Education department in dilemma over termination of 10,323 teachers after 31st March

By Our Correspondent

Agartala December 03 ,2019 : The education department including the minister , veteran Ratan Lal Nath , is deeply worried over the possible fall-out of the termination from service of 10,323 teachers after March 31. What causes anxiety to the department as well as the minister is the sudden exodus of so many teachers , creating major gap in the teaching strength in schools and the inevitable agitation which is sure to take virulent forms since the matter involves the livelihood of more than fifty thousand people. 

Highly placed sources in the education department said that the minister himself is keen to find a way out of the tangle to keep the teachers facing axe in jobs but is splitting hair over the most effective means of doing so .To worsen matters, Ratan Lal Nath's views are not shared by his higher authority. "There are several solutions that include reviving the lapsed 13 thousand non-teaching posts , cleared already by the supreme court by August 2 judgment, by a fresh decision of the cabinet ; besides, the teachers facing axe can either seek a review of the high court order of October 3 passed by then chief justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh or file a special leave petition (SLP) in supreme court against the same high court order and obtain a favourable order ; this will ensure their continuance in the jobs" said a leader of the ad hoc teachers. He said that that they depended more on government's goodwill than on court orders, the outcomes of which are uncertain. 

But by all indications the en masse termination will result in a massive statewide movement by teachers cutting across all barriers. What rankles the teachers is the miscarriage of justice in judicial interventions in the case . "The judgment of May 7 2014 which led to termination of 10,323 teachers  had been pronounced  on the ground of faulty policy for which job incumbents can never be held responsible , there was absolutely no other charge like corruption or nepotism ; the order could be given prospective effect to while asking the government to rectify the policy which was done ; besides, the order was contradictory and discriminatory as only 10,323 were terminated but thousands of others including 962 science teachers recruited in 2012 remained unaffected; the judgment protected the jobs of all others by giving prospective effect  but terminated our jobs as enunciated in Para 127 of the judgment ; this violates Articles 14 and 16 (1) of the constitution" said the leader of ad hoc teachers. 

He however regretted that the supreme court upheld the high court judgment of 2014 7th May . Subsequently , the apex court had given an window opportunity by granting 'liberty' to the teachers to approach the high court again with issues of discrimination and related matters. But chief justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh heard the matter on October 1 but gave a bizarre judgment on October 3 , ruling out all cogent arguments based on constitution and law. What is most strange is that 962 teachers recruited in 2012 on the basis of the same policy which had led to termination of 10,323 are still in service and there are four among them who had filed cases against 10,323 but then got jobs in 2012 though they are yet to withdraw cases till now.

"Now are weighing various options , we can approach the high court for a review or move the apex court directly with another SLP ; in case all attempts fail the lone alternative is to go for agitation because it is a question of our existence and life" said the leader of the ad hoc teachers. Given this, the situation is now in a state of flux and major complications are on cards.    


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