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Job seekers move court

Agartala, Jan. 16: Tripura High Court’s division bench of Chief Justice Deepak Kumar Gupta and Justice Swapan Chandra Das has issued notices to the state government asking for explanation on how it had given employment to graduate and post-graduate teachers and now to 4,406 undergraduate teachers on the basis of a revised employment policy.

The high court order was issued on a writ petition filed by an undergraduate teacher job aspirant, Bholanath Baiday, who had been deprived of a job five years ago in 2009 and challenged the “revised employment policy” of the state government.

Besides, 30 other deprived job seekers had also filed petitions in the court seeking its intervention on the matter of job offers for undergraduate teachers.

Arguing for the petitioners in the high court on Friday, senior advocates Arun Kanti Bhowmik and Arun Chandra Bhowmik said the government policy on employment stipulated that candidates would be selected on the basis of 70 per cent weightage on seniority and merit and 30 per cent weightage on need.

“If this is the policy enunciated earlier by the state government the petitioners we represent deserved to get job offers but they did not and this is deliberate deprivation,” said the advocates.

Having heard the petitioners, Chief Justice Deepak Kumar Gupta, who is heading the division bench, asked the government advocate Shaktimay Chakraborty how the government had determined that 70 per cent weightage would be given to seniority and merit and 30 per cent to need.

“There is no constitutional sanction behind such a policy. Moreover, how were people over 40 years given job offers?” the Chief Justice asked.

In his reply, government advocate Chakraborty said none of the 30 cases being heard had challenged the policy of the government and neither himself nor his assistant Vibek Banerjee was authorised to file a reply to the queries raised.

“It is only the advocate general who can authoritatively reply the high court’s queries on government policies. Having heard arguments put forward by both the sides, the division bench specified four queries and sought reply to them from the state government and specifically from the director of school education. The court has decided to hear the matter on March 1,” he added.