Madurai, Aug 3: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has quashed the dismissal of a teacher by the management of a government aided school on a trivial charge of using ballpoint pen despite oral instructions to use only fountain pen.

Justice S Nagamuthu while quashing the December 24, 2007 order of the management of M.M. Middle School, a minority institution, at Seithuganallur in Tuticorin district, said, “the punishment is shockingly disproportionate to the trivial and vague charges, which included insubordination and not teaching the students properly”.

The Judge ordered notional reinstatement as the teacher had attained the age of superannuation on May 31, 2010 and modified the punishment imposed on the teacher, S Alagesan, to just stoppage of increment for two years.

The Joint Director of Elementary Education was directed to disburse the retirement benefits by considering the period between 2007 and 2010 also as service period.

Earlier, the District Elementary Education Officer, refused to entertain the appeal by the teacher, on the ground that the state could not interfere in the affairs of minorities’ educational institutions.