The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday stayed the process of appointment of 69,000 assistant basic teachers in Uttar Pradesh.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by a number of candidates who had raised issues with the recruitment process.
The Assistant Teacher Recruitment Examination 2019 was conducted by the Examination Regulatory Authority, Uttar Pradesh.
Contesting the final answer-key submitted by the examination authority, the petitioners contended that certain questions asked in the examination paper were “erroneous, incorrect, ambiguous in nature and argumentative, thereby leading to multiple correct answers”.
Justice Alok Mathur on Wednesday referred the provisional answer-key along with objections to a team of experts, which will be appointed by the Secretary, University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi.
The court also directed the UP Examination Regulatory Authority to send the question paper, the provisional answer-key and the objections received from the candidates to the UGC secretary within 10 days. The court said that the experts will give their opinion on the issue within two weeks after receiving the papers. The UGC will then submit the opinion of the experts to Examination Regulatory Authority, which will submit it in court in the form of an affidavit.
Notably, the court’s order came on the first day of the three-day counselling session that began on Wednesday. The matter will now be heard by the court on July 12.
The High Court’s order comes days after the Supreme Court sought the UP government’s reply on pleas challenging the earlier verdict of the High Court in which it had upheld the state government’s decision to keep higher cut-off marks for these appointments.
The top court had on May 21 asked the state government to explain the process adopted for the appointments through a chart. A bench of Justice U U Lalit, Justice M M Shantanagoudar and Justice Vineet Saran had initially declined to interfere with the High Court’s verdict. But it later modified its order and issued notice to the UP government, posting the matter for further hearing on July 6.
It asked the UP government to explain why it changed the earlier criteria of 45 per cent cut-off marks for the general category and 40 per cent for the reserved category.
The apex court sought a detailed reply before July 6.
The Supreme Court had said the matter required a detailed hearing as there were many parties and it would be better if the pleas are adjourned till open court hearings resume.
Several petitions, including those by individuals and Uttar Pradesh Prathmik Shiksha Mitra Association, had been filed challenging the May 6 decision of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court.
In its May 6 verdict, the High Court had directed the UP government to complete within the next three months the process for appointment of 69,000 assistant basic teachers in Uttar Pradesh.
The process was almost already complete on the strength of the interim directions of the Division Bench issued on May 29 last year and only the result was to be declared.
The Division Bench had earlier set aside the single bench order that had quashed the government order fixing 65 per cent qualifying marks for the general category candidates and 60 percent for the reserved category candidates.
The single bench had said that the minimum cut-off would be 45 per cent for general and 40 per cent for reserved candidates. On July 25, 2017, the top court had asked the UP government to cancel the recruitment of 1,37,517 appointments through teacher eligibility test (TET) but give them the benefit of experience in the recruitment process.
Six months later, the government issued the order for a written examination for assistant teachers’ posts for the first time to hire 69,000 teachers.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the BJP government in UP over the stay on the appointment of 69,000 assistant basic teachers, saying the youth are suffering the most due to the negligence of the Yogi Adityanath dispensation. “69,000 teachers recruitment case: Once again the dreams of the youth of Uttar Pradesh have been eclipsed. Due to the chaos of the UP government, all the recruitments are stuck in the court,” Priyanka tweeted.
“Paper leak, cut-off controversy, fake evaluation and wrong answer key — Due to all these shortcomings of the UP government, the matter of recruitment of 69,000 teachers is pending,” the Congress general secretary said. The government’s negligence is hitting the youth the most, she added.
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