High Court Division :
(Special Original Jurisdiction)
Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury J
JBM Hassan J
Anowara Chowdhury and others...........Petitioners
Bangladesh and others ...........Respondents
March 11th, 2014
Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff of Nationalized Colleges Absorption Rules, 2000
Relaxation is not without any specific terms and conditions because the petitioners have to qualify as per the requirement of the BCS Cadre Service within 3 years from the date of absorption as the lecturers, otherwise, the petitioners would certainly loose the benefits of the Provision of the order. This condition requires the petitioners to cure their academic qualification within a stipulated period of time in order to get the provision of relax facilities to continue as lecturers in the College.
The petitioners came before this court only for absorption as lecturers on condition to obtain first class MA/MSc within 3 years. In this regard we consider that academic back ground is most important to set standard equivalent to a BCS Cadre but at the same time the respondents should not ignore the teaching experience of a teacher for a long period of time. In the instant case the petitioners have been serving as lecturers between the period of 15 years to 30 years but it became an unfortunate for them as soon as the college has been nationalized. It can be placed for argument sake that as to why they could not have the required academic qualification for absorbing in the service, even though, they were receiving the government salaries and other benefits as being listed in the MPO for such a long period of time. We consider that the order passed by the Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Public Administration for relaxing the required academic requirements in cases of the teaching staffs who could not qualify under the BCS requirement to be appointed as lecturers or teachers. .. .... (16)
Md Shafique Ahmed with ARM Walilur Rahman Khan, Advocates - For the Petitioners.
Goutam Kumar Roy DAG with Md Eunus Ali, AAG-For the Respondents.
Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury J : At the instance of the writ petitioners, Anowara Chowdhury and others, this Rule has been issued calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why inaction of the respondents in absorbing the service of the petitioners as the lecturers of the Sarkari Bir Sherestha Abdur Rouf Degree College going to be absorbed vide Circular No. 05.00.0000.155.15.028.09428 dated 12-8-2012 (Annexure-D) signed by the Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Establishment (Respondent No.4) taking linent view in respect of their educational qualifications being not obtained 1st Class in Masters Degree and covered by the rule 2(Q)(A) of the Teachers and Non-Teaching Staffs of Nationalized Colleges Absorption Rules, 2000 (Annexure-E) and accepting the decision of considering 2nd Class in Masters Degree by way of inserting sub-rule 4 and 5 of the rule 9 of the said Rules, 2000 as proposed in the meeting of the Ministry of establishment held on 18-2-2011 (Annexure-F) shall not be declared to have been done without lawful authority and of no legal effect and such not binding upon the petitioners and/or pass such other or further order or orders as to this Court may seem fit and proper.
2. The relevant facts for disposal of this Rule, inter alia, are that originally a College was established by the name of Kamarkhali College in the year of 1970 under PS Kamarkhali District-Faridpur which was subsequently renamed as Bir Sherestha Abdur Rouf Degree College in the year of 1989. The said College was listed as a Nationalized College on 22-12-2011 and it was enlisted and named as Sarkari Bir Sherestha Abdur Rouf Degree College ("the College"). The petitioners have been serving in this College in the following manners:-
(1) The petitioner No.1 Anowara Chowdhury got B.Ed. Degree in Second Class in the year of 1989 and obtained Second Class in MA in the year of 1980 from the Dhaka University and was appointed and joined on 15-2-1988 as a lecturer of Islamic History.
(2) The petitioner No.2 Kumud Biswas got BSc and MSc Degree in Biology (Second Classes) and he was appointed and joined in the College on 24-11-1980.
(3) The petitioner No.3, Premendranath Shaha, got BS and MA Degrees from the Dhaka University and was appointed as a lecturer and joined in the College on 26-9-1984.
(4) The petitioner No.4, Amalendra Paul, got B Com (Hons) and MA in the year of 1983 and joined in the College on 12-8-1989.
(5) The petitioner No.5, Kazi Murad Hossain, got BA (Hons) in English and MA from Rajshahi University who was appointed as a lecturer on English and joined on 12-3-1995, and
(6) finally the petitioner No.6, Kazi Aminul Islam, got BA (Hons) in English and MA from Jahangir Nagar University and was appointed as a lecturer of English and joined on 20-9-1997.
