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K. Selvaraj, Correspondent-secretary, the Lakshmi Mills High School and anr. Vs. R. Jesudasan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1983)2MLJ406
AppellantK. Selvaraj, Correspondent-secretary, the Lakshmi Mills High School and anr.
RespondentR. Jesudasan and ors.
Cases ReferredP. Kosilingam v. P.S.G. College of Technology
Excerpt:
- orders. mohan, j.1. w.p. no. 5757 of 1981--both these writ petitions can be dealt with under a common order. the facts leading to the writ petitions are as under: the first respondent in w.p. no. 5757 of 1981, is the petitioner in w.p. no. 10245 of 1981. he was appointed permanently as headmaster in the school of the petitioner in w.p. no. 5757 of 1981, who is also the first respondent in w.p no. 10245 of 1981, respondents 2 and 3 are the same in both the petitions.2. an agreement was entered into between the school and the first respondent on 25th july, 1973. the first respondent, by his letter, dated 9th april, 1976, tendered his resignation. on 10th april, 1976, the resignation was accepted and he was relieved from the post on the same day. the secretary of the school made an.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Mohan, J.

1. W.P. No. 5757 of 1981--Both these writ petitions can be dealt with under a common order. The facts leading to the writ petitions are as under: The first respondent in W.P. No. 5757 of 1981, is the petitioner in W.P. No. 10245 of 1981. He was appointed permanently as Headmaster in the school of the petitioner in W.P. No. 5757 of 1981, who is also the first respondent in W.P No. 10245 of 1981, respondents 2 and 3 are the same in both the petitions.

2. An agreement was entered into between the school and the first respondent on 25th July, 1973. The first respondent, by his letter, dated 9th April, 1976, tendered his resignation. On 10th April, 1976, the resignation was accepted and he was relieved from the post on the same day. The Secretary of the School made an endorsement on 9th April, 1976, in the resignation letter stating 'Resignation accepted'. Thereafter the first respondent wrote a letter to the Director of School Educations of which the petitioner was not aware. The Director, by an order, dated 30th August, 1977, held that since the first respondent ha d resigned his post and his resignation was accepted on 10th April, 1976, no appeal would lie. Aggrieved by this order the first respondent preferred an appeal to third respondent Tribunal in C.M.A No. 7 5 of l977. The Tribunal held that an appeal would lie and remitted the matter to the Director of School Education for a decision as to whether the resignation was tendered voluntarily or not. This order is dated 27th June, 1978. On receipt of this order the Director of School Education moved the third respondent Tribunal in I.A. No. 7l8 of 1979 requesting, that the matter maybe remitted to Joint Director of School Education. But that application was rejected. Thereupon, the second respondent, after conducting an enquiry passed an order, dated 16th July, 1980 rejecting the appeal of the first respondent holding that the resignation by the first respondent was voluntary and was not brought about by coercion, as stated by him. Under these circumstances the question of obtaining prior approval under Section 22 of the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools Regulation Act of 1973(XXIX of 1974) hereinafter referred to as the Act, does not at all arise, since the first respondent has tendered his resignation voluntarily and the Management had relieved him from service only as per. the specific request of the first respondent.

3. Against this order an appeal was filed in CM.A. No. 66 of 1980 to the third respondent. The third respondent allowed the appeal holding that the resignation no doubt was voluntary, nevertheless it would amount to termination of service and, therefore, it was incumbent on the part of the writ petitioner school to obtain the prior approval of the competent authority under Section 22 of the Act. It is under these circumstances, that the petitioner school has filed the writ petition to quash the order, dated 17th March, 1981 in C.M.A. No. 66 of 1980.

4. W.P. No. 10245 of 1981. - This has been; preferred by the Headmaster (the first respondent in W.P. No. 5757 of 1981) to quash the finding of the third respondent Tribunal that his resignation was voluntary.

