10,323 vs. 127

Malay Nath

It is doubtlessly quite astonishing to note that the legally terminated 10,323 teachers are still under this false notion that the appointments of only 462 of them have been legally terminated, and the appointments of the other 9,861 have been illegally terminated. They are of this very strong opinion that Paragraph 127 of the Judgment in the Tanmoy Nath case delivered by the Hon'ble High Court of Tripura on 07/05/2014 cannot legally terminate the appointments of the 9,861 teachers because only the 462 have been impleaded in the said case and the said paragraph can legally terminate the appointments only of those who have been impleaded in this case. 

They are absolutely wrong when they say that Paragraph 127 can legally terminate the appointments only of those who have been impleaded in this case. Rather, they should definitely know that Paragraph 127 can legally terminaite the appointments not only of those who have been impleaded but also of those who have been represented owing to the application of “Order 1, Rule 8 of CPC”.

The 10,323 teachers have approached the High Court and have asked it who have really been legally terminated by Paragraph 127. Then, the High Court has answered this question through its Judgment in "WP (C) no. 1040/2019" pronounced on 03/10/2019. In Paragraph 18 of this Judgment, the High Court has categorically indicated that not only the 462 teachers but also all of the 10,323 teachers have been terminated by Paragraph 127 because of the application of "Order 1, Rule 8 of CPC". The Court has then clarified that though it is true that "Order 1, Rule 8 of CPC" may not apply to civil cases regard being had to service matters, yet if the Court deems it fit to apply even to a service matter related case, then it can do such. Thereafter, the Court has added that, in the Tanmoy Nath case, the Court has deemed it fit to apply "Order 1, Rule 8 of CPC", and hence it has done so, resulting in the terminating of all of the 10,323 teachers. The Court observes: 

"18. . . . It is true that in a service matter, principles laid down under Order I Rule 8 of CPC may not apply, but then this Court was dealing with a case where as it stood observed, that the action of the Government was “a cruel joke on the people of Tripura”. The entire selection process was held to be absolutely arbitrary, capricious and whimsical. It smacked of nothing less than nepotism and favourism. Prudently, the writ Court thought it fit to issue a general notice and not implead all of the 10,323 selected candidates as party respondents, some of whom, in any case, were before this Court. In a representative capacity, the petitions were considered, argued and decided."

Now, here, the words "not implead all of the 10,323 selected candidates as party respondents" indicate that though all of the 10,323 teachers have not been impleaded as party respondents in the Tanmoy Nath case, yet it does not mean that they have not been terminated; rather, they have been terminated, because they have been represented due to the application of “Order 1, Rule 8 of CPC” and therefore the effects of the Judgment in the Tanmoy Nath case shall equally fall on each of the 10,323 teachers. Also in Paragraphs 23 and 24 of this Judgment, the Court has categorically indicated how Paragraph 127 of the Judgment in the Tanmoy Nath case has legally terminated the appointments not only of the 462 teachers but also of all of the 10,323 teachers. Paragraphs 23 and 24 say:

"23. Even on the second point, we find the plea to be absolutely fallacious, if not dishonest. Petitioner’s contention that the judgment was to apply prospectively and not affect the appointments already made is absolutely misplaced and misconceived. In para-121 reproduced supra, this Court had specifically set aside the entire selection process and appointments made pursuant to the policy framed by the State. Only to protect and safeguard the interest of the children, so as not to adversely affect their studies, the selected candidates were allowed to function till the end of the academic session, i.e. 31.12.2014.

“24. Para-127 of the said judgment cannot be read in isolation. It has to be read contextually in the backdrop of the entire judgment. It is seen that from para-123 up to para-126, the Court issued certain directions with regard to the framing of new employment policy. If the State were not to comply with such directions, the Court itself laid down the criteria for initiating the selection process for appointment of teachers in various categories. The manner and the basis on which reservation was to be made were also discussed. The Court was conscious of the fact that policy was not confined only to the post of different category of teachers. It was a broad based policy, covering all categories of employees. Since challenge in the original writ petitions was confined only to the teachers (of all categories), it is in this backdrop, the Court refrained from passing any order quashing appointments made with respect to other category(s) of posts and restricted the relief only to the teachers of all categories. Since new employment policy was to be framed by the State, the Court protected “the said appointment”, unless they were subjected to challenge before the Court on the ground that their employment being illegal. This is how we read para-127 of the judgment. It is not that appointment of teachers belonging to all categories, i.e. undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate stood protected by the Court, for acceptance of such a contention would render the judgment to be nugatory, apart from making it appear inherently contradictory. Para-127 has to be read in the light of para-121and 122 (reproduced supra) of the judgment." 

