A Bench of the Supreme Court stayed the order which prevented aided-school teachers and non-aided staff from contesting assembly elections. The Bench consisted of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
Senior advocate V Giri, representing the appellants emphasized that the High Court’s order must be stayed as the deadline for submitting nomination forms is within a day.
The petitioners maintained that while government teachers are barred from participating in political activities, no such prohibition exists on aided school teachers.
The petitioners further explained that aided school teachers are entitled to political rights under Kerala Education Act, 1951 and that legal developments in education had made classification of teachers unreasonable.
It also maintained that teachers’ involvement in political activities would affect the quality of education being imparted and, therefore, aided teachers cannot be given the freedom of involvement in political activities as the Right to Education Act aims at ensuring quality education in government as well as aided schools.
The bench allowed the petitions and ruled Section 2 (IV) of the Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualifications) Act, 1951 as unconstitutional which prevented disqualification of employees of non-governmental education institutions if chosen as member of the Assembly solely for holding any office in non-governmental education institutions.