5. The parties will be referred to as arrayed in W.P. No. 5757 of 1981, for the purpose of convenience.

6. Mr. M.R. Narayanaswami, learned Counsel for the petitioner (school) submits that the finding of the Tribunal that prior approval of the competent authority ought to have been obtained under Section 22 cf the Act is clearly wrong. The obtaining of the prior approval would be necessary only in a case where the termination of service is brought about by an act of the management. In the instant case, in so far as it is not the management which put an end to the services of the Headmaster, but the Headmaster (the first respondent) tendered his resignation which came to be accepted it is not termination. Section 22, in such a case, is wholly inapplicable. The Tribunal relied upon the ruling of this Court rendered in K Rajeswari v. T.P. Sankaran and Anr. S.A. No. 1607 of 1974 But that case has ro application whatever. As a matter of fact the scope of similar provision under the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act of 1976 came up for consideration in this Court in S. Jagadeesan v. Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College, Sivakasi by its Correspondent and Anr. (1981) 2 M.L.J. 415 and in C.R. Ramaswami v. Needles Industries (1) Ltd. and Anr. : (1981)1MLJ448 under Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act of 1947. Both these rulings were of the view that the relevant sections would apply only to a case of termination by way of punitive action. Therefore the order of the third respondent Tribunal discloses an error of law apparent on the face of the record, which calls for interference at the hands of this Court.

7. Mr. p. Chidambaram learned Counsel for the first respondent, first and foremost states that this is not a case in which the question whether prior approval was necessary or not could not be raised. In C.M.A. No. 75 of 1977, when it was held that an appeal lay even in a case of voluntary resignation, the only meaning that could be attributed to the order is that the case would fall under Section 22 of the Act. Where therefore, that matter is concluded by the earlier order made in C.M.A. No. 75 of 1977 it is clearly res jadicata. Section 22(1) when it says otherwise terminated,' it would include even termination simplicity and need not be necessarily by way of punitive action. This has been so laid down in the All Saints High School etc v. The Government of Andhra Pradesh and Ors. etc. : [1980]2SCR924 The Tribunal dia nothing more than to follow the ruling of this Court in K. Rajeswari v. T.P. Sankaran and Anr. S.A. No. 1607 of 1974. In view of this the rulings relied on by the other side, namely, T. Jagadeesan v. Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal Gollege, Sivakasi by its Correspondent and Anr. (1981) 2 M.L.J. 415 and C.R. Ramaswami v. Ms. Needle Industries (1) Ltd. and Anr. : (1981)1MLJ448 cannot be said to lay down the correct law. In Form VII A, conditions 7, 8 and 9, if referred to would also fortify this contention. Presently, Rule 17-Ahas been introduced to the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Rules, 1974, which contemplates prior approval even in cases of this kind. What was ambiguous has now been made clear. Reliance is placed on the decision in P. Kasilingam v. P.S.G. College of Technology : (1981)ILLJ358SC and it is contended that if the object of the Act is to protect the teachers, by getting the so-called resignation letter the rights of teachers cannot be defeated.

8. With regard to the merits of W.P. No. 1C245 of 1981, it is argued that the finding that the resignation letter was offered voluntarily, is palpably wrong, because, it is rather unusual there are two resignation letters. Secondly, there is no entry in the Teachers Service Register. The learned Counsel cites the judgment in P.S.G. College of Technology Coimbatore, rep. by the Principal Dr. R. Subhayvan v. Kasilingam and Anr. W.P. No. 16 of 1979 in support of his argument.

9 Mr. M.R. Narayanaswami, in meeting these submissions, states that the categoric factual finding is that the resignation is voluntary. Hence, this Court, exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, cannot enter into the realm of fact-The reason why two resignation letters came to be given has been properly explained stating that in the first letter there were some mistakes. Then again, the failure to make an entry in the Teachers Service Register has been found to be a mere oversight. It is not correct to contend that there was no service of the relieving order. In fact, every attempt was made to serve the order. On this point, the finding is in favour of the school.

10. Having regard to the above arguments, the following questions emerge for my consideration

1. What is the meaning of the words 'otherwise terminated' occurring under Section 22(1) of the Act?

2. Would the finding in C.M.A. No. 75 of 1977 that an appeal lay even in a case of voluntary resignation constitute res judicata?