3. All of the petitioners got 2nd Class in' the Masters Degree. Since their appointment petitioner No.1 had been serving as Principal-in-Charge of the College and the petitioner Nos. 2 and 3 have been serving as the Assistant Professors and the petitioner Nos. 5 and 6 have been serving as lecturers and were enlisted in the Monthly Pay Order (MPO) for obtaining Government Portion of salaries and other benefits.
4. Before nationalization of the College by the Government the petitioners were enlisted and qualified as lecturers to be listed in MPO. The respondent No.4 the Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Establishment by a Circular bearing Memo No. 05.00.000.155.15.028.09428 dated 12-8-2012 created total 27 posts for the College but the respondents out of 27 posts created posts for only 19 lecturers to be absorbed and the present 6 (six) petitioners were not absorbed on the ground of lack of academic qualification as required by the rule (Q) of the জাতীয়তাকরণকৃত কলেজ শিক্ষক ও অ-শিক্ষক কর্মচারী আত্মীকরণ বিধিমালা, 2000| Being aggrieved by the inaction of the respondents for a long period of time the petitioners filed this writ petition and obtained the present Rule.
5. Mr Md Shafique Ahmed, the learned Advocate, appearing along with the learned Advocate Mr ABM Walilur Rahman Khan, for the petitioner submits that the Circular dated 18-12-2011 (Annexure- D) was issued for the absorption of 27 lecturers for the Sarkari Bir Sherestha Abdur Rauf Degree College which categorically states-in "condition 4" that if any teacher has no required qualification for the absorption in the nationalized college he would get opportunity to earn the eligibility within 3 (three) years from the date of absorption, as such, the petitioners should have given the opportunities of absorbing themselves as the lecturer on ad-hoc basic in the said nationalized college at least for 3(three) years but the respondents are not taking any appropriate step in the petitioners' matter for a long period of time which is vocative to the petitioners' fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution of Bangladesh.
6. The learned senior Counsel further submits that the petitioners have been rendering services to the College for more than 15 years to 33 years and by this long period of time they have gathered sufficient knowledge and they have been equipped with vast experience in teaching but if at this stage of their lives they are not given the opportunity of absorption they will be highly prejudiced, because in one hand, they will not get any chance of absorbing themselves in any other place and, on the other hand, the students will also be deprived of their learning from their experienced teachers, as such, if any decision is taken by the respondents in not absorbing the service of the petitioners it would be liable to be declared to have done without any lawful authority.
7. The learned senior Counsel further submits that the petitioners have been serving the College as lecturers and the students of the Colleges have been getting benefits of their teaching experience but the respondents by inaction ignored the petitioners experience by not absorbing them in the College as lecturers on the ground of academic background but the petitioners are prepared to cure their academic qualification for absorption in the service within the stipulated 3 years time, in failure they will be disqualified, thus, inaction has infringed the fundamental right of the petitioner, as such, the Rule should be made absolute.
8. The Rule has been opposed by the respondent Nos. 2 and 4, the Joint Secretary (Rule), Ministry of Public Administration and the Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration (previously known as Ministry of Establishment) by filing an affidavit-in-opposition and also a supplementary affidavit-in-opposition contending, inter alia, that admittedly the College was nationalized by the government and admittedly the petitioners were in service before nationalization of the College but under the provision of rule ((Q) of the জাতীয়তাকরণকৃত কলেজ শিক্ষক ও অ-শিক্ষক কর্মচারী আত্মীকরণ বিধিমালা 2000| the petitioners could not qualify to be absorbed as no decision has yet been taken by the government to relax or to deviate from the provision under the said rule. It is also contended that, the Ministry of Education without taking cognizance about the opinion given by the Ministry of Public Administration, therefore, the Bangladesh Public Service Commission by its letter vide Memo No. 425 dated 19-10-2011 requested the Ministry of Education to make void of the said amendment vide SRO No. 320 law /2001, and also requested to make a new amendment on the basis of the opinion given by BPSC.