Besides, Paragraph 9 of the Judgment in "WP (C) no. 95/2021", and "WP (C) no. 96/2021" rendered by the Hon'ble High Court on 26/02/2021 has also reiterated the same:

“[9] The  decision  of  this  Court  in  case  of  Tanmoy  Nath  thus  was clear  on  its  sweep  and  implications.  Entire  selections  made  by  the  State Government  pursuant  to  the  advertisement  issued  on  23rd  September,  2009 were set  aside.  This  has  been  so  stated  by  the  Court  on  various  occasions  as I have  noted  earlier.  Very  foundation  of  the  selection  being  a  new recruitment  policy  which  was  declared  unconstitutional,  the  Court  was persuaded  to  set  aside  all  selections.  It  did  not  refer  to  specific  selections and  appointments  under  challenge  as  is  sought  to  be  canvassed  before  me by  the  counsel  for  the  petitioners.  It  is  undisputed  that  the  petitioners  had also  applied  in  response  to  the  said  advertisement  and  were  selected  and appointed  under  the  same  exercise  which  was  scrutinized  by  the  High Court  and  declared  as  illegal.  The  observations  of  the  Court  in  paragraph 127  of  the  judgment  noted  earlier  therefore  must  be  viewed  from  this background.  This  paragraph  cannot  be  read  in  isolation  as  to  limit  the  effect of  the  judgment  in  case  of  Tanmoy  Nath  to  only  those  specific  selections which  the original  petitioners  might  have challenged  before the  High  Court. What  in  paragraph  127  of  the  judgment  the  Division  Bench  had  provided was  that  the  effect  of  the  judgment  would  be  limited  to  the  selection  of teachers  pursuant  to  the  advertisement  dated  23.09.2009  and  not  to  any other  selections.  This  was  necessary  because  the  new  recruitment  policy  of the  Government  framed  in  the  year  2003  may  have  been  a  source  of appointment  of  number  of  other  Government  posts.  If  the  decision  of  the Tanmoy  Nath  was  utilized  to  reopen  such  appointments,  far  reaching  and widespread  implications  would  be  felt  in  administration  leading  to  chaotic situation.  It  was  in  this  background  that  the  Court  made  its  clarifications  in paragraph  127  of the  judgment.” 

Shri Ajoy Debbarma and others challenged the Judgment in "WP (C) no. 1040/2019", in which above Paragraphs 23 and 24 exist, to the Hon'ble Apex Court on 07/02/2020, but the Apex Court upheld this very Judgment having Paragraphs 23 and 24 in toto on 05/08/2020, thus crystal clearly indicating that Paragraph 127 of the Judgment in the Tanmoy Nath case has legally terminated the appointments not only of the 462 teachers but also of all of the 10,323 teachers. 

But, unfortunately enough, the legally terminated 10,323 teachers seem to be ignorant of this law. But they ought to instantaneously learn it aptly that if one is ignorant of a law, then it does not mean that that law becomes impotent. For instance, if one does an illegal work because of the fact that one is ignorant of the law which states that if one does an illegal work, one shall be punished by the law of the land, then it does not mean that one shall not be published by the law of the land, for "IGNORANTIA JURIS NON EXCUSAT"

In fine, it very much deserves to become verbalised that indeed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, both arcane is the very paragraph given birth to in 2014 owing to its being able to get deciphered only providing it be so contextually, thus dragooning the majority of who have had to become its victims into ceaselessly embracing legions of unwanted phenomena, which must have been impelled to hug its sheer inability to fructify had the language exist it does in failed to be a wily language, thereby hardly having oodles of swingeing cuts, which is incontrovertibly cut out for quite unfailingly flummoxing even a savant sometimes via ensnarling him in the morass of its myriad ways of swashbuckling in much the same way as the lionised verse of the 'Brahmajnanavalimala' encapsulating the essence of what is the end of the truths not ephemeral apprising its unvarnished readers of the ephemerality of everything of the universe not transcendental is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, and fond of camouflaging what ought not to have got itself tied to the nuptial knot with the camouflaging, thereby having let the hullabaloo be able to be in existence, juddering the existence of the otherwise existent, which seems to have dilapidated even the probability of the juddering's ceasing to be in the near future, thus having the sufferers in the utmost despair.