3. Did the first respondent tender his resignation voluntarily?

11. Question No. 1: The Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Act of 1973 is an Act seeking to provide for the regulation of recognised private schools in the State of Tamil Nadu. The various regulations that are contemplated under the Act may be briefly mentioned thus: In Chapter II the establishment, permission for establishment and management of private schools are contemplated. Chapter III contains the provision relating to recognition of private schools. Chapter IV talks of constitution of school committee and its constitutional functions. Chapter V delineates the terms and conditions of service of teachers as well as other persons employed in private schools. The details of this Chapter also require to be noted. Section 19 prescribes the qualifications and conditions of service of teachers. Section 20 lays down a bar not to appoint teachers who do not posses the qualifications. Section 21 enjoins on the teachers the observation of the code of conduct as may be prescribed. Section 22, which is the very relevant section (a detailed discussion of which will follow hereafter) provided the safeguards in the case of dismissal, removal or reduction in rank or suspension of teachers as well as other persons employed in private schools. Section 23 provides for an appeal against the punishment imposed on teachers. Against the order of the appellate authority, a second appeal is provided for to the Tribunal under Section 24. Section 25 provides for appeal in relation to termination prior to the commencement of the Act. Section 26 speaks of the absorption of teachers and other persons on retrenchment. Section 27 guarantees pay and allowances of teachers. Section 28 states that this Chapter shall have overriding effect over any other law or award, judgment or decree of a Court. Chapter VI deals with control of private schools. Chapter VII provides for accounts, audit ; inspection and returns. Chapter VIII contains the general provisions regarding appeal and revision. Chaptet IX prescribes the penalties and procedure. Chapter X contains the miscellaneous provisions.

12. In the context of this Act certainly it cannot be gainsaid that the conditions of teachers are sought to be bettered, and actions of management are controlled. Then again, teachers are provided several safeguards. Under Section 22(1) it is stated as follows

Subject to any rule that may be made in this behalf, no teacher or other person employed in any private school shall be dismissed, removed, or reduced in rank nor shall his appointment be otherwise terminated except with the prior approval of the competent authority.

In the instant case, the Management would have it that the resignation was tendered by the first respondent voluntarily and the same was accepted. Whether the resignation is voluntary or not could be relegated while answering question No. 3. For the present, I will proceed on the basis that there is a voluntary resignation. Would it fall under the words 'otherwise terminated'? The meaning of the word 'terminated' as found in the Concise Oxford Dictionary is 'bound limit, bring, come to an end'. There fore, it could mean only an action on the part of the Management, more so in the context in which the Words appear. Earlier, the sub-section speaks of dismissal, removal, reduction in rank. These are all punitive in character and the action is by the Management. In such a juxtaposition, 'otherwise terminated' would mean putting an en d to the services' by the Management. In a case of voluntary resignation it is not the Management which puts an end to the services. The concerned teacher states that he does not want to serve any longer. The Management says, 'if that be so. I have no objection.' Strictly speaking, it is not a case of an error or acceptance as is stated in common par-lance. This will be equally so in spite of the fact that the resignation comes into effect only on acceptance. It cannot be contended that it is by the acceptance the resignation becomes complete and, therefore, it is the management that puts an end to the services. This will be stretching the idea unduly. As observed above, the teacher by his act, desires that he be relieved to which the management has no objection. In other words, the termination is brought about by the teacher's own volition. However, what I find from the order that is sought to be quashed is, the Tribunal relied on the judgment of this Court by my learned brother, Balasubrahmanyan, J., in K. Rajeswari v. T. P. Sankaran and Anr. S.A. No. 1607 of 19 74. The learned Judge observed thus

