As former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala was convicted along with 54 others on Wednesday for favouritism in selection of 3,206 JBT teachers during the INLD regime in 2000, aspirants who became victims of the scam are now finally hoping for justice.
Around 200 such aspirants had smelt a rat in the selection process immediately, and moved the Punjab and Haryana high court in 2001. Two years hence, IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar approached the Supreme Court, blowing the lid off the scam that took place when he was the director of primary education (DPE) in Haryana.
As the CBI probed the case on the SC's directions -- and filed its chargesheet in 2006 that found Sanjiv himself to be one of the perpetrators -- it was revealed that there were two lists, one prepared on merit but never made public, and the other prepared at the Chautalas' behest to illegally appoint teachers.
At this, the "originally selected" aspirants moved the SC, which told them in November 2009 to file a petition before the high court. The SC even requested the high court to dispose of the case expeditiously, "preferably within a period of six months". In January 2010, the 200 petitioners urged the HC to direct the state government to not only appoint them with effect from the year 2000 but also pay Rs. 10 lakh each as compensation.
But the state government argued that a decision could be taken only after a verdict in the scam case being heard in the Delhi CBI court (which finally ruled against the selection process on Wednesday). As for the 3,206 appointed teachers, they were made a party to the case by the high court but never filed any responses.
Now, the wronged aspirants would file an application in the HC to cancel the appointments made by the Chautala regime and hand the jobs to them, said their advocate Pankaj Nanhera. The case is listed for hearing on February 5.
Speaking to HT, one of the petitioners in the high court, Sunil, a resident of village Alahar in Yamunanagar district, hailed the Delhi CBI court's order: "Despite clearing the examination in 2000 on merit, our lives were ruined by the Chautala government by appointing ineligible candidates. Now we are hopeful of being getting our due."
About fate of the selected JBT teachers, Haryana advocate general Hawa Singh Hooda reiterated what education minister Geeta Bhukkal had said after the verdict on Wednesday, "We are yet to get the order's copy. We will see whether any specific directions have been issued about the serving teachers, or we'll have to take a decision."