Apex court had directed the state government to file an affidavit informing what steps were taken to benefit the teachers by way of alternate employment Credit: Representational image

Agartala: The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict in the case of 1,0323 terminated teachers on Tuesday after completing its hearing in the matter related to alternate employment and to allow relaxation of other conditions in the recruitment rules.

A three-member bench of the Apex Court comprising Justice Udai Umesh Lalit, Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Mohan M Santana Gourdar heard the prolonged case for hours on Tuesday and reserved the judgment, said Biswajit Palit, Tripura law secretary.

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Earlier, the Apex court had directed the state government to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court indicating the stand of the state and informing what steps were taken to benefit the teachers by way of alternate employment.

The state government had filed the affidavit within the stipulated time with four points that required permission from the Apex Court. The state requested the court to permit the state govt to consider and appoint these ad-hoc teachers against vacant seats of Group C and Group-D on fulfillment of eligibility conditions and with age relaxation wherever it is required.

“The state government seeks permission to give age & other relaxations irrespective of the number of years required to the erstwhile ad-hoc teachers so that they are appointed to various non-technical and direct recruitment Group-C & Group-D posts in departments”, Law minister Ratan Lal Nath said.

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Earlier on March 19, Nath said out of the 10,323 teachers presently 8,882 teachers of the different category were working on an ad-hoc basis in the education department that including the undergraduate 4374, graduate 3761 and post graduate 746 posts.

The Tripura government had identified different posts under the state elementary education department. These include 6,000 posts of mid-day meal assistants, 300 posts of hostel wardens and 1,000 posts of mid-day meal supervisors or coordinators would be created. Under the social welfare and social education department, 4,000 posts of early childhood organizers are also lying vacant so far.

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On Tuesday, a group of senior advocates including senior advocate Kapil Sibal, Jaydeep Gupta and Rajiv Dhawan represented Bijay Krishna Das and others in the Supreme Court for 10,323 teachers.

The counsels argued that the state government has proposed re-appointment in various non-technical posts which is lower than the posts in which they have worked as teachers in various levels. The court if feels that their knowledge and skill should be updated the teachers can easily do so being in service and their continued service with pay scales granted to them earlier should be restored.

The apex court had upheld the verdict of the Tripura High Court terminating the jobs of all 10,323 teachers. These teachers were appointed on an ad-hoc basis before the tenure ended in March this year.

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Earlier, on March 23, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb announced that a judicial commission would be formed to inquire and fix responsibility on those who gave jobs to the 10,323 teachers, who were terminated on March 31 this year.

Deb was speaking at the state legislative assembly during the special reference period notice, when he said that a judicial commission headed by a retired judge would be constituted that would look after the total process and the loopholes in the recruitment.

The state government also announced a one-time financial support of Rs 35,000 each to the 8,882 ad-hoc teachers who were terminated from their jobs on April 2 as a humanitarian gesture during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The cabinet decided to support the teachers financially. There are about 4,375 teachers who used to receive Rs 14,078 salary, 3,761 teachers received Rs 28,995 and 746 teachers received Rs 35,594 as monthly salary. We hope the families would benefit from this financial support from the government,” Deb said.

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