SC reverses earlier verdict, rules teachers entitled to gratuity
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that teachers came under the Payment of Gratuity Act, recalling its January 7 judgment which had held that they were not entitled to gratuity.
The bench of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra had, by the January 7 judgment, said that that teachers did not fall within the ambit of the definition of employee under Section 2(e) of the Payment of Gratuity Act.
However, two days after the pronouncement of the judgment, the bench had suo motu stayed its operation, saying that it was not apprised of the 2009 amendment to the statute, which had widened the definition of employee to include teachers in its ambit. This had been made effective retrospectively from April 1997.
The object and reasons of the amendment bill of 2009 had clearly stated that the definition of term “employee” in the Payment of Gratuity Act was being widened to include teachers in view of an earlier observation of the top court.