Agartala, Sep 26 : In a significant judgement, a full bench of the Tripura High Court on Tuesday dismissed the plea of a retrenched school teacher, who was part of the 10,323 teachers whose services were terminated over faulty recruitment drive, seeking reinstatement.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Aparesh Kumar Sinha, Justice T.Amarnath Gour and Justice Arindam Lodh dismissed the plea which challenged the mass termination of these teachers by the state government, citing violations of Article 311 (II) of the Constitution.
The court also slapped Rs 25,000 fine on the petitioner, Pranab Debhim, for coming to the court with an issue that has already resolved several times before.
Advocate Amrit Lal Saha, representing Deb, argued that the termination of the teachers and the process of their dismissal were unlawful, and hence the 10,323 teachers should be reinstated.
In response, Advocate General Siddhartha Sankar De referred to Supreme Court judgments in the Tanmay Nath case.
He asserted that the notifications published in newspapers and broadcast on TV news channels constituted valid modes of communication.
Moreover, the Supreme Court had deemed the recruitment rules of the state government as “bad in law.”
De said the government had not terminated the teachers, rather had increased the validity of their jobs by six months on few occasions but they lost their jobs due to the implementation of the judicial order which found that the entire recruitment process during the previous Left Front government was illegal.
The Advocate General also pointed to the Supreme Court orders and the alleged failure of the petitioner to separate his case from the Tanmay Nath case, as evident in the high court’s order in the Bijay Krishna Saha case.
He referred to a 2019 order by the division bench comprising then Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh.
Ultimately, the arguments presented by De prevailed, leading to the full bench’s dismissal of the petition and imposition of a fine of Rs 25,000 on the petitioner.
The entire court proceeding was made accessible to the public through the high court’s YouTube channel, marking a new era of transparency.
After the high court and the Supreme Court had terminated the jobs of 10,323 government teachers in 2011, 2014 and 2017, the then Left Front government had created 13,000 posts to accommodate these teachers alternatively.
However, the CPI-M led Left Front lost the 2018 Assembly polls to the BJP.
The high court had in 2011 and 2014 terminated the services of 10,323 teachers, saying the selection criteria had “discrepancies” and subsequently, the Supreme Court had upheld the HC’s decision.
After separate appeals by the previous Left government and the incumbent BJP government, the Supreme Court, however, had extended their services up to March 2020.However, the sacked teachers, including hundreds of women, have continued agitation demanding their reinstatement.
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