A rapist and 11 other people jailed for crimes such as forgery and embezzlement continue to teach in the Punjab government schools.
The fact has come out in the details that a lawyer, HC Arora, secured under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from various district education officers in the state. On January 8 last year, science master Surinder Kumar was convicted of rape and sentenced to seven-year imprisonment, yet he continues to work at the government senior secondary school of Killi Nihal Singh village in Bathinda district.
The state government has kept the convicted teachers in service in violation of the Punjab and Haryana high court orders of November 18, 2008, issued during the hearing of a public-interest petition. Punjab's additional advocate general had assured the court that the sentenced employees would be fired.
Social studies master Sukhchain Singh, convicted of criminal breach of trust and sentenced to six-months imprisonment, was reinstated in service even after conviction. He was dismissed in November 2004 and hired back on October 10, 2006, on the orders of the secretary in the education department.
Also, the government has not taken any decision to expel three convicted teachers in Fazilka district (Gurwinder Singh, physical education lecturer at Ramsara; Jarnail Singh, drawing master at Bhangal; and Resham Singh, computer instructor at Danger Khera). Each is sentenced to be in jail for at least two-years-and-a-half.
Science teacher Kishan Dadwal and physical training instructor Amrik Singh continue to serve in Hoshiarpur district. Dadwal was given a 7-year prison term and Amrik Singh of two years. The decision of their firing is pending with the director of public instructions (schools).
Lawyer Arora has issued legal notices to the state chief secretary and the director general of school education, that if they didn't fire the convicted employees before January 7, he will file a contempt petition against them.