One other argument of Mr. Venkatachari needs to be considered. He said that the proceedings of the Management, dated 21st April, 1960 do not constitute an order of termination of Rajeswari's services. He said that the said communication was no more than an acknowledgment and an acceptance of the resignation tendered by the Headmistress. Learned Counsel urged that, as a general principle, no termination of employment really occurs, in the strict sense of the expression, when an employee resigns his job and the resignation is accepted by the employer. He cited a few reported cases which dealt with the question as to when precisely a resignation takes effect, whether on the date of tendering it or oh the date of its acceptance by the employer. Questions such as this usually crop up when an employee, on second thoughts, purports to withdraw his resignation. It happened in this case too, but under entirely different auspices. I had earlier set out the terms of the management's letter acknowledging the resignation. As I mentioned earlier, although in one part of that communication the management had purported to accept the resignation, it was not an unconditional acceptance. On the contrary, the Management gave Rajeswari liberty to leave the school at any time she liked. This is too vague and indefinite to serve a san acceptance of her resignation. Besides, in the very same communication, the School management had categorically directed that in any event her services would stand terminated on 13th June, 1969, In the events that happened, it was this part of the order of the School management that took effect, for, Rajeswari remained in her post till then and was actually relieved only as from that date. On a true construction of the communication of the Management, therefore, I hold that it was an order terminating the services of the appellant with effect from 13th June, 1969. It was so construed by all the departmental authorities and it was also on the same view that the Management itself had framed this suit. It is not, therefore, possible to accept the learned Counsel's contention that what happened here was no more than an offer and an acceptance of resignation. Even on the footing that the transaction here was the tendering of a resignation by the Headmistress of the school followed by an acceptance by the Management, I hold that there was a termination of employment by act of the Management. For, it is the act of acceptance of the resignation on the part of the management that terminates the employment and not the offer of resignation by itself. In this view, the management's (sic) was correctly dealt with as a proceeding terminating the employment of the appellant, and properly taken up for review as an order amenable to interference by the hierarchy of authorities in the Education Department in appeal.

One distinguishing feature of this ca se required to be noted. On 15th February, 1969, the teacher sent in the resignation letter. On 21 st April, 1969 the management wrote back acknowledging the letter, but proceeded to say that she might leave her job at any time she wished, and in any event, her services would stand terminated with effect from 13th June, 1969. On 23rd April, 1969 the teacher withdrew her letter of resignation- This was not taken notice of by the Management, which proceeded to relieve her from her services on 13th June, 1969, until which date the teacher continued to serve. It is in these circumstances, the learned Judge held, as seen above

On a true construction of the communication of the Management therefore, I hold that it was an order terminating the services of the appellant with effect from 13th June, 1969.

The succeeding observations cannot but be obiter. In any event, the meaning of the words 'otherwise terminated' occurring under Section 22 did not actually arise for consideration in this case.

13. In G.R. Ramaswami v. Messrs Needle Industries (I) Ltd. and Anr. : (1981)1MLJ448 in affirming a decision of mine, a Division Bench of this Court, interpreting the words 'No employer shall dispense with the services of a person employed' occurring under Section 41 of the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act of 1947, held it will take within it the case of an employer relieving an employee on the basis of the letter of resignation submitted by him. It held:

Section 41 of the Tamil Nadu Shops an d Establishments Act, 3 947 resds as follows:

Notice of dismissal--(1) No employer shall dispense with the set vices of a person employed continuously for a period of not less than six months except for a reasonable cause an d without giving such person at least one month's notice or wages in lieu of such notice, provided, however, that such persons are dispensed with on a charge of misconduct supported by satisfactory evidence recorded at an enquiry held for the purpose.

(2) The person employed shall have a right of appeal to such authority and within such time as may be prescribed either on the ground that there was no reasonable cause for dispensing with his services or on the ground that he had not been guilty of misconduct as held by the employer.

(3) The decision of the appellate authority shall be final and binding on both the employer and the person employed.

