The Delhi High Court today questioned the Directorate of Education’s decision asking the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) to withdraw the process for recruiting more than 8,900 teachers in Delhi government-run schools. A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Deepa Sharma sought a response from the Directorate of Education (DoE) and the DSSSB on a plea challenging a single bench’s order staying the DSSSB’s notice withdrawing the process for the appointment of teachers. The court also sought a response from the NGO Social Jurist, which had filed a contempt plea and on whose plea the single-bench judge had passed his order. The court listed the matter for next hearing on Jan. 19. The Delhi government’s education department, represented by advocate Ramesh Singh, today argued that if an advertisement is issued, as directed by the single judge, then the 14,000 guest teachers presently employed in its schools would be demoralised and it could affect the children.
The bench did not buy the argument and said “let the DSSSB go ahead and issue its advertisement.”
“Let the advertisement be issued and the applications be invited,” the bench said. The single judge had asked the authorities to issue a fresh advertisement calling for applications from eligible candidates by December 21 which shall be received latest by January 31. The court made the Directorate of Education and the DSSSB parties in the case on the request of the lawyer for the education department. The bench asked the DSSSB the reason for withdrawing the advertisement, to which its counsel told the court that it was asked by the DoE to issue the advertisement but later withdrew as instructed.
The single judge’s order had come on the contempt petition by the NGO, which has alleged deliberate omission in compliance of the court’s December 2001 order. The NGO had submitted that by the 2001 order the court had directed the DSSSB to ensure zero vacancy of teachers in Delhi government-run schools on the commencement of each academic year. It had said that after a high court order of April 11 this year, the DSSSB issued a vacancy notice on August 7 inviting applications from candidates for 8,914 teaching posts in the Directorate of Education of the Delhi government and for 5,906 teaching posts in the three municipal corporation schools here. The NGO, through advocate Ashok Aggarwal, had also filed an application seeking a stay on the DSSSB order withdrawing a notice on appointment of the teachers in government-run schools here.
It had alleged that the Board’s notice of August 24 was “illegal and contemptuous in nature”. The high court had on December 18 said it was concerned over the vacancies of regular teachers in government schools which should be filled at the earliest with candidates having best qualification and experience. The Department of Education, in its appeal filed through Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia, had sought setting aside of single judge’s December 11 order in which it was said that the court’s permission ought to have been sought before issuing the withdrawal notice on August 24.
The government, in its appeal, alleged that the single judge has failed to appreciate that the directions for appointment of teachers in government schools clearly amounts to the court entering the arena of policy making, something ex-facie, unsustainable in law moresoever when the court is exercising a contempt jurisdiction. The Delhi government had introduced the Board with the purpose of recruiting capable, competent and highly-skilled individuals by conducting written tests, professional tests and personal interviews.