9. Mr Goutam Kumar Roy, the learned Deputy Attorney-General appearing with the learned Assistant Attorney General Md Eunus Ali, for the respondent Nos. 2 and 4 submits that the petitioners filed this writ petition against the inaction of the respondents but the petitioners were not qualified under the provision of the Rule, 2000 as they do not hold first class in the Masters Degree which is the first requirement to be absorbed, as such, this Rule is not sustainable under law and the Rule is liable to be discharged. The learned Deputy Attorney General also submits that the writ petition is not maintainable in its present form because of the petitioners' grievances are connected with the terms and conditions of the service which is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Administrative Tribunal constituted under Article 117 of the Constitution of Bangladesh, as such the Rule is liable to be discharged.
10. After considering the submissions made by the learned Advocate appearing for the respective parties and also considering the Writ Petition along with the annexures therein and also considering the affidavit-in-opposition and the Supplementary Affidavit-in-Opposition filed by the respondent Nos. 2 and 4 along with the annexures therein, it appears to us that the instant College was established by the name and title of Kamarkhali College in the District of Faridpur which was subsequently renamed as Bir Sherestha Abdul Rouf Degree College. The petitioners admittedly had been serving the College as Principal-in-Charge/lecturers in the said College but the College was nationalized by the Government on 22-12-2011 and renamed as the Sarkari Bir Sherestha Abdul Rouf degree College. At the time of nationalization of the said College there was a law existing for absorption of the teachers from a private college to a nationalized College which contains in Rule (Q) of the জাতীয়করণকৃত কলেজ শিক্ষক ও অ-শিক্ষক কর্মচারী আত্মীকরণ বিধিমালা 2000| The said rule contains relevant provision under rule 9 as to the effect of converting a private college into a nationalized college. rule 9 of the said Rules, 2000 is reproduced below:
“৯। রহিতকরণ ও হেফাজত (১) জাতীয়করণকৃত কলেজ শিক্ষক ও অ-শিক্ষক কর্মচারী আত্মীকরণ বিধিমালা, ১৯৮৮ এতদ্বারা রহিত করা হইল।
(২) এই বিধিতে ভিন্নতর যাহাই থাকুক না কেন, জাতীয়করণকৃত কলেজ শিক্ষক ও অ-শিক্ষক কর্মচারী আত্মীকরণ বিধিমালা, ১৯৮৮ এবং উক্ত বিধিমালা দ্বারা রহিতকৃত ঞযব ঞবধপযবৎং ধহফ ঘড়হ-ঞবধপযরহম ঝঃধভভ ড়ভ ঘধঃরড়হধষরুবফ ঈড়ষষবমব (উরৎবপঃড়ৎধঃব ড়ভ চঁনষরপ ওহংঃৎঁপঃরড়হ) অনংড়ৎঢ়ঃরড়হ জঁষবং, ১৯৮১ এর অধীন আত্মীকৃত শিক্ষক এই বিধিমালা কার্যকর হওয়ার পূর্বে যে জ্যেষ্ঠতা, পদোন্নতি ও আর্থিক সুবিধাদি পাইয়াছেন বা পাওয়ার অধিকারী তাহা বলবৎ থাকিবে এবং তাহাদের স্ব স্ব কার্যকর চাকুরীকাল ও সরকারী চাকুরীকালের ভিত্তিতে ক্যাডারে কর্মররত অন্যান্য শিক্ষকগণের সহিত তাহাদের পারস্পরিক জ্যোষ্ঠতা নির্ধারিত হইবে এবং এই জ্যেষ্ঠতার ভিত্তিতে আত্মীকৃত শিক্ষকগণ পরবর্তীতে পদোন্নতি, টাইপ স্কেল ও অন্যান্য আর্থিক সুবিধা পাইবেন।
