Instead of concentrating on their pious job and contributing to the nation-building, God Has chosen for them, for they, moved by their insatiable greed, engage in the activity of Private tuition … the order reads.
The Bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar explained that the promulgate by the Chief Education Officer, Kishtwar district will just apply to government teachers conferring elementary education up to 8th grade.
The order states,
"That the impugned circular issued by the Chief Education Officer, Kishtwar is beyond the scope and ambit of the Act of 2009 particularly Section 28 thereof and therefore, cannot be applied to the Government Teaching faculty of higher secondary schools and colleges. The circular would have its applicability only to the government schools imparting elementary education i.e. schools up to 8th standard. The circular to the extent aforesaid is, thus, upheld."
The order contains intriguing perceptions made by the Court on the concern of permitting government teachers to take private tuitions.
The order goes on to state,
"The Government teachers are highly qualified and are imparted various training from time to time at the expense of the government to equip them with the latest teaching techniques and methodology. Instead of concentrating on their pious job and contributing to nation-building, God has chosen for them, for, they, moved by their insatiable greed, engage in an activity of private tuition either at their residence or in private coaching centers...
... Many a time, they skip their classes in the government schools so as to show up in the private coaching centers. Their engagement inactivity of private coaching invariably slows down their performance in the Government schools. It is with a view to avoid such unsavory situation and to prevent the government employees from engaging in private occupations, which may directly or indirectly be in conflict with their official duties, the Employees Conduct Rules, have been framed."
The Court passed the order in a challenge to the circular issued on November 21, 2020, pursuant to a complaint alleging that teachers of the school education department were imparting private tuition at coaching centers.
The said circular was passed as per Section 28 of the Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009, which states:
"Prohibition of private tuition by teacher - No teacher shall engage himself or herself in private tuition or private teaching activity."
The applicant had challenged the impugned circular on the accompanying grounds:
Before arriving at its decision, the High Court saw it fit to comment on Rule 10 of the Jammu & Kashmir Government Employees (Conduct) Rules, 1971. As per this provision, no government employee, which would include teaching faculty of government schools, shall engage directly or indirectly in any trade or business or undertake any other employment except with the previous sanction of the government. It observed,
"If Rule 10 of the Employees Conduct Rules is implemented by the Government in all the departments particularly in the department of Education in letter and spirit, the menace of private tuition by government teaching faculty could be eradicated and the teaching faculty can be made accountable and responsible towards the students who completely depend on government institutions for their education and have no means to pay for private tuitions."
The Court also held that a Single Judge order passed in May 2017 which had quashed 2017 circular, was per incuriam. This, because the Single Judge had failed to take into consideration a Division Bench judgment passed in 2005.
Aside from part of the way maintaining the 2020 circular, the Court passed the accompanying bearings: