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Breather for tuition teachers

Burdwan, Nov. 18: The vacation judge of the chief judicial magistrate’s court here has dismissed a criminal case against 42 school teachers accused of running private coaching centres on the ground that only the government or the school managing committees had the right to file such a lawsuit.

The judge also granted anticipatory bail to the teachers and asked the petitioner to take the case to the high court as a public interest litigation.

Munshi Rafiqul Hassan, an educated unemployed youth, brought charges against the teachers of some reputed higher secondary schools in the district alleging that they had cheated the government by accepting money from students for private classes apart from their school salary.

The government has imposed a blanket ban on private tuitions by teachers of state-aided schools. All the accused had given written undertakings to the government and their schools that they would refrain from giving tuitions in private. Hassan had photographs of the teachers taking classes as evidence.

The judge, R. N. Banerjee, said: “It is alleged that the education department’s notification banning private tuition has been violated by the accused teachers. But none from the education department nor from their employers has alleged cheating. The locus standi of the complainant is not clear as he was not personally cheated by the teachers. The very nature of the case appears to be like a public interest litigation, which can be filed either before the high court or in the Supreme Court and not in the court of the district judicial magistrate.”

Hassan’s advocate said a public interest litigation will be filed in the high court soon.

District inspector of schools Subhas Samanta said the government-aided schools were bound to implement the tuition ban order. But in this case, the managing committees had not reported any violation of the directive.

Subhendu Banerjee of the Burdwan District Teachers’ Forum welcomed the order. He claimed that the teachers were “forced” to impart private tuition by the students.

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