A defiant municipality, a school in chaos

Published On: November 3, 2018 02:15 AM NPT By: Mithilesh Yadav

LAHAN, Nov 3: After the Municipal Education Committee of Lahan Municipality decided to remove Parameshwar Raya from the position of Principal of Pashupati Adarsha Secondary School, the committee sent a recommendation for the removal to the Education Coordination Unit of Lahan. Accepting the committee's request, the unit issued a notice to the municipality on July 5, dismissing Raya from the position of principal.

After the incident, Raya filed a case against Lahan Municipality and the Education Coordination Unit at the Rajbiraj Bench of Janakpur High Court, accusing them of removing him from the position without a valid reason. A single bench of Judge Til Prasad Shrestha concluded that Raya should not have been sacked and sent an interim decision to the plaintiffs on September 13 ordering them not to remove Raya from the position.

But the municipality defied the court order. After sacking Raya, Mayor Muni Sah appointed a teacher of the school, Ram Kumar Sah, as the principal through a letter issued on July 9. Dissatisfied with this decision, another teacher at the school, Arun Kumar Giri, filed a case at the Janakpur High Court.

A single bench of Judge Rakesh Kumar Nidhi decided that Sah should not be appointed as the principal since the law does not give the mayor the authority to appoint the principal of a public school. On July 16, the court ordered the parties concerned not to appoint Sah as the principal until his application for the post was approved.

According to the order of the court issued on September 13, Raya should have been reinstated as the principal of the school and started receiving his salary and other benefits. But the municipality has not provided him with his salary since July 17. As a result, Raya has again filed a case against the two bodies at the Rajbiraj Bench, accusing them of defying the court.

“I have knocked the court's door after the bodies concerned flouted the court order by stopping my salary and other benefits,” Raya told Republica, “Even the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the municipality had raised my issue but the mayor told him to keep silent.”

CEO Tirtha Raj Bhattarai claimed that Mayor Sah had stopped him from raising the issue. “The salary and other benefits of Principal Raya were stopped on the orders of Mayor Sah,” he said.

Legal practitioners claim that there is an increasing trend of cases being filed against the local governments after they started taking decisions beyond their authority. According to Advocate Sunil Kumar Sah, a significant number of cases have been filed against local units after they took decisions beyond the authority given to them by the constitution.

There is a provision in the constitution that allows the local units to form laws without contradicting the federal and provincial laws. But the inefficiency of the provinces to form their own laws has resulted in the local levels forming their own laws even before the provincial laws could be formed. If the local laws contradict the federal or provincial laws, they will automatically be nullified.

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