The Meghalaya government will study the Meghalaya High Court judgment before taking a call on the court’s directive to make rules for extending pension and other benefits to teachers of government aided, adhoc and deficit schools and colleges in the state.
The judgment passed by the bench of Justice S.R. Sen on Thursday said that teachers should be given pension according to the government pension rules as was given to those teaching in government schools and colleges.
The judgment was passed after adjudicating a writ petition filed by the Greater Phulbari Area Deficit School. While disposing of the petition, Justice Sen directed the state government to ensure that the fifth Meghalaya pay commission’s recommendation is followed in letter and spirit, and the judgment shall be applicable throughout Meghalaya.
The government was directed to take note that the observations as well as directions made in the judgment are mandatory and must be followed strictly and the same should be complied with within three months.
Though the Meghalaya government through its counsel submitted before the court that “there is no provision for pension and other benefits in the acts and rules,” Justice Sen, however, said that the government has the power to make a provision in the said acts and rules for pension and other benefits.
“The government can amend the acts and rules if they are really concerned about the plights of teachers of government aided, adhoc and deficit schools and colleges.
“What is important is to have a human touch and approach for all the citizens of the country so that they can live a decent and comfortable life after retirement with their kith and kin.
“We must remember teachers are the backbone of the society and it is through their contributions, dedication and hard work which has moulded us to become what we are today; be it a judge, minister, lawyer, doctor or an IAS officer, and that, we can never forget,” Justice Sen.
As the new pension scheme came into effect from April 1, 2010, the court was of the opinion that it will not be applicable in the case of government aided, adhoc and deficit, and college teachers who have retired prior to April 1, 2010.
Commenting on the court ruling, education minister, Lahkmen Rymbui said that the state government would study the judgment, discuss it in detail how to go about.
Asked if the state government is not in a position to implement the pension scheme, Rymbui said the state government is not free from difficulties and has to work it out to overcome the problems.
The court had already warned the state government not to take any plea of financial constraint to give the pension and other benefits to the teaching and non-teaching staff of government aided, adhoc and deficit schools and colleges.