Saturday, February 14, 2015

Petition challenging teacher transfers withdrawn; Aggrieved teachers plan to return with individual petitions

The writ petition filed by nine teachers on behalf of a collective group of 202 teachers challenging the transfer orders issued to them by the Human Resource Development Department was withdrawn on 10 February after about a half an hour long hearing in the High Court. This, on the suggestion of the Court that since the petition related to a service matter, it should ideally be presented in individual capacity and cannot be heard en-masse like a Public Interest Litigation. Following this, the petitioners withdrew the petition with the liberty to return to court again with individual petitions clubbed together with those making similar arguments.
In the withdrawn writ petition, the nine petitioners, on the behalf of a group of 202 teachers who had given authorization to plead their grievances in Court, had prayed that the Court pass or issue directions to the HRDD to frame a suitable transfer policy and in the meanwhile, quash the transfer of teachers. The HRDD, at the beginning of the winter vacations, had issued transfer orders to 1,063 teachers across the State.
The single judge bench of the High Court comprising of Acting Chief Justice Sushil Kumar Sinha, while hearing the matter for half an hour on Tuesday, had made some observations following which, the nine petitioners - Bhanu Bhakta Pradhan and others – withdrew the writ petition seeking liberty to file afresh as advised by the Court, informs Dr. Doma Bhutia, counsel for the petitioners.
She said that the court has granted liberty to file appropriate writ petitions, stressing that the withdrawal will not affect the rights of the other aggrieved teachers who had given their authorization to move the writ petition.
Meanwhile, during the hearing, Additional Advocate General, JB Pradhan, informed the Court that he has already directed the HRD Department to rectify the clerical errors whch might have crept into the transfer order list and also assured the Court that “genuine cases” will be reconsidered by the Government when the Department is approached with specific representations. 

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