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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

UT fails to take action against teacher on leave for over a year

Vivek Gupta , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, August 13, 2014
First Published: 13:01 IST(13/8/2014) | Last Updated: 13:05 IST(13/8/2014)

An instance of partiality in the UT education department has come forward as it failed to initiate disciplinary action against a school teacher, Surinder Pal Kaur, who has been absent from her duty since March last year.

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Kaur was a teacher in the non-medical section in Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector-20, when she was granted ex-India leave with effect from September 17, 2012 till March 19, 2013 on the condition that no further extension would be granted to her and if she failed to return on the expiry of the sanctioned leave, she would be dismissed from the services.  However, instead of taking any disciplinary action, she was promoted as sociology lecturer in April that year and was immediately directed to join Government Girls Model Senior Secondary School, Sector-18.

As per information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, she confirmed her joining while she was in Canada.

The principal of GGMSSS-18 then sent a letter to the department dated May 28, 2013 asking them for directions whether her joining report from Canada could be accepted or not and further requested it to send another sociology lecturer for the larger interest of students.

Adopting an indifferent attitude, the department did not clarify its stand on this issue for several months. Suddenly, on October 28 the department directed Surinder Kaur to join the school immediately or said it would take strict disciplinary action would be initiated against her.The compliance of this order is pending till date, highlighting how the teacher continues to enjoy impunity at the cost of the department’s service rules.

The school also wrote four letters to DPI office dated December 11 (2013), February 4 (2014), March 22 (2014) and April 24 (2014), to take up this matter on priority to avoid legal implications but the department is still in slumber on this issue.

RTI activist VB Khanna said the teacher’s long, illegal absence from the department clearly indicated that she was being shielded by higher authorities. “We demand immediate action against her so that other teachers don’t end up taking their job lightly. We also want an inquiry to be held in the matter as to who had been shielding her all this while,” said Khanna

When contacted, UT education secretary, Sarvjit Singh, said it was a matter of serious concern.

“Action will be taken against the teacher in question,” he added.

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