IMPHAL, September 15: Decks have been cleared for the process of appointment of both Lower and Primary Teachers selected by the state government following an order of the Gauhati High Court on Friday.
A division bench of Justice BK Sharma and Justice CR Sharma after an extended hearing on September 13 and 14 directed that the process of appointment in respect of Lower and Upper Primary Teachers shall be carried out immediately as the schools are suffering immensely due to lack of teachers.
Besides government lawyers, the selected candidates in the Lower Primary were represented by Advocates Rarry Mangsatabam, L Sarat Sharma, Viscount and Ch Momon while the Upper Primary candidates were represented by HS Paonam, Y Nimolchand and L Raju.
An interim order of Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench on April 2 this year had stayed the notification issued by the government of Manipur on February 28 last in connection with selection of primary teachers under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) until further orders.
An Imphal Bench of the High Court comprising Justice T Nandakumar and Justice SC Das had passed the interim order.
Further, in another order issued by the Gauhati High Court, Imphal bench on March it stayed the list of selected candidates for upper primary.
The second directive was passed by a division bench comprising of Justice T Vaiphei and PK Musahary.
Altogether 1951 candidates were selected in the Lower Primary while 574 candidates were selected in the Upper Primary.
It may be recalled here that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 in terms of Section 23 provided for Qualifications for appointment and terms and conditions of service of teachers where a person possessing such minimum qualifications, as laid down by an academic authority, i.e. National Council for Teacher Education was to be eligible for appointment as a teacher. However, where a State does not have adequate institutions offering courses or training in teacher education or teachers possessing minimum qualifications as laid down, the Central Government may by notification relax the minimum qualifications for appointment as a teacher.
The State Government of Manipur framed two different Recruitment Rules, one for the appointment to the post of Primary Teachers and another for the Upper Primary Teachers. As the State Government of Manipur submitted a proposal on 16.6.2011 to Central Government for grant of relaxation of minimum qualification published by the NCTE Central Government Gazette dated 25.08.2010, the relaxation was granted on 15.7.2011 where relaxation was granted for 2-year Diploma in Elementary Education for appointment of a teacher in Classes I-VIII; and 1-year Bachelor in Education (B.Ed.) for appointment of a teacher in Class VI-VIII (as B.Ed. is not mentioned as a qualification required for appointment of a teacher in Class I –V).
In terms of recruitment advertisement dated 18.10.2011, B.Ed. was provided in the desirable clause for Primary Teachers and a few candidates (not selected) challenged the Recruitment Rules.
Two Writ Petitions was filed before the Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench challenging the Primary Teachers Recruitment Rules and several Writ Petitions were filed challenging the Upper Primary Recruitment Rules.
However, the petitioners never challenged the relaxation granted by Central Government Notification dated 15.7.2011 nor challenged the selection process and duly participated in the selection process without any demur or protest.
The unselected candidates obtained different ex-parte interim order from the High Court staying the appointment process before notice was effected to the selected candidates.
The selected candidates after being served through news paper publication filed applications praying for vacating the interim order granted to the Petitioners and vide order dated 9.8.2012, the High Court allowed the applications filed by the selected candidates and accordingly vacated the interim order staying the appointment process.
The State Government of Manipur has thereafter issued offer letters to selected candidates and submission of duly completed offers forms is also complete. The stage is now for the issuance of the final appointment letter.
Meanwhile, on 14.9.2012, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan case relating to appointment of Primary Teachers and Upper Primary Teachers by the Government of Manipur was listed before the Gauhati High Court presided by Justice B.K Sharma and Justice C.R Sarma.
The matters relating to both the Primary and Upper Primary teachers were taken up jointly for final hearing and disposal due to the consensual prayer made by both the parties for final disposal of the matters. The hearing commenced on 13.09.2012 and thereafter was taken up as a part heard item on 14.9.2012.
The matter was heard at some length where the Counsel for the Petitioners and Counsel for the Respondents addressed their respective arguments. However, the hearing could not be completed.
The High Court was pleased to pass an order whereby it was observed and directed that all the matters have been heard at some length and it appeared that the hearing will not be concluded on 14.09.2012 as the same Division Bench will not be available in the next week. The hearing was discontinued and was directed to be listed before the next available Bench.
The High Court directed that since the interim order that was earlier operating has been vacated there is no bar for making appointments in favour of the selected candidates as per their merit positions.
The High Court further directed that the process of appointment in respect of the Primary school teacher, both Lower and Upper Primary, shall be carried out immediately as it was appreciated that in the absence of the teachers the school are suffering immensely.
The High Court finally observed that once the interim order has been vacated the Hon’ble Court saw no reason as to why the appointment orders should not be issued and as such it was ordered accordingly.
The appointment process can be completed as soon as possible in the light of the direction passed by the High Court.