(৩) এই বিধিমালা জারীর পূর্বে জাতীয়করণকৃত কোন কলেজের শিক্ষক ও অ-শিক্ষক কর্মচারীর নিয়োগ নিয়মিত না হইয়া থাকিলে, উক্ত নিয়োগ নিয়মিতকরণ এবং আনুষঙ্গিক বিষয়ে এই বিধিমালা প্রযোজ্য হইবে।”
১১. ঞযব ধভড়ৎবসবহঃরড়হবফ ৎঁষব ৯ ধিং ংঁনংবয়ঁবহঃষু ধসবহফবফ নু ধিু ড়ভ রহংবৎঃরহম ংঁন-ৎঁষব (৪) নু ঃযব এধুবঃঃব ঘড়ঃরভরপধঃরড়হ ফধঃবফ ৫-১২-২০০১ যিরপয ৎবধফং ধং ভড়ষষড়ংি:-
“(৪) এই বিধিমালা অন্যান্য বিধিসমূহে যাহা কিছুই থাকুক না কেন, এই বিধিমালা জারীর পূর্বে জাতীয়করণকৃত মহিলা কলেজের শিক্ষকদের ক্যাডারের, প্রভাষক পদে এডহক ভিত্তিক নিয়োগদান এবং তাহাদের চাকুরী নিয়মিতকরণের ক্ষেত্রে এই বিধিমালা দ্বারা নির্ধারিত প্রয়োজনীয় যোগ্যতা শিলিযোগ্য হইবে।”
12. Since 2001 the Public Service Commission recommended the certain amendment of the said provision of rule 9(4) on 19-10-2011 (Annexure-3) of the Affidavit-in opposition which reads as follows:-
“৪। জাতীয়করণকৃত মহিলা কলেজের শিক্ষক ও অশিক্ষক কর্মচারী আত্মীয়করণ বিধিমালা, ২০০০ উপ-বিধি ৯(৪) এর এসআরও নং ৩২০-আইন/২০০১ জারীকৃত প্রজ্ঞাপনটি বাতিল করার জন্য কমিশন ৩০-৯-২০০৯ ও ১৫-২-২০১০ তারিখের পত্রে মন্ত্রণায়কে অনুরোধ জানায় (কপি সংযুক্ত) পরবর্তীতে শিক্ষা মন্ত্রণালয় ২১-৪-২০১০ তারিখের ৩১৮ নং পত্রে উল্লিখিত এসআরও ৩২০-আইন/২০০১ এর পরিবর্তনের বিষয়টি প্রক্রিয়াধীন মর্মে কমিশনকে অবহিত করে। কিš' উল্লিখিত বিষয়ে দীর্ঘ সময়েও ৩৪ নং পত্রে এসআরও নং-৩২০ আইন/২০০১ এর এর সংশোধন সম্পর্কে শিক্ষা মন্ত্রণালয়ের নিকট জানতে চাওয়া হয় (কপি সংযুক্ত)। অদ্যাবধি এ বিষয়ে কোন জবাব পাওয়া যায়নি।
৫। এমতাব¯'ায় উল্লেখিত বিধিমালা, ২০০০ এর উপ-বিধি ৯(৪) এর এসআরও নং ৩২০ আইন/২০০১ বাতিল করে কমিশনের সুপারিশ অনুসারে নতুন এসআরও এর প্রজ্ঞাপন জারী পূর্বক প্রস্তাবিত উপ-বিধি ৯(৫) সংযোজনকে বিষয়ে সংশ্লিষ্ট উপ কমিটি ও জরুরী ভিত্তিতে প্রেরণ করার জন্য অনুরোধ করা যা"েছ।”
13. Finally the respondents are considering to attend the Rule in order to facilitate a teacher / lecture of a Private College converted into a nationalized college by relaxing the educational qualifications by way of the resolution of the Ministry of Public Administration dated 18-12-2011 which suggested to insert the following provision under Rule, 2001 in the following terms:-
“(ক) অনু"েছদ ২ এর পর্যালোচনার আলোকে শিক্ষা মন্ত্রণালয়, সরকারী কর্মকমিশন কর্তৃক ২৩-১০-২০০১, তারিখে এবং জনপ্রশাসনক মন্ত্রণালয় কর্তৃক ১০-১০-২০০১ তারিখে প্রদত্ত মতামতের আলোকে জাতীয়করণকৃত কলেজ শিক্ষক-অশিক্ষক কর্মচারী আত্মীকরণ বিধিমালা, ২০০০ দ্বারা নির্ধারিত প্রয়োজনীয় যোগ্যতা সংশ্লিষ্ট বিষয়ে কমপক্ষে দ্বিতীয় শ্রেণীর স্নাতকোত্তর ডিগ্রিী পর্যন্ত শিথিলযোগ্য করার বিধান সন্নিবেশ করে উক্ত বিধিমালার প্রয়োজনীয় সংশোধনী আনায়নে প্রয়োজনীয় পদক্ষেপ গ্রহণ করতে পারে।”
14. From the above all these provisions and decisions, the respondent have been considering to accommodate the petitioners in the nationalized College.
