The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday appointed two lawyers to assist it (court) to bring to an end the deadlock involving protest by two aspiring teachers from Punjab sitting atop a mobile tower in Sector 3, Chandigarh, since November 3.
The court in a suo motu petition has requested the lawyers — Tanu Bedi and Jagmohan Bhatti — to persuade the protesters, demanding jobs, to come down. Earlier, appearing for Punjab, additional advocate general Parminder Pal Singh Theti told the high court that a meeting was held between elementary teachers training (ETT) union members and the Punjab chief minister on November 26. The court was apprised that recruitment process was underway and will be completed as per law.
The education department has sought permission from departments concerned such as sports and social welfare, sainik welfare to de-reserve nearly 625 reserved seats (as candidates in these categories are no available), so that the eligible ETT candidates could be accommodated. A merit list for advertised posts and 25 per cent extra as waiting list candidates has also been prepared and it will be valid till March 31,
2017, he said.The additional advocate general accused the protesters of blackmailing the government. “But appointments will take place as per law, not under any pressure,” he said.
The court asked him to submit details on the number of posts advertised and how many of them were filled, besides details about reservation.
The petition was initiated by justice Daya Chaudhary, who expressed concern over the reports that some youths were sitting on towers for several days and even women protesters had joined them. The two women and a man, who climbed a tower on a private property on November 17, were brought down.
Renu Sidana, an ETT union member, said, “There were 6,500 vacancies of ETT teachers in Punjab. The government advertised 4,500 posts in 2015, but later withdrew the same and advertised 3,500 posts again. Subsequently, it announced to increase the posts by 1,000.”