Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Nov 27:
The Odisha government today filed a misc case in the High Court with a prayer to allow contractual teachers to continue to work till alternate arrangements are made.
Earlier in the day, secretary of School and Mass Education department Ranjana Chopra submitted a fresh affidavit in connection with the cancellation of appointments of contractual teachers.
In the affidavit, the department has cited that the state government in confirmity with the assurance given to the High Court on November 20 the government has cancelled all appointments of contractual teachers made on or after June 11, 2015. In total appointments of 3,501 contractual teachers spreadover in 30 districts have been cancelled, the affidavit stated.
Further in the affidavit, the departmental secretary has begged unconditional apology in the contempt of court case while praying for withdrawal of the same. The next hearing in the matter has been fixed for December 1.
“They have sworn a fresh affidavit today wherein the secretary of the School and Mass Education department has admitted that she had on November 20, 2015 given an undertaking before the court that she will issue directions to the director Secondary Education to disengage all contractual teachers engaged by them from their posts. Accordingly she has filed an affidavit today, which is better than the one filed by her yesterday,” said Siddharth Prasad Mishra counsel for the plaintiff.
Notably, the High Court had rejected the affidavit filed by the department in connection with appointment of about 3,900 contractual teachers despite an interim stay.
A division bench of the High Court comprising of Justice Sanju Panda and Justice D P Choudhury had rejected the affidavit filed by the department on Thursday on cancellation of appointments of contractual teachers citing it to be flawed.
The division bench while directing the department to file a fresh affidavit in the matter and fixed the next date of hearing for December 1.
The department was required to file an affidavit conforming to strict adherence of the High Court’s interim stay of June 11, 2015 on appointment of contractual teachers. The High Court had directed the department only for adherence to its direction. The departmental secretary had assured the High Court to observe its directions with regard to cancellation of appointments and contempt of court matter.
However, senior lawyer Budhadeb Routray, on behalf of the applicants had contended that the affidavit submitted by the departmental secretary and director Secondary Education was not acceptable.
It may be mentioned here that the state government had published a notification in 2014 for recruitment of 5,634 contractual teachers in different districts.
The High Court had issued an interim stay on the appointments on June 11, 2015. Despite an interim stay of the High Court, the state government’s School and Mass Education department had given appointments to contractual teachers on June 12 the same year. Appointments continued thereafter and 3,900 persons were given appointments.
Following which Simanchal Sahu and others filed contempt of court case in the matter. Admitting the matter, the High Court issued a show-cause notice to the secretary School and Mass Education department and director Secondary Education.
Secretary School and Mass Education department Ranjana Chopra in a personal appearance before the High Court on November 20 admitted of appointments being made in contempt of the court’s order and had assured to cancel the appointments.