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HC rejects govt teacher order

The high court on Wednesday rejected a school education department circular on the basis of which the government had barred a secondary school teacher with PhD from getting two special increments.

Describing the circular as “bad in law”, Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya observed: “The state cannot fix a cut-off date for giving special increments to teachers with PhD.”

The circular stated that only teachers who had got their PhDs before August 31, 2005, would be eligible for the increments.

Justice Bhattacharya, however, ordered the state to release the special increments to the petitioner, Chowdhury Moinuddin of Khagra Gurudas Tarasundari School in Malda, from the date he got his PhD, May 8, 2009.

The order will make it easy for other teachers with PhDs to claim the special increments, said legal experts.

After obtaining his PhD, Chowdhury Moinuddin had applied to the district inspector of schools in Malda for the increments. In February, the district inspector showed him the state circular issued by the school education department in January that set the cut-off date for getting the special increments.

The government had claimed that the circular was issued on the basis of the Control of Expenditure Act, 2005.

“Challenging the legality of the circular, my client had moved the high court,” Ekramul Bari, the lawyer who represented Moinuddin, said.

The state lawyer, Kamalendu Ghosh, claimed that the Control of Expenditure act allowed the state to abolish the rule of paying special increments to teachers with PhDs.

But the judge said: “The Control of Expenditure Act cannot curtail the rights of teachers with doctoral degrees to get special increments.”