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Uttrakhand High Court dismisses PIL for quashing advertisement on selection process of teachers

Theh Uttarakhand High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking quashing of the advertisement dated 22.11.2019, and the entire selection process.

The PIL filed by one Praveen Sharma further prayed to initiate a detailed and proper enquiry, through an independent agency, against the respondents.   

After notice of the Petition, a counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of respondent.  The main objection taken in the said counter affidavit  is that the PIL is not maintainable, as it is a service matter.

In this regard, they have referred to the judgment of the  Supreme Court in the case of Hari Bansh Lal v. Sahodar Prasad Mahto and others, (2010) 9 SCC 655. In this case, the  Supreme Court has held that a PIL is not maintainable in service matters, except by way of writ of quo warranto, for which appointment must be shown to be contrary to statutory provisions.

Recently, in the case of Divya Rajesh Hagaragi v. State of Karnataka and others, W.P. No. 12388 of 2020 (S-RES), the Karnataka High Court has also followed the case in Hari Bansh Lal (supra), and held that a Public Interest Litigation is not maintainable in a service matter.   

It is further stated that, pursuant to the advertisement, selection process has been completed vide letter dated 21.11.2019.

It is stated that 75 applications were received for the post of Lecturer (Political Science), 55 applications were received for the post of Assistant Teacher LT (Science), and 88 applications were received for the post of Assistant Teacher LT (Maths) across the State.

Thereafter, the Selection Committee was constituted under Sections 36 and 37 of the Uttarakhand School Education Act, 2006, and vide letter dated 17.02.2020, the Chief Education Officer was informed that no selected candidate is related to the members of the Selection Committee. 

It is stated that, after receiving the order dated 17.02.2020 of the Chief Education Officer, Dehradun, the entire facts were brought to the notice of the Chief Education Officer, Dehradun vide letter dated 20.02.2020 by respondent. Thereafter, the Chief Education Officer, Dehradun gave approval for appointment of the selected candidates, Lecturer Political Science, Assistant Teacher LT Science and Assistant Teacher LT Maths.

This approval was granted on 06.03.2020, and the selected candidates have already joined. The advertisement was published in  Newspapers, which are not only state-level newspapers, but are also national-level newspapers.

So, due advertisement was given in a correct manner. The selection of the Chairman of the Interview Committee was also done under Section 37(2)(i) of the Uttarakhand School Education Act, 2006, and all these appointments have already been approved by the department, after scrutinising the entire process.

Since the department has already approved the selection process, and it is a service matter, in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Hari Bansh Lal (supra), the PIL is not maintainable, and is dismissed by the High Court.

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