A bench of Justices M.M. Shantanagoudar & Vineet Saran said: “It is open for the state government to fill up the remaining posts of assistant teachers other than 37,339. In other words, 37,339 posts of assistant teachers shall be kept vacant. Other posts can be filled up.”
The direction from the top court was passed during the hearing of a plea by Uttar Pradesh Prathmik Shiksha Mitra Association challenging the May 6 Allahabad High Court order, in connection with the recruitment of 69,000 assistant teachers.
The top court observed that it was open for the state government to fill up the remaining posts by taking resort to instant examinations.
“Despite the same, it is, prima facie, borne out from the records now produced that the state government is proceeding with the selection to fill up all the posts. Such process to be adopted by the state government shall not be permitted in view of the interim order passed by this Court on May 21,” said the bench.
The next date of hearing on the matter is on July 14.
In May 21 order, the apex court had passed interim orders directing that all Shiksha Mitras who are presently holding their posts as assistant teachers shall not be disturbed. “It is clear that the state government was directed that the services of all the Shiksha Mitras who are presently working as on that date holding the post of assistant teachers shall not be disturbed,” the top court noted on Tuesday.
The top court noted that it was brought to its notice by counsel for the parties and it is not disputed by anybody that 37,339 persons who are working as Shiksha Mitras have appeared for the examination.
In the last hearing, the apex court had sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh government on a batch of pleas challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict, which upheld the state government decision of higher cut-off marks in connection with the appointment of 69,000 assistant teachers.
The top court, noting that the matter requires detailed hearing, also sought explanation from the government on the change in the criteria of 45 percent cut-off marks for the general category and 40 per cent for the reserved category.
Uttar Pradesh Prathmik Shiksha Mitra Association and several other parties have filed petitions challenging the high court verdict.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Ram Sharan Mauraya, had contended before the court that the cut-off marks cannot be fixed after the examination, and this should have been done before holding the examination. He cited issues also involving the nature of contracts and changes made frequently in the appointment process.
Rohatgi argued that the changes in the cut-off were introduced after the January 6, 2019 examination — 65 per cent from 45 percent for the general category and 60 from 40 percent per cent for the reserved category.