Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Orissa High Court on Wednesday concluded the hearing on pleas alleging irregularities in the recruitment process of junior teachers and reserved its interim order.

Earlier, the court had adjourned further hearing on the dispute over the process that the Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) adopted for the final selection of junior teachers in primary and upper primary schools across the State. 

After considering the argument of both the parties, the court reserved its hearing.

Notably, a notification was issued on October 23, 2023, for the recruitment of around 20,000 junior teachers in Odisha. Later, some candidates moved the High Court alleging irregularities in the recruitment process. Following an initial hearing on the petition on January 19, the Court had asked the Odisha government to put on hold the final selection process and appointment of Junior Teachers till the next hearing.

“Our argument was that the selection list should be prepared district-wise. We produced the first district-preference list during the hearing today. Court wanted an example from us that we also produced. Then the court was probably satisfied,” said petitioners’ lawyer Sameer Kumar Das.

“Their argument was it is a merit-based selection and it has not been done on the basis of districts. But our argument was-if the resolution says it should be district-based then you have to confine to the district only. On that basis, the hearing was closed and the interim order was extended,” he added.