SC upholds West Bengal Madrasah Act

SC upholds West Bengal Madrasah Act

Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission Act, 2008, clearing the way for the appointment of teachers in madrassas in the state.

The top court also upheld the appointment of teachers made by commission constituted under the Act.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit set aside a Calcutta High Court verdict which had held the legislation as unconstitutional and said that appointments made by the madrassa management committees till now will also remain valid in the larger interest.

It upheld the constitutional validity of the West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission Act, 2008 which mandated that the appointment of teachers in madrassas was to be decided by a commission.

Several petitions were filed in the Calcutta High Court challenging the validity of the law, contending that the government, which funds or provides aid to the minority institutions, can formulate guidelines for appointments of teachers but cannot itself appoint them.

The high court declared the Act unconstitutional, saying it was violative of Article 30 which stated that all minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

The verdict of the high court was eventually challenged in the top court by teachers who were appointed under the new law.

The top court, while agreeing to hear the batch of pleas challenging the high court verdict, had granted them interim relief and directed the state government not to remove them from their jobs till the final order.

In 2018, the top court had allowed the state government to fill the vacant posts subject to final outcome of the case.

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