HC notice to govt on recent populist ReT order

HC notice to govt on recent populist ReT order

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has issued a notice to government on a petition filed by general line teachers, seeking direction to set aside a recent order on Rehber-e-Taleem teachers by the state Education Department.
The order (N0. 469-Edu), issued by Principal Secretary School Education Department on June 25 this year, adds a provison to Government Order (No. 396-Edu of 2000 dated 28-04-2000), providing that five years service rendered by ReT teachers before regularization shall count for the purpose of fixing their seniority and counting such service, notionally, for pensionery and other retirement benefits, wherever applicable.
The order came to be passed after a decision at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on June 19 and was part of ruling National Conference and Congress’s populist measures following their rout in the Parliamentary elections.
The notice was issued by a single bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir with a direction to file reply within two weeks. The notice was accepted by Senior Additional Advocate General J A Kawoosa on behalf of Principal Secretary GAD while Additional Advocate General S A Naik accepted it for Commissioner Secretary Education and Director School Education.
“Question of fixing seniority vis-à-vis petitioners as well as teachers whose services will be regularized in terms of the government order shall remain in abeyance if not already fixed,” the court said while considering submissions by Advocate Javed Iqbal, counsel for petitioners, that the proviso offends the rights of the general line teachers apart from being contrary to the applicable service rules.
Advocate Iqbal said that perusal of original regularization clause in ReT scheme would manifestly suggestion that ReT would become eligible for appointment as general line teacher on satisfactory completion of five years, meaning thereby that ReT becomes member of service under rules of 1979 as general line teacher as is indicated in Rule B clause 4 category A.
“Therefore his appointment to the service class or category would be date of his first appointment as general line teacher i-e first substantive/payment appointment. Extending the benefits of the five years service to ReT on becoming substantive appointee is therefore illegal,” he said and demanded that the order be set aside.
Meanwhile, in wake of the controversy involved in the petition, the court impleaded as respondents the J&K ReT Forum’s General Secretary Mohammad Salim Rather and Public Secretary Asadullah Wani.