Thus, merely from a reading of the section it is clear that Sub-section (1) contemplates an employer dispensing with the services of a person employed, and Sub-section (2) contemplates the said person employed after such dispensing with his services preferring an appeal before the second respondent herein on the ground that there was no reasonable cause for dispensing with his services on the ground that he had not been guilty of misconduct as held by the employer. Consequently, before Section 41(1) can be invoked, the employer must have dispensed with the services of the person employed and Sub-section (2) merely follows Sub-section (1) and consequently, any appeal that may be preferred under Sub-section (2) must be based upon the employer dispensing with the services of the person employed and there being no reasonable cause for such action or the employee net being guilty of misconduct as held by the employer. In the present case, as we have pointed out already, the appellant herein was relieved from his post in the service of the first respondent not on the basis of any initiative taken by the fist respondent to dispense with the services of the appellant, but at the request of the appellant himself who tendered his resignation on 12th January, 1980. The contention is that even though the resignation letter was admittedly submitted by the appellant here in and pursuant to that letter he was relieved from the service on that date itself, still in view of the stand taken by the appellant herein that that letter was obtained from him by coercion and threat, it will amount to the employer dispensing with the services of the appellant and consequently the Appellate Authority, namely, the second respondent, has jurisdiction to go into that question in the appeal preferred by the appellant herein. We are unable to accept this contention. The second respondent is a creature of the statute and any power which he can exercise has to be traced to the statutory provisions which had created him and conferred powers on him. We have already indicated that having regard to the language of Section 41(1) and 42(2) there must be first an action on the part of the employer dispensing with the services of an employee and if that action is absent, there is no question of a person like the appellant filing an appeal under Section 41(2) of the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, 1947. In fact, the foundation for invoking the jurisdiction of the second respondent under Section 4l(2) is the fact that the first respondent has dispensed with the services of the appellant. When the appellant sent his resignation letter, he requested the first respondent to relieve him on that date itself and the first respondent accepted the resignation letter and relieved him from his duties-Certainly, that will not constitute the employer, namely, the first respondent herein, dispensing with the services of the employee, namely, the appellant herein.

14. Under more less similar circumstances, in dealing with the meaning of the words 'otherwise terminated' occurring under Section 19(1) of the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act of 1976, a Division Bench of this Court in S. Jagadeesan v. Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College Sivakasi by its Correspondent and Anr. (1981) 2 M.L.J. 415 held in the case of termination of the service on probation:

Having regard to the object of the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act and the safeguards provided, that no teacher in a private college shall be dismissed, removed or reduced in rank except with the prior approval of the competent authority, the words 'otherwise terminated' in Section 19(1) can take within their ambit only punitive termination and not termination of the services of a probationer for unsatisfactory work. The words 'Otherwise terminated' in Section 19(1) should be read ejusdem generis with the preceding words 'dismissed, removed or reduced in rank'

15. In the All Saints High School, etc. v. The Government of Andhra Pradesh and Ors., etc. : [1980]2SCR924 in dealing with the similar language occurring in the Andhra Pradesh Recognised Private Educational Institution Control Act XI of 1975, it was noted in paragraph 7 as follows:

Section 3(1) of the Act provides that, subject to any rule that may be made in this behalf, no teacher employed in any private educational institution shall be dismissed, removed or reduced in rank nor shall his appointment be otherwise terminated except with the prior approval of the competent authority. The proviso to the section says that if any educational institution contravenes the aforesaid provision, the teacher affected by the contravention shall be deemed to be in service. Section 3(2) requires that where the proposal to dismiss, remove or reduce in rank or otherwise terminate the appointment of any teacher employed in any private educational institution is communicated to the competent authority, that authority shall approve the proposal, if it is satisfied that there are adequate and reasonable grounds for the proposal.

No doubt, on the language of this section it was held that it would take within it even termination simpliciter. This case does not afford any assistance to hold that 'otherwise terminated' would include voluntary resignation as is contended by the learned Counsel for the first respondent, Mr. P. Chidambaram. Form VII-A is the Form in relation to the agreement to be executed by the School Committee of a private school in respect of permanent teachers. Condition No. 7 lays down the procedure for termination of services, while condition No. 8 contemplates discharge of the services of a teacher on account of ill-health. Condition No. 9 reads as follows:

That the said teacher shall be entitled to have his/her previous services terminated either by giving to the school committee three months' notice thereof in writing or by paying the school committee three months' pay and allowances in lieu of such notice if he she is a permanent teacher. In case of a teacher who is not permanent, the period of notice shall be two months and the amount payable in lieu thereof shall be two months' pay and allowances.

