Dismissing the Punjab government's argument that filling up of 1,925 posts of lecturers in private aided colleges across the state would amount to financial burden on the state exchequer, the Punjab and Haryana high court has granted a month's time to the state to get official approval from the council of ministers for filling up the posts.
The division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih made it clear that the financial problem could not be accepted as an excuse when even the same alibi had been earlier negated by various courts, including the Supreme Court.
The court said when the state government had created the teaching posts after considering its necessity, it was its duty to fill up the existing vacant posts.
The development took place during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Jagwant Singh of Chandigarh. The petitioner had approached the high court seeking quashing of the state government's orders of imposing indefinite ban on filling up of duly sanctioned vacant posts of teaching and non-teaching staff in the aided colleges in the state.
Roshan Sunkaria, principal secretary of the department of higher education, had informed the court that the finance involved in filling up 1,925 posts of lecturers would be around Rs 150 crore. The state government's committee had found that since 1981 a total of 3,566 posts of lecturers were sanctioned by the state government for private aided colleges of which 1,641 were filled and 1,925 were vacant.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Sameer Sachdeva argued that there were also a number of non-teaching posts in such colleges which were vacant. The court directed the state government to also consider filling up of non-teaching posts.
The case will come up for hearing on January 14.