A. Dharmaraj vs The Chief Educational Officer … on 18 February, 2022


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Supreme Court of India

A. Dharmaraj vs The Chief Educational Officer … on 18 February, 2022

Author: M.R. Shah

Bench: M.R. Shah, B.V. Nagarathna

                                                                     [REPORTABLE]

                                    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                     CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                        Civil Appeal No.1301 of 2022


                         A. Dharmaraj                                 ..Appellant


                                                   Versus




                         The Chief Educational Officer,
                         Pudukkottai & Ors.                        ..Respondent(s)

                                              JUDGMENT

M. R. Shah, J.

1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned

Judgment and Order dated 26.09.2019 passed by the

Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Madras at

Madurai in Writ Appeal (MD) No.834 of 2018 by which the

Division Bench of the High Court had dismissed the said

appeal preferred by the appellant herein and has confirmed
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by R
Natarajan
the judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge
Date: 2022.02.18
16:50:07 IST
Reason:

quashing and setting aside the promotion of the appellant to

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the post of B.T. Assistant (English), the original appellant

before the High Court has preferred the present appeal.

2. The appellant herein was promoted to the post of B.T.

Assistant (English) vide order of promotion dated

06.08.2016. Prior thereto the appellant was granted the

permission to pursue his B.A. (English) under distance

education during January, 2012 to December, 2014. He

pursued his distance education in B.A. (English) and

successfully completed the same in the month of December,

2014. When the appellant was pursuing his education in

B.A. (English), the appellant was granted permission to

pursue M.A. (Tamil) which was a two year distance

education course between the Academic Years 2013­2015.

He appeared in the examination for M.A. (Tamil) in May,

2014 and May, 2015 and successfully completed the same.

That thereafter the Respondent no.5 herein challenged the

promotion of the appellant and others vide Writ Petition No.

15019 of 2016 on the ground that by obtaining two degrees

simultenously the appellant has rendered himself ineligible

as the appellant did not fulfil the eligibility criteria. Rule 14

was pressed into service which provided that “the teachers

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who have obtained B.A./B.Sc and B.Ed., during the same

academic year shall not be eligible for recommendations”.

The petition was opposed by the appellant and another. It

was the case on behalf of the appellant before the learned

Single Judge that Rule 14 cannot be applicable to the facts

of the case on hand, as the appellant pursued B.A. (English)

and M.A. (Tamil) in different academic years. It was

submitted that only in a case where B.A./B.Sc/B.Ed.

degrees are obtained in the same academic year the same is

not permissible. By the impugned judgment and order

dated 23.03.2018, the learned Single Judge allowed the said

writ petition and set aside the promotion of the appellant to

the post of B.T. Assistant (English).

2.1 The appellant preferred a writ appeal before the

Division Bench of the High Court. By the impugned

Judgment and Order, the High Court has dismissed the

said appeal and has not interfered with the impugned

judgment and order passed by the learned Single Judge,

setting aside the promotion of the appellant to the post of

B.T. Assistant (English).

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3. Though served nobody has appeared on behalf of the

contesting respondents more particularly original writ

petitioners.

4. We have heard Shri P.S. Sridharraj, learned counsel

appearing on behalf of the appellant and Shri C. Solomon,

learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent –

State Authorities.

5. Having heard the learned counsel appearing on behalf

of the respective parties and on perusal of the judgment and

order passed by the learned Single Judge as well as the

Division Bench, it appears that the promotion of the

appellant to the post of B.T. Assistant (English) has been set

aside by the High Court on the ground that the appellant

obtained two degrees namely B.A. (English) and M.A. (Tamil)

simultaneously and therefore as per Rule 14 he was

ineligible for promotion. However, considering Rule 14, it

can be seen that the bar was against teachers who have

obtained B.A./B.Sc./B.Ed degree simultaneously during the

same academic year. In the present case it cannot be said

that the appellant obtained the degree of B.A. (English) and

M.A. (Tamil) during the same academic year. The appellant

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pursued his B.A. (English) during January, 2012 to

December, 2014. He pursued his M.A. (Tamil) which was a

two years distance education course between the academic

years 2013­2014 to 2014­2015. Therefore, as such Rule 14

is not applicable to the facts of the case on hand stricto

senso. The degree of M.A. (Tamil) cannot be equated with

B.A./B.Sc./B.Ed.

5.1 Assuming that the subsequent degree obtained by the

appellant namely M.A. (Tamil) is ignored, in that case also,

considering his degree in B.A. (English) he could have been

promoted to the post of B.T. Assistant (English). That both

the degrees secured by the appellant cannot be ignored. It is

not in dispute that the degree of B.A. (English) was

sufficient as per the eligibility criteria for promotion to the

post of B.T. Assistant (English).

6. Under the circumstances both, the learned Single

Judge as well as the Division Bench of the High Court have

materially erred and ignored the aforesaid aspect in

quashing the promotion of the appellant to the post of B.T.

Assistant (English).

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7. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above

the present appeal succeeds. The impugned judgment and

order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court in

Writ Appeal (MD) No.834 of 2018 and also the judgment and

order passed by the learned Single Judge in Writ Petition

No. 15019 of 2016 are hereby quashed and set aside.

Consequently, the writ petition before the learned Single

Judge stands dismissed. The order of promotion promoting

the appellant to the post of B.T. Assistant (English) dated

06.08.2016 stands restored.

Present appeal is allowed accordingly. However, there

is no order as to costs.

…………………………………J.

(M. R. SHAH)

…………………………………J.

(B. V. NAGARATHNA)
New Delhi,
February 18, 2022.

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