AAP govt’s plea on appointing guest teachers “surprising”: HC

New Delhi, Oct 25 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today termed as “surprising” the Delhi government’s plea seeking to vacate a stay on the process of appointing guest teachers so that it could appoint nearly 9000 such teachers to fill vacancies in schools here.

The court said it was not getting a clear picture of the matter and things were “very strange”.

“It is very surprising why the Delhi government is proceeding this way. It is very difficult. They still wish to proceed in the manner they want to, no matter whether it is permissible in law. I am not getting the clear picture, things are very strange,” Justice A K Chawla said.

The court was hearing a plea by Delhi government’s Department of Education (DoE) seeking vacation of the stay granted on September 27 on the process of appointing guest teachers and promoting those appointed since 2010 in the government schools.

It said its interim order of stay will continue.

The court also sought the response of NGO Social Jurist, represented through advocate Ashok Aggarwal, on the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on November 9.

It asked Aggarwal, who has filed a contempt plea seeking a stay on the order of the DSSSB withdrawing a notice on appointment of 8,914 school teachers, to also mention alternatives in case the court allows appointments of guest teachers to go on.

During the hearing, Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh said the stay order was causing serious prejudice to students who were suffering due to shortage of teachers.

He said that till the 9000 newly created posts of teachers are filled up either through recruitment or regularisation, guest teachers are required as a stop-gap arrangement against the newly created posts, which is not possible now due to the stay order.

The court had earlier asked the government to come up with a “logical and legal” solution for filling up vacancy of teachers in schools and that it was not averse to guest teachers but was concerned about everyone’s interest.

It had directed the government to maintain status quo with regard to fresh appointment and promotion of guest teachers as regulars in its schools, after it was informed that the authorities have not complied with the high court’s 2001 order.

The court was also informed that a bill was recently passed in the Delhi Legislative Assembly to regularise all guest teachers appointed since 2010.

The division bench in its 2001 order had asked the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) to ensure zero vacancy of teachers in schools on the commencement of each academic year.

The Delhi government had introduced the DSSSB with the purpose of recruiting capable, competent and highly-skilled individuals by conducting written tests, professional tests and personal interviews.

The NGO has claimed that “unfortunately, the directions have never been complied with, resulting in accumulation of vacancies of teaching posts since 2011. No attempt has been made by the DSSSB for last several years to fill up the posts and provide regular teachers.”

The plea said after a high court order of April 11, the DSSSB issued vacancy notice on August 7 inviting applications from candidates for 8,914 teaching posts in the DoE of the Delhi government and for 5,906 teaching posts in the three municipal corporation schools here.

It alleged that the DSSSB, without informing or seeking permission from the court, had on August 24 “abruptly withdrawn the advertisement” regarding these vacancies.

“The respondents have been deliberately and for some political motives delaying recruitment of regular teachers to the detriment of the interest of as many as 23 lakh students studying in schools run by the Government of Delhi and three municipal corporations,” the plea has said.

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