MHA bans creation of teachers’ posts in govt schools,draws HC flak

Decision taken keeping in view “economy measures and rationalisation of expenditure”.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:November 19, 2013 6:04 am

Citing “fiscal” problems,the Ministry of Home (MHA) has expressed its inability to implement the Right to Education (RTE) Act. After a proposal was sent recently by the Chandigarh Administration demanding creation of more posts for government school teachers,the MHA has shot it down and instead ordered a complete ban on “creation of plan and non-posts”.

In addition,a ban has been imposed on “purchase of vehicles” by the ministry till further orders.

The said decision has been taken keeping in view “economy measures and rationalisation of expenditure”. Recently,the administration had sent a proposal to the Centre for sanctioning creation of 3,472 posts for teachers in government schools.

This was conveyed to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) concerning uplift of education standards in government schools in Chandigarh.

Peeved over this,a division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Augustine George Masih expressed its strong disapproval and directed MHA and Ministry of Finance to amicably resolve the dispute failing which secretaries of the ministries concerned would be summoned.

Speaking for the bench,the Chief Justice questioned how an executive order overruled an Act (RTE) which had obtained statutory status. The Chief Justice remarked that an administrative order (by the MHA) “cannot put to naught” the RTE Act.

Displeased with the attitude of the ministry,the bench told the counsel for the Central government,“You (officers of the Ministry) have no intention to implement legislative mandate.”

Taking a dig at the functioning of the ministries,the bench remarked that “the problem is that the Finance Department does not know what the Health Department does and the Health Department does not know what the Education Department does”.

The court made it clear that it could not appreciate how an administrative order could put to halt an Act which had to be implemented in letter and spirit. “It is not as if there is any amendment to the RTE Act” that a ban has been imposed on creation of posts,the bench remarked.

The official communication sent by I S Chahal,IAS,Joint Secretary,MHA,dated September 30,reads that “there will be total ban on creation of plan and non-plan posts in addition to purchase of vehicles. Therefore,all such proposals sent by the Chandigarh Administration for consideration may be treated as withdrawn. Separate information/communication is being sent in respect of all such proposals”.

It notes that “it is advised that the Economy instructions issued by the Ministry of Finance may be implemented in letter and spirit as dictated by the Government of India”.

Meanwhile,as ordered on the last hearing by the High Court,the CBSE authorities have inspected 16 government schools to check their infrastructure and other facilities. Time was sought to inspect the remaining government schools.

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