staff is entitled to his remuneration including subsistence allowance in case of suspension in the same manner as is admissible to his counterparts in the Government educational institution. Such employees of the educational institution are entitled to receive their remuneration in the month following the month to which the claim relates. Hence such teacher and members of the staff should receive their remuneration like their counterparts in Government institution every month for services rendered during the preceeding month.
5. Mr. J. K. Rath, the learned counsel for the petitioner, however submitted that the law is being observed by its breach. Teachers are being paid their salaries after months, sometimes after six months.
6. Whatever might have been the situation in the past, there could be no scope and jurisdiction for such a practice after the Government introduced the direct payment system, pursuant to Rule 9 of the Orissa Education (Recruitment and Conditions of Service of Teachers and Members of the staff of Aided Educational Institutions) Rules 1974 which reads as under :
'9. Drawal of pay and allowances by employees of aided institutions (1) Every employee of an aided educational institution shall draw the same pay, dearness allowance and subsistence allowance in case of suspension as is admissible to his counterpart in the Government educational institutions under the relevant rules applicable to him and shall ordinarily be paid in the month following the month to which the claim relates directly by Government or by any officer or by any agency authorised by Government : ............'
The use of the expression 'ordinarily' indicates the law makers concern Rare, few and far between, indeed, should be the occasion when a teacher would not receive his remuneration during the succeeding month for services rendered by him. Having regard to the mandate that teachers should ordinarily be paid in the month following the month to which the claim relates, it is difficult to believe that the instrumentalities of the State would be violating the mandate by pursuing a different practice. If employees serving under the Government, Corporations and in most private employment receive their remuneration in the month succeeding and sometimes even before the close of the month, it is difficult to believe that the teachers and staff of any school are receiving remuneration months after, especially when the Government bears the expenditure, and has taken responsibility of making the payment directly or through its officers or authorised agency. The controversy should not he viewed as involving merely a dry forensic question but should evoke the concern of all concerned as involving human problem. The teachers are not highly paid employees. How can they be expected to sustain themselves and members of their families if they are not paid their salary every month but once in 3 to 6 months. When the law enjoins that teachers and staff of the school shall be paid, ordinarily in the month following the month to which the claim relates, directly by Government or by an officer or an agency authorised by the Government, where is the sanction behind the practice of paying quarterly or half-yearly? Such a practice is likely to give rise to discontentment and generate disrespect for authorities and might breed indiscipline. The sooner the practice, is abandoned the better for all concerned, The plea of inconvenience or difficulty is stated to be rejected. The practice is not countenanced by law and is also offensive on humanitarian grounds; and we deprecate. It has been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world; it can aptly be said that the teachers to whom is entrusted the moulding of the minds of our children, shape the destiny of the nation. Alexander of Macedon has said :
I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teachers for living well.
The teachers deserve a better deal from the society.
7. We, therefore, direct the opposite parties to grant the petitioner the increments not formally due to him curing the period from 17.9.1973 to 1.7.1975 though he shall not be entitled to the salary for the said period. He shall be entitled to the arrears on the basis of the above.
8. The writ application is allowed to the aforesaid extent. There would be no order as to costs.
S.C. Mohapatra, J.
9. I agree.