Govt gets egg on face over contract teachers’ mess

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today came down heavily on the state government for its “evil design” in shifting the blame to the HC over termination of services of nearly 4,000 contract teachers.

Rejecting the report filed by the secretary to School and Mass Education Department Ranjana Chopra, the HC asked her to submit a fresh affidavit by Friday showing cause as to why contempt of court proceedings will not be initiated against her and posted the matter to be heard again on December 1.

“We never asked you (government) to terminate the services of these teachers. You appointed them in violation of the Court s order and in order to escape from the contempt of court charges, you terminated their services saying you have done it as per the Court s orders,” a division bench of Justices Kumari Sanju Panda and Dr D P Choudhury said rejecting the government s contentions.

The Mass Education Secretary in the third paragraph of her compliance report had mentioned “…as per the Honourable High Court s direction, the services of contract teachers appointed after June 11, 2015 have been terminated.”

The HC took strong exception to this stand of the government saying that the Court had at no point of time directed the government to terminate the services of the teachers appointed in violation of court s order.

Petitioner Seemanchal Sahu had moved the HC in a civil contempt of court case making Ranjana Chopra a respondent stating that despite the High Court slapping a stay on recruitment of contract teachers on June 11 this year, the state government went ahead in appointing the contract teachers.