A careful reading of conditions 7 and 8 would show action on the initiation of the Management and Cannot apply to a voluntary desire on the part of the teacher to put an end to his services. Therefore, in the context of these, the words 'otherwise terminated' would only mean 'termination brought a bout by the action of the management'. Once this position is arrived at, I see absolutely no scope for requiring the prior approval of the competent authority, as contemplated under Section 22(1) of the Act. Question No. 1 is answered accordingly.

Question No. 2: What is contended by the learned Counsel for the respondent is that Section 23 contemplates an appeal against the punishment which can arise only after the prior approval of the competent authority. Where, therefore, in C.M.A. No. 75 of 1977 a finding was rendered that an appeal before the Tribunal was competent, this would clearly constitute res judicata. This argument leads me to a reference to the order made in C.M.A. No. 75 of 1977, dated 27th June, 1978. In paragraph 7, after making a reference to the judgment of Balasubrahmanyan, J., which has been noticed earlier, the Tribunal proceeds to hold

In view of the above decision, the order of the second respondent accepting the resignation of the appellant and relieving him from the post of Headmaster is an order coming under Section 22 of the Act. Hence an appeal lies against the said order under Section 23 to the Joint Director of School Education, Madras.

If the matter stood there, something could be said in favour of the first respondent. However, the Tribunal further proceeded to consider the merits and ultimately remanded the matter as follows

I therefore find that the matter has to be remanded to the first respondent Director of School Education, Madras, for fresh enquiry and disposa1, according to law. He has to make an enquiry on the allegation of the appellant that the resignation letters were obtained from him under duress and threat, after giving opportunity to him to adduce evidence in support of his allegation. The enquiry may be conducted by the Director of School Education himself or he may direct the Chief Educational Officer, Tirunelveli, to conduct an enquiry.

Pursuant to this Order of demand, the matter went back to the Director of School Education who found that the resignation letter was offered voluntarily are there was no duress or coercion, which finding was confirmed by the Tribunal under the order sought to be quashed, namely, C.M.A. No. 66 of 1980. In other words, the parties stood by the order of remand and took trial on this question. Therefore, it is too late in the day to contend that the finding in C.M.A. No. 75 of 1977 would constitute res judicata, because an appea1 was held to be competent. No doubt, this is an unfortunate case. But, the Court cannot come to the rescue of the party on that score. In my considered view, the earlier finding of the Tribunal in C.M.A. No. 75 of 1977 would constitute res judicata only in so far as it relates to the maintainability of the appeal and nothing more. On the contrary, if the contention of the learned Counsel for the teacher is accepted, it would be in. possible to work out the order of remand directing an enquiry into the voluntary nature of the resignation. This will be all the more so because, as I observed above, the parties stood by the remand and sought an adjudication on the voluntary nature of the resignation. Therefore I reject the contention of the respondent in this behalf and conclude that the finding in C.M.A. No. 75 of 1977 would not operate as res judicata so as to preclude a decision as to the scope cf 'otherwise' occurring under Section 22(1) of the Act.

16. Question No. 3: It is true, in this case, there are two resignation letters. But, it had been explained by stating that in the first of the letters the words 'I resign' were not found and, therefore, the second letter was written. The failure to carry out the entry in the Teachers Service Register has been held to be an omission and would not constitute a grave mistake. As regards the service of the relieving order, the subsequent conduct as borne out by the following finding of the Tribunal in C.M.A. No. 66 of 1980 clearly establishes the voluntary nature of the resignation:

Above all the appellant had written a letter on 20th July, l976, to the second respondent herein which will clearly show that there could not have been any motive for the second respondent to coerce the appellant to give his resignation. The following portions are very relevant- 'Thank you very much for the kindness with which your goodness enquired about my welfare and a boot the welfare of the members of my family. My son told me that you were very kind and affectionate to him when he met your goodness two days ago and he had been much pleased to say the t you had consented to give me the salary. I shall meet your goodness as soon as I return from Madras.

