The Secretary, Malankara Syrian Catholic College vs T.Jose - Supreme Court Case
The Secretary, Malankara Syrian Catholic College vs T.Jose - Supreme Court Case Summary of Leading Case -
On 27th November, 2006, a two Judges Bench in The Secretary, Malankara Syrian Catholic College vs T.Jose & Ors. [Civil Appeal No.8599 of 2003] recapitulated the extent of regulation by the State, permissible in respect of employees of minority educational institutions receiving aid from the State, as clarified and crystalised in the TMA Pai case.
“The State can prescribe: (i) the minimum qualifications, experience and other criteria bearing on merit, for making appointments, (ii) the service conditions of employees without interfering with the overall administrative control by the Management over the staff. (iii) a mechanism for redressal of the grievances of the employees.(iv) the conditions for the proper utilisation of the aid by the educational institutions, without abridging or diluting the right to establish and administer educational institutions”, the Bench said.
In other words, the Bench held that “all laws made by the State to regulate the administration of educational institutions, and grant of aid, will apply to minority educational institutions also. But if any such regulations interfere with the overall administrative control by the Management over the staff, or abridges/dilutes, in any other manner, the right to establish and administer educational institutions, such regulations, to that extent, will be inapplicable to minority institutions.”
The Bench further held that “the freedom to choose the person to be appointed as Principal has always been recognized as a vital facet of the right to administer the educational institution” and that this “has not been, in any way, diluted or altered by TMA Pai.”
“Having regard to the key role played by the Principal in the management and administration of the educational institution, there can be no doubt that the right to choose the Principal is an important part of the right of administration and even if the institution is aided, there can be no interference with the said right. The fact that the post of the Principal/Headmaster is also covered by State aid, will make no difference”, the Bench said.
The Bench held that “the right of the minority to select a Principal of its choice is with reference to the assessment of the person’s outlook and philosophy and ability to implement its objects. The management is entitled to appoint the person, who according to them is most suited, to head the institution, provided he possesses the qualifications prescribed for the posts. The career advancement prospects of the teaching staff, even those belonging to the same community, should have to yield to the right of the management under Article 30(1) of the Constitution to establish and administer educational institutions.”