Teacher approaches HC, says lost job for speaking out
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In an interview, he brought up sexual harassment of a headmistress by headmaster.
A teacher of Shivam Vidya Mandir in Sakinaka has approached the Bombay HC alleging that his job was terminated as he gave an interview to a television channel regarding alleged sexual harassment by the headmaster of the school. The court has now asked the education officer of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to decide on the appeal filed by him challenging the action taken against him.
While a division bench of Justice S J Vazifdar and Justice Mridula Bhatkar has disposed of the case as of now, it has said in the order that the petition may be revived if the appeal is not decided by the officer.
The petitioner, Prashant Singh, has alleged a 'gross case of victimization' by the school Shivam Vidya Mandir and the trust Shivam Shiksha Samiti. Singh in July 2009 gave an interview to a television channel alleging that the headmaster of the school Ramashankar Babulal Shrivastav sexually harassed the headmistress of the primary section. Singh demanded that the 'illegal' termination of his job be set aside, and that he should be reinstated with back wages. He was appointed as an assistant teacher in the school in 1999.
Singh said, the school did not follow the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (MEPS) rules, that mentions that primary schools have to take permission of the BMC before initiating action of termination. He subsequently filed an appeal before the BMC education officer, who directed that the enquiry be reconducted following MEPS rules. However, according to him, fresh proceedings were initiated against him, after which a second order of suspension was passed against him on February 23, 2011. Singh has filed an appeal before the education officer.
The school on the other hand, has accused him of defaming it, and also of collecting 'fees' from students without the authority's permission and misbehaving with a female teacher. He approached the High Court asking it to intervene with respect to the inaction of education officer in deciding his appeal, which was filed after the February order.
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