If really the appellant was forced by the second respondent to resign from the job the appellant would not have written a letter on such cordial terms to the second respondent. This is certainly a circumstance which goes against the appellant. Of course, this letter is subsequent to the appeal preferred by the appellant or 10th May, 1976. But, it cannot be contended that it is something personal which can have no bearing upon this case. Such a contention cannot be accepted because, no one would write such a letter on such ordeal terms to person who had forced him to resign from his job without even giving him, for 2 days for considering the matter. This certainly shows that the second respondent or anybody under him could not have forced the appellant to resign from the job. Another contention put forward by the appellant is that since there is no complaint against the Headmaster either about his conduct or about his work, there could have been no reason for him to resign. But the resignation letter says that due to his family inconvenience he is unable to continue in this school as a Headmaster. The letter dated 30th July, 1976, referred to above also shows that the appellant's wife was ill a part from the appellant himself suffering from some ailment in the eye, an d due to nervous weakness. Therefore, the contention that the appellant had no reason to resign cannot be accepted.

17. In P.S.G. College of Technology Coimbatore, rep. by the Principal, Dr. R. Subbayan v. Kasilingam and Anr. W.P. No. 16 of 1979 the case of the Management was that there was no evidence on record for the Government to come to the conclusion that the letter of resignation was voluntary. Therefore, that decision can have no application in view of the findings of the Tribunal referred to above. Nor the decision in P. Kosilingam v. P.S.G. College of Technology : (1981)ILLJ358SC could afford any assistance to the teacher in this case in view of the factual finding.

18. In any event, this is purely a factual finding with which, exercising jurisdiction under Article (sic) of the Constitution, I cannot interfere. To obviate difficulties of this nature, Rule 17-A has been introduced to the Tamil Nadv Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Rules, 1974, and it is to the following effect:

Educational agencies not to obtain compulsorily resignation letter either at the time of appointment or subsequently from the employees in their schools:

1. Whenever a teacher or other person employed in a private school, tenders his resignation of appointment, he shall inform the fact of his resignation in writing by registered post with acknowledgment due to the District Educational Officer, Inspectress of Girls Schools or the Deputy Inspector of Schools concerned.

2. No teacher or other person employed in a private school shall give to the educational agencies at any time undated or predated resignation letter.

3. No educational agency shall insist or compel any teacher or other person employed in a private school to give at any time undated or predated resignation letter.

4. No teacher or other person employed in a private school shall be relieved from service on the strength of resignation letter. The resignation letter shall, on receipt be sent to the Chief Educational Officer concerned in respect of teachers and other persons employed in High Schools and Teachers Training Institutes and to the District Educational Officer concerned in respect of teachers and other persons employed in a pre-primary and middle schools. The Chief Educational Officer or District Educational Officer concerned shall in tonight the confirmation of the teacher or other person employed, as the case may be as to the fact of such resignation and then accord his approval to relieve the teacher or other person employed as the case may be from service.

5. Entries regarding the date of acceptance of resignation or appoint men t shall be made by the Secretary of the school committee, in the Teachers Ser. vice Registers of the teacher or in the Service Registers of other persons employed in a private school under proper attestation and duly countersigned by the District Educational Officer or the inspectors of Girl Schools, as the case may be.

6. No substitute shall be appointed in the place of a teacher or other person employed in a private school who has been relieved on the basis of the resignation letter tendered by him, without obtaining prior approval of the Chief Educational Officer concerned in respect of the teachers and other persons employed in High Schools and Teachers Training Institute and the District Educational Officers concerned in respect of teachers and other persons employed in pre-primary. primary and middle schools.

But, that is prospective and not retrospective and no guidance con be had from that rule for deciding the point in issue. Hence, I answer this question in the affirmative.

19. In view of the above findings, W.P. No. 5757 of 1981 will stand allowed, while W.P. No. 10245 of 1981 will stand dismissed. The parties are directed to bear their respective costs.


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