Monday, October 26, 2009

Minority Schools Must Take Permission Before Recruitment

SC okays Gujarat Govt’s prior approval policy on minority institutions

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government may have been severely rapped by the Supreme Court for its role in the post-Godhra riots but the top court has now given a thumbs up to its policy limiting freedom of aided minority educational institutions to recruit staff.
The Gujarat government’s policy stated that it was obligatory on the part of minority institutions to obtain prior approval from state government or competent authority before making any new appointment.
Appearing for the Kolwana Gram Vikas Kendra, a minority institution, advocate Huzefa Ahmadi said “prior approval” for appointment of teachers would amount to interference in the internal administration of a minority institution and would be violative of the fundamental right to manage and administer minority institutions guaranteed under the Constitution.
A bench comprising Justices VS Sirpurkar and Deepak Verma did not agree. It said the state government circular was applicable to all aided educational institutions and it could not be construed as interference in the selection process.
“It would be perfectly alright for a minority institution to select the candidates without any interference from the government. However, the requirement of this prior approval is necessitated because it is for the government to see whether there was actually posts available in the said institution as per the strength of students and secondly, whether the candidates, who were sought to be appointed, were having the requisite qualifications in terms of the rules and regulations of the educational department,” the bench said.
It was clear from the circular that the government only wanted to examine whether the proposed appointments were within the framework of the rules considering the workload and added that this prior approval condition also applied to non-teaching staff.
“In view of this clear stand taken by the state government, we cannot persuade ourselves to hold that the aforementioned circular amounts to any unconstitutional interference in the internal working of the minority institution,” the bench said while dismissing the appeal filed by the minority institution

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