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Factual Background

  • The name of the case is Lava Kumar Sharma v. State of Rajasthan.
  • A senior teacher of Mathematics at Government Senior Secondary School, Babedi was suspended under Rule 13 of Rajasthan Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeals) Rules, 1958.
  • The teacher had sent messages through WhatsApp on social media against the State Government and political party and had disregarded the norms to be followed by a government servant.
  • The suspension order was challenged before the Tribunal but the Tribunal had refused to pass an interim order.

Petitioner’s Submissions

  • The act of the teacher cannot be called misconduct for which an enquiry or his suspension should be done.
  • The photocopies of the messages were presented before the Court and it was submitted that the messages were not criticism of the government of the policies rather were on certain events but not targeted against the government.
  • The Fundamental Right under Article 19 (1) (g) cannot be curtailed by suspending the teacher.
  • Even the criticism of an executive action cannot be termed as misconduct to call for a departmental enquiry.

Court’s Orders

  • The Court stated that the matter requires proper consideration.
  • The suspension order was stayed for the time being and the teacher was allowed to proceed at the same place, in his profession.
  • The Tribunal was retrained from proceeding with the case and that the High Court would consider the case.

What is do you think of the role of Article 19 in this case? Let us know in the comments section below!

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