The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday stayed the promotions of teachers appointed on the basis of Elementary Teacher Training (ETT) to the posts of master across Punjab, because the seniority list did not give benefit of previous service to those who had worked in schools under the panchayats department.
The court acted on a petition by Vikas Sharma and others of Hoshiarpur district who had challenged the list, which had been finalised on January 3 by the education department at the local level for teachers in each district.
The court was told that they were denied the benefit of their past service on the same rank with schools that functioned under the panchayat samiti. It was in September 2014 that the state government had decided to shift back the management of 5,752 such schools — with 13,034 sanctioned posts — from the rural development and panchayats department, to the education department. The schools had earlier been given to the panchayats department with the aim of strengthening infrastructure in rural areas. However, that arrangement did not succeed and the government reversed its decision.
“The government has incorporated an unfair and unjust condition of absorption of the transferred staff back to the education department, whereby they are being illegally denied the benefit of their past service towards counting of their seniority in the education department,” the court was told by the petitioners’ counsel, Krishan Singh Dadwal, adding that they were recruited under through a fair process and as per rules. “Hence, the government action was discriminatory and violated the principle of equality.”
The HC bench of justice Jaswant Singh, while putting stay on promotions based on the list, issued a notice to the state government for January 31.