Tripura: A petition by the Tripura Government in the Supreme Court to extend the ad-hoc engagement of 10,323 school teachers in the state was deferred on Wednesday by the court. All these teachers had to face termination in 2014 after Tripura High Court termed their recruitment as unconstitutional due to irregularities in the process. The petition which was differed on two earlier occasions will now be heard on November 1 by the Supreme Court.
Informing on this, Tripura Law Secretary, Datamohan Jamatia, said, a Division Bench of the apex court comprising of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice DY Chandrachud heard the petition and fixed November 1 for next hearing on the matter. Jamatia, also said “The state government’s plea was to extend ad hoc engagement period of these (10,323) teachers for two years. The petition was made to ensure smooth functioning of academic activities in schools because there were not sufficient applicants who fulfill the minimum eligibility criteria despite issuing notification thrice,”.
It is noteworthy that the previous Manik Sarkar government too had challenged the verdict of the Tripura High Court which had terminated recruitment of 10,323 under-graduate teachers, graduate teachers and post-graduate teachers in 2014 terming the recruitment process as unconstitutional. However, the apex court upheld the high court verdict and terminated their jobs with effect from December 31, 2017. They were later recruited on an ad -hoc basis for six months, which was later extended.
In a recent development of events in May this year, Tripura’s newly formed BJP-IPFT government filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking an extension of these ad hoc teachers till 2020. The petition was taken up for hearing several times but the final hearing was reserved. The hearing was deferred in June, July, September, and October.
The leader of ‘Amra 10,323’ (We are 10,323), Bhaskar Deb, reacted to deferring the final hearing on extension petition for their jobs saying all teachers in the category were living in fear of joblessness. “Even if the Supreme Court accepts the petition to extend our jobs till 2020, we would still be jobless after that time. We appeal the apex court and the government to consider us as a humanitarian case and provide us a permanent solution,” he said.
Nearly 7.29 lakh students are now studying in 4,928 schools in Tripura. But there are only 40,658 teachers in service who teach them. After BJP-led coalition government assumed office on March 9 this year, 12,222 vacant teaching posts were advertised but adequate candidates were not available.