Published: 22nd July 2022
Orissa High Court allows for filling up of 11,403 vacant teacher posts in government schools
The court ruled that the state was not violating the rights of the unreserved categories and that the ceiling of 50% on reserved category seats was not being flouted
Dismissing a batch of petitions challenging the advertisement of the Directorate of Secondary Education, Odisha, to fill up 11,403 vacant posts for secondary school teachers in government schools, the Orissa High Court has cleared the way for these posts to be filled up.
The petitions were filed by applicants from unreserved categories, who had written the test for the posts, but did not qualify for a place on the merit list, issued on December 23, 2021. These applicants filed a petition in the High Court, claiming that in all subjects, the reserved category posts exceeded the ceiling limit of 50% and, in some districts, are almost twice the number of unreserved category posts if not more. They also contended that as they belong to the unreserved category, this improper distribution of posts due to non-compliance with