In a rare such instance, the Punjab and Haryana high court on its own has recalled its order granting relief to three applicants for the Punjab state Teachers Eligibility Test (TET).
In his order of August 13, Justice K Kannan had allowed the rounding off of marks for those candidates, whose aggregate percentage was in fraction, making them eligible.
Now with the order being recalled, all three petitions that were disposed of through the order will now be referred to the division bench after taking appropriate orders from the acting chief justice.
The order by justice Kannan dated September 11 reads, “I had passed an order on August 13, allowing the rounding off of marks to the nearest whole number if the marks in percentage in the aggregate were in a decimal. At that time, I was unaware of a division bench ruling in respect of the very same issue and the effect of the decision was not applied to the judgment. Being made aware subsequently, I am of the view that it will be inappropriate to pronounce a judgment on the very same subject which was contrary to the judgment of the division bench. I directed the cases to be recalled and posted it for fresh arguments.”
Three petitions filed by Balwinder Kaur, Gagandeep Singh and Sandeep Dass seeking directions to round off their marks were filed in the court of Justice Kannan.
The petitioners had taken the TET and had secured 82 marks out of 150. The minimum eligibility for the general candidates was 60% while for the scheduled caste and backward class candidates it was 55%.
The petitioners’ percentage worked out to be 54.67%, slightly less than the eligible mark. The petitioners had the grievance that the marks which were in fraction were not rounded off which, if done, would make them qualify.
However, the petitioners’ stand was opposed by the Punjab government on the plea that the state government was at liberty to settle its own minimum qualification, and if it had already relaxed the qualifying marks for scheduled caste and backward class, it could not further dilute the minimum qualification.