15. Most importantly, the Ministry of Public Administration passed an order to create post for 27 teaching and non-teaching staffs through the Memo bearing No. 05.00.0000.155.15.028.09428 dated 12-8-2012. The said order contains a clear provision for appointing qualified teachers under the standard as a BCS Cadre. However, the said order also contains a provision for absorbing the existing lecturers in the College before it was a Private Institution and after it was nationalized on condition to obtaining required academic qualification within 3 years from the date of absorption. This condition is most relevant provision for the present petitioners which reads as follows:-
“(৪) সরকারী চাকুরীর বেলায় প্রয়োজ্য শিক্ষক পদের জন্য পদধারীদের কর্মকমিশন কর্তৃক নির্ধারিত শিক্ষাগত যোগ্যতা থাকবে হবে। যদি উপযুক্ত শিক্ষাগত যোগ্যতা কোন পদধারীর না থাকে তাহলে সরকারী চাকুরীতে আত্মীকরণের ৩ বছরের মধ্যে তাকে প্রয়োজনীয় শিক্ষাগত যোগ্যতা অর্জন করতে হয়। তা না হলে সংশ্লিষ্ট পদধারী সরকারি চাকুরীতে বহাল থাকার অধিকার হারাবেন।”
16. From the above lengthy process of decision to absorb lecturers/ teachers like the present petitioners on fulfilling the certain specific condition. It is admitted position at the present moment the petitioners did not have the required academic qualification of First Class or Second Class in (Hon's) and Masters Degree but all of them obtained Second Class in the Masters Degree. Now the question is whether the said academic qualification can be relaxed to facilitate the petitioners for absorbing in the College as they were holding the posts prior to nationalization of the College. To answer the said question we consider that the said requirement of academic qualifications are equivalent to Public Service Commission (BCS) in Education Cadre Service but none of the petitioners expressed their willingness to be included in the academic cadre service. We also consider that in the present case the petitioners came before this court only for absorption as lecturers on condition to obtain first class MA/MSc within 3 years. In this regard, we consider that academic background is most important to set standard equivalent to a BCS Cadre but at the same time the respondents should not ignore the teaching experience of a teacher for a long period of lime. In the instant case, the petitioners have been serving as lecturers between the period of 15 years to 30 years but it became an unfortunate event for them as soon as the College has been nationalized. It can be placed for argument sake that as to why they could not have the required academic qualification for absorbing in the service, even though, they were receiving the government salaries and other benefits as being listed in the MPO for such a long period of time. We consider that the order passed by the respondent No.4, the Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Public Administration on "12-8-2012 for relaxing the required academic requirements in cases of the teaching staffs who could not qualify under the BCS requirement to be appointed as lecturers or teachers. This relaxation is not without any specific terms and conditions because the petitioners have to quallify as per the requirement of the BCS Cadre Service within 3 years from the date of absorption as the lecturers, otherwise, the petitioners would certainly loose the benefits of the provision of the said order. This condition requires the petitioners to cure their academic qualification within a stipulated period of time in order to get the provision of relax facilities to continue as lecturers in the said College. In the above circumstances, we consider that the petitioners are entitled to get absorbed as the lecturers on condition of obtaining required academic qualification within 3 years from the date of absorption. We, therefore, consider the petitioners should be absorbed in the College.
17. Accordingly we find merit in the Rule.
18. In the result, the Rule is made absolute without any order as to costs.
19. In view of the above findings, the respondents are hereby directed to absorb the petitioners within 2 (two) months from the date of receipt of the copy of the judgment of this court in their respective post as the lecturers.
20. The respondents are also directed to allow the petitioners to get required qualification within 3 (three) years from the date of absorption, in failure, the petitioners will loose the benefits of this judgment and order to continue as the as lecturers in the service.