The joint action committee of federation of university teachers' associations of Bihar (FUTAB) and federation of university service teachers' association of Bihar (FUSTAB) has welcomed the initiative taken at the level of chief secretary and cabinet coordination department to identify reasons behind spiraling court cases as well as contempt proceedings in different departments.
The education department has the dubious distinction of being among the front ranking departments facing nearly 3,000 court cases, including nearly 500 contempt cases.
Some of the litigations have continued for over a decade, with the department and the universities unable to resolve them.
The joint conveners of JAC, Dr Sanjay Kumar Singh and Dr Dilip Choudhury said that some elements in the education department had developed expertise in not only misleading the state cabinet but also distorting cabinet decisions to create unnecessary misunderstanding.
Citing two recent issues, they said that the re-designated demonstrators on the basis of apex court order had been granted status of teachers vide government notification on June 14, 2006, but its non- implementation led to several writ petitions and ultimately contempt proceedings".
"While the contempt case is pending, some weird interpretation of statutes were placed before the state cabinet, which decided to withdraw the earlier order and a fresh notification was issued bringing the re-designated demonstrators back into the non-teaching fold. As a result, several of them have retired," they added.
Maintaining, that the high court has stayed the order, they said, "Now the government finds itself in an awkward situation of defending its action in the stay proceeding as well as contempt petition which is also underway. When the facts were explained to the education minister PKSahi, he agreed with the federation's view and assured to reconsider and review the government decision. A detailed memorandum was also placed by the federation," they added.
The distortion in cabinet decisions came to light when the education department sent draft notification for grant of pension and other benefits to retired teachers and employees of the universities to the finance department. The draft denied time bound promotion benefits to the pensioners.
"The deputy chief ministercum-finance minister, Sushil Modi rejected the modifications and directed the education department to modify the draft strictly in accordance with the cabinet decision. This resulted in delays and the modified notification could be issued only a few days back. Had the finanance department failed to notice the departure from cabinet decision, the matter would have landed in the court by now," said FUTAB working president Dr Kanhaiya Bahadur Sinha, adding, it was good that the government had realized the importance of implementing the State Litigation Policy 2011.