Teachers' Day gift for fired Mumbai school principal

It was a lonely battle that lasted over a year for Lalitha Hariharan, former principal of Rizvi Springfield School in Bandra, but victory was finally hers on Teachers' Day.

Also read: Sacked Mumbai school principal turns to school tribunal for justice

Lalitha Hariharan
Lalitha Hariharan

This paper had first reported that in May 2014, after the school management terminated her services citing “misconduct” and “inefficiency” as key reasons for their decision, Hariharan was forced to resign. A year later, the School Tribunal has overturned this termination and ordered the management to reinstate Hariharan.

“I served the school for 15 years and suddenly my services were terminated. It claims to be among the reputed institutes, but when I joined it in 1999, it was a small institution. I worked for it all these years to make it one of the best,” said Hariharan. At the time of her suspension, she had three years of service remaining but was packed off with three months’ salary and no answers to her queries. She decided to approach the education department and the School Tribunal.

The incident took place within the school premises on April 30, 2014, when one of the trustees handed a termination letter to Hariharan. According to the rules of the school education department, a school can terminate services of an employee, provided they set up an inquiry committee and prove the charges against him or her. No such inquiry committee was set up in this case. School management trustee
Dr A Rizvi had told mid-day that Hariharan’s “inefficiency” and “lack of administrative skills” were the reasons. “She has also created trouble for the institution in the past and worked against the interest of the school,” he said. “The principal should be reinstated on the post with 75 per cent of her earlier wages and continuity of services and this order has to be complied by within three months from the date of this order,” states the School Tribunal order dated July 8, 2015. Hariharan said she was ready to return, but her main goal had been to get a clean chit, which she has.

When sunday mid-day contacted the school officials, they refused to comment, calling the matter “subjudice”. However, Hariharan has been informed that the school management has received the order from the School Tribunal and has challenged it in the Bombay High Court.

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