The Karnataka High Court, on Friday, November 3, said that a college cannot hide behind the linguistic minority tag and remove employees in contravention to the provisions of the Karnataka Education Act (KEA), 1983.
Dismissing an appeal filed by Rajarajeshwari Dental College and Hospital, the high court said it could not, in this case, go by the submission that the apex court in TMA PAI (case) has differentiated unaided minority educational institutions from other educational institutions, whereby, the provisions of Section 98(1) of the 1983 Act cannot be invoked.
“The reason for this is obvious: the 1983 Act is a plenary legislation which enjoys a very strong presumption of validity,” the bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit said, as per a report by PTI.
Rajarajeshwari Dental College and Hospital had terminated one Dr Sanjay Murgod from service in June 2021, which he had challenged before a single judge bench.
The single judge bench had ordered his reinstatement with immediate effect in January 2023. This was challenged in the appeal by the college.
“It hardly needs to be emphasised that the education and educational institutions play a pivotal role in nation building and therefore a legislature rightly feels the need for protecting tenure of service and conditions of these employees. In a sense, these provisions aim at social security as well, like the Labour Laws do for the workmen,” said the high court.
The HC also dismissed the contention that the said college was governed under the Dentists Act, 1948 and therefore the KEA 1983 was not applicable to it, the PTI report added.