J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: The Tamil Nadu government on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it proposed to fill about 7,000 vacancies of secondary-grade teachers in the State with eligible candidates from all district employment exchanges and would not go for district-wise selection.

A Bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice J.M. Panchal recorded the submissions of the State and directed the government to fill the vacancies as per its revised proposal.

The court on August 8 had refused to stay a Madras High Court judgment striking down a G.O. by which vacancies of about 7,000 secondary grade teachers in the State were sought to be filled going by district-wise seniority in each district employment exchange.

At that time, the court had issued notice to the Unemployed Secondary Grade Teachers Welfare Association Society and others on the special leave petition filed by the State against the High court judgment. During the hearing, the court had asked the government to come out with a modified scheme that would satisfy the requirements of law or issue an advertisement stating that any one could apply for the post.

On Monday, senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina, appearing for the State, submitted that selection would be held by calling for the list of eligible persons from all employment exchanges and a public advertisement would be issued throughout the State so that any willing candidate even though registered in a different district could participate in the selection.

He said the advertisement would incorporate a condition that any person selected and appointed in a particular school within the district could not aspire for transfer to another place outside the district. He wanted the court to approve the revised proposal. The Bench accepted the proposal and ordered accordingly.

The State government said that the policy decision on district-wise selection of candidates for appointment of secondary-grade teachers was taken owing to the fall in standards of education in primary classes 1 to 5, dealt by secondary grade teachers. Accordingly 7,223 vacancies were ordered to be filled by allocating the number of posts to each district and applications were called from each district employment exchange. A single judge dismissed a batch of petitions challenging the G.O. On appeal, a Division Bench struck down the G.O. on the ground that it violated Article 16 (2).