SC upholds dismissal of teacher

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New Delhi, Mar 2: The Supreme Court has held that a teacher who misbehaves or physically attacks his principal is not fit for the job of a teacher and cannot be allowed to continue even if he has tendered a written apology.

Rejecting the policy of ''slap and say sorry'' a bench comprising Justices H K Sema and Markandey Katju noted that such a person was more like a goon and was not fit to be a teacher who commands tremendous respect in the society.

The apex court set aside the judgement of Rajasthan High Court as well as Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which had ordered the reinstatement of Kendriya Vidyalaya teacher Satbir Singh Mahla who was dismissed from service by the authorities for physically assaulting the school principal in February 1999.

He tendered a written apology the next day but was dismissed from service after an inquiry which found him guilty of indiscipline and misconduct.

He challenged his dismissal before the CAT which reduced the punishment to withholding three increments for a period of five years with cumulative effect. The Rajasthan High Court also upheld the order of CAT reinstating Mahla.

The Supreme Court strongly disapproved the leniency shown by the courts below and noted ''We regret our inability to uphold the judgement of the tribunal as well as of the High Court. A teacher has to be a role model in the society. He is a guru who sets an example for the students. A person who physically assaults the principal of the institution is, in our opinion, not fit to be a teacher. He is more like a goonda.''

UNI8

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