Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in its recent judgment passed
in the matter of Raj Kumar vs. Director of Education &
Others7, explicitly instructed the schools in Delhi
regarding compliance to be followed before terminating services of
their employees. While considering in detail the provisions of the
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (IDA) and the Delhi School Education
Act, 1973 (DSEA) relating to termination of services of employees
by schools, the Hon'ble Supreme Court interpreted Section 8(2)
of the DSEA which requires obtaining prior approval of the Director
of Education (DoE) before passing any order of dismissal or
termination of services of its employees by school. A perusal of
the Statement of objects and reasons of the DSEA clearly shows that
the intent of the legislature while enacting the same was to
provide security of tenure to the employees of the school and to
regulate the terms and conditions of their employment. The
Hon'ble Apex Court in its judgment has, inter alia, observed
that Section 8(2)8 of the DSEA is a procedural safeguard
in favor of an employee to ensure that an order of termination or
dismissal is not passed without the prior approval of DoE.
The Hon'ble Apex Court observed that while the functioning
of both aided and unaided educational institutions must be free
from unnecessary governmental interference, the same needs to be
reconciled with the conditions of employment of the employees of
these institutions and provision of adequate precautions to
safeguard their interests. Section 8(2) of the DSEA is one such
precautionary safeguard which needs to be followed to ensure that
employees of educational institutions do not suffer unfair
treatment at the hands of the management. The Hon'ble Apex
Court had earlier9 held that the regulation of the
service conditions of the employees of private recognized schools
is required to be controlled by educational authorities and the
state legislature is empowered to legislate such provision in the
DSEA. In other words, Section 8(2) of the DSEA is a procedural
safeguard in favor of an employee to ensure that an order of
termination or dismissal is not passed without the prior approval
of the Director of Education. This is to avoid arbitrary or
unreasonable termination or dismissal of an employee of a
recognized private school.
7. h t t p : / / j u d i s . n i c . i n / s u p r
eme c o u r t / i m g s1. aspx?filename=43544
8. Subject to any rule that may be made in this
behalf, no employee of a recognized private school shall be
dismissed, removed or reduced in rank nor shall his service be
otherwise terminated excepted with the prior approval of the
9. TMA PAI Foundation vs. State of Karnataka ((2002)
8 SCC 481)
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
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