Legal Correspondent

Teachers' fora blame State Government for the judgment

HYDERABAD : A Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court comprising Justice B. Prakash Rao and Justice Ramesh Ranganathan on Wednesday upheld the judgment of the Administrative Tribunal (APAT) setting aside the State Government's action in forming combined services for all the teachers working in Government as well as local bodies' schools.

The Bench was dealing with a batch of writ petitions filed by the State Government as well as teachers of schools belonging to local bodies. The Government had issued an order and later an ordinance declaring that there shall be combined services for the teachers of the Government institutions in the State. This was challenged by the Government teachers in APAT which set aside the merger.

Delivering the judgment, the Bench said that the State Government's action lacks competence as prior approval of the President of India had not been taken. It pointed out, that the present situation had risen because the Article 371(D) of the Constitution and the Presidential Order which mandated prior approval of the President as and when service conditions of the employees are to be changed. The service cadre of the teachers of local bodies have not been localised which provide for local/non-local reservations with reference to the three regions of the State.

Meanwhile, teachers' unions in the State have expressed shock at the High Court striking down the School Education Department Common Services Act and rules.

Associations' view

The Progressive Recognised Teachers Union (PRTU) president P. Venkat Reddy and general secretary P. Ravikiran in a press release urged the Government to immediately challenge the judgement in the Supreme Court.

The Andhra Pradesh United Teachers Federation president Ch Subash Chandra Bose and general secretary S. Narayana blamed the Government's negligent attitude for the plight of teachers in wake of the High Court ruling.