The Supreme Court has come down heavily on Bihar government for not implementing its 1977 notification that provided "promotional avenues" to secondary school teachers like other government employees.
"The attitude of the state government in this matter has caused unnecessary anxiety to a large number of teachers. The state government must realise that in a country where there is so much illiteracy and where there are a large number of first generation students, the role of the primary and secondary teachers is very important.
"They have to be treated honourably and given appropriate pay and chances of promotion. It is certainly not expected of the state government to drag them to the court in litigation for years altogether," a bench of justices Surinder Singh Nijjar and H L Gokhale said while allowing the plea of Bihar State Government Secondary School Teachers Association (BSGSSTA).
The teachers' body had moved the apex court seeking a direction to implement the 35-year-old notification which provided that their cadre be merged with grade-II officers of Bihar Education Service Association to provide "promotional avenues" to them also.
Justice Nijjar, writing the judgement, took strong exception to the fact that state government changed stands, delayed implementation of notification and pursued three rounds of litigations from high court to the Supreme Court.
The court also expressed its displeasure over the fact that a single judge and the division bench of the Patna High Court heard the matter afresh in third round of litigation, when it had already been decided by the Supreme Court.
"We do not expect such an approach from the state government and least from the high court," it said.
The apex court also ticked off the Patna High Court for ignoring the fact that the apex court had already heard and decided the matter.
"The hierarchy of the courts requires the high courts also to accept the decision of this Court, and its interpretation of the orders issued by the executive. Any departure therefrom will lead only to indiscipline and anarchy," the bench said, in its 42-page judgement.
"The high courts cannot ignore Article 141 of the Constitution which clearly states that the law declared by this Court is binding on all courts within the territory of
India," it added.
"In the same vein we may state that when the judgement of a Court is confirmed by the higher court, the judicial discipline requires that Court to accept that judgement and it