The Government can regulate the appointment of teachers in assisted minority institutions, not in violation of Article 30: SC News – India
A bank of magistrates Arum Mishra and U Lalit defended the constitutional validity of the West Bengal Madrassas Service Commission Act, 2008, under which the selection and appointment of teachers in madrassas must be decided by a commission. He set aside the verdict of the Superior Court of Calcutta declaring unconstitutional various provision of the law for being violated by article 30, which states that all minorities, whether based on religion or language, will have the right to establish and administer institutions of your choice.
In considering that the good quality of education cannot be compromised in the national interest, regardless of whether they are minority or majority educational institutions, the apex court ruled that the government’s decision to establish a regulatory mechanism for the appointment of teachers did not amount to interfering in the administration of minority institutions held by the HC.
To differentiate between secular and religious education, the bank said that the management of the minority institution could have “maximum latitude” in making a decision, as they are the best judges of what would help them to protect and preserve the heritage , culture, script or such special characteristics or characteristics of the minorities concerned.
“However, when it comes to the second category, the guiding criteria must be for the most conducive environment to be put in place where the institution achieves excellence and provides the best possible education. If the curriculum subjects are purely secular in nature, i.e. subjects such as Arithmetic, Algebra, Physics, Chemistry or Geography, the intention should be to provide education supporting the best possible teachers,” the bank said.
Referring to the verdict of 11-Judge Bench of SC in the case of the TMA Pai Foundation, the bank said that a balance would be maintained between two objectives: one to ensure the level of excellence of the institution and the other while preserving the right of minorities to establish and adm inscant ize their educational institutions. “The essence of Article 30(1) was also stated to ensure equal treatment between the majority and minority institutions and that the rules and regulations would apply equally to majority institutions, as well as to institutions minority,” he said.
“Therefore, by decision of eleven Judges of this Court, provided that the principles set out in this Court are complied with, it is permissible if any regulation seeks to guarantee the level of excellence of the institutions while preserving the right of the to establish and manage their educational institutions,” he said.
The court approved the order in a batch of petitions filed by state and teachers who were appointed under the new law challenging the HC verdict. As their recruitment under the law became invalid after HC’s verdict, they approached SC through attorney M R Shamshad and the state held that the law did not interfere with Madarsas’ day-to-day administration, but he only intended to appoint the teachers better qualified.
Accepting his plea, the apex court revived the law and allowed the commission to appoint teachers in more than 600 Madarsas statewide. He said HC erred in declaring the law unconstitutional.
“The regime established by the State legislature thus ensures that the Commission, composed of experts in the field, will examine talent throughout the State, adopt a fair selection procedure and select the best available talent exclusively on the merit base, and even while the nomination, the interest of the minority institution will also be given the proper weighting and will be taken care of. Therefore, legal provisions seek to achieve “excellence” in education and also seek to promote the interest of minority institutions. The provisions meet the criterion as eliminated in the decision,” he said.
By serving the sentence in 2017, the HC had argued that the law removed the constitutional right that minorities will administer the institutions according to their choice. “The Commission’s right to select and recommend teachers from these institutions in a very important way interferes with the right to administer these institutions which make a constitutional mandate virtually ineffective. The perception of a prevailing social reality cannot circumvent constitutional protection,” the HC said.