Responding to a petition filed by the Central government seeking deletion of a line in its earlier order, the Bombay high court on Wednesday asked the state government to file its response informing the court as to why officers of the government and semi-government bodies were not called for the census duty.
A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Amjad Sayed asked the additional government pleader Vijay Patil to make a statement by Thursday as to why corporation or Zilla Parishad officers or those from other government bodies were not put on the Census duty.
Concerned with the refusal by teachers of unaided and private schools to report for the census duty, the Centre moved the Bombay high court on Wednesday. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Darius Khambata sought deletion of the line from the order saying that the census was of utmost importance to the country as it just does not deal with the population head count, but helps in deciding government policies.
The court had on January 24 restrained the government authorities from taking any coercive action against the teachers employed with the private unaided schools, if they didn’t participate in the census duty.
Agreeing with the fact that that students of class 10 and class 12 would suffer if their teachers were put on census duty, Khambata assured the court that such teachers would be exempted.
The state government defended itself by saying that it had only deputed primary and secondary class teachers, which conduct internal school examination, on this duty. The teachers are required to do census work for only three hours on weekdays and a few more hours on weekends, added Khambata. He said: “They are paid separately for this duty.
Also, this has to be forced on them as they are not willing to undertake the duty.”