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Citation2023 INSC 752
Date of Judgment 22 August 2023
CourtThe Supreme Court of India 
Appellant Smt. Duludeka
Respondent The State of Assam & Ors. 
BenchHon’Ble Ms. Kohli, Rajesh Bindal
Principle Established“No legal right to continue service once appointment declared void’’


  • On December 28, 1996, the Director of Elementary Education in Assam published an advertisement to fill 7,500 Assistant Teacher vacancies in M.E./M.V. Schools.According to the appellant, she applied for the job and showed up for the interview in July 1997. Because the Assam government banned the appointments, the Director of Elementary Education in Assam failed to publish the selection list.
  • After the lifting of the ban, the appellant’s name, along with those of other candidates, was recommended by the Udalguri sub-division selection committee for appointment to fill vacancies in Dalgaon, Majbat, and Udalguri Legislative Assembly constituencies. The appellant’s name was listed next to the open positions in the Constituency of the Udalguri Legislative Assembly.
  •  The appellant was appointed under the Central Government-sponsored Operation Black Board Scheme as an assistant teacher at Bengabari M.E. /M.V. /M.E.M. School by order dated 12.03.2001, which was issued by the District CA NO. 4455 OF 2012Elementary Education Officer, Mangaldoi, Darrang. The appellant received a fixed salary of 2,000/- (Rupees Two Thousand) per month
  • The time frame of the service, as stated in the appointment order, was until March 31, 2002. The appellant claims she has been employed by the aforementioned school ever since. She hasn’t been paid a salary, even though. The State was asked for permission to pay the appellant’s salary.
  • Nevertheless, the High Court determined that the submitted material lacked merit.


In the Supreme Court, the following issues were raised. 

  • Whether or not the Appellant can claim for unpaid salary?


Appellant argument: Appellant Dulu Deka claimed that she was rendering service as an Assistant Teacher in Bengabari M.E. School and had not been paid any salary. The writ petition was dismissed by the Single judge of Gauhati High Court   

Respondent argument: The court said that appointment of the appellant itself was illegal. As well as appointed as an Assistant Teacher, which was beyond the Udalguri Legislative Assembly Constituency was invalid of the rule. 


The Supreme Court has ruled that once an appointment is ruled unlawful and void ab initio, an individual does not have the legal right to remain in their position.

“The appellant had no legal right to continue working, particularly considering that she had not submitted any document or order granting her permission to do so to the authorities. Salary claims could not be made for any period of time. In any case, it is hard to imagine that someone has been employed for twenty years without receiving pay, the bench said.

A bench of Justices HimaKohli and Rajesh Bindal dismissed th e appeal filed by DuluDeka’s against the simultaneous results of the Gauhati High Court’s division and single bench decisions, dismissing her request for salary release beginning March 12, 2001. The Appellant filed a writ petition in the High Court in 2008, requesting the release of her salary from March 12, 2001 onwards. It was claimed that she was working as an Assistant Teacher at Bengabari M.E. School and was not receiving paid.

The Single Judge of guahati high court dismissed the writ petition. In an intra-court appeal, the ruling was maintained.

The appellant stated that she had been working as an assistant teacher at Bengabari M E School without receiving wages and salary. The appellant’s appointment as an assistant teacher was illegal in and of itself. afterwards an investigation in 2001, the Director of Elementary Education, Assam, delivered an order on October 18, 2001, stating all appointments—including the appellant’s—made by the District Elementary Education Officer, Darrang, Mangaldoi at the time to be unlawful and void ab initio due to the fact that they were made for positions that did not exist.

The appellant could not lawfully stay in employment after his appointment was deemed illegal and void ab initio and dismissed by the Director of Elementary Education, Assam, by order dated October 18, 2001, unless that cancellation order was overturned. The appellant never contested the order dated October 18, 2001, as the High Court has noted. Because the appellant did not record any order or letter allowing her to continue past March 31, 2002, she did not have the legal right to continue in her position. Salary claims could not be made for any period of time. Even so, it is hard to imagine that a person could work for twenty years without receiving pay.




This Article is written by Bushra of Asian Law College, Noida, and Intern at Legal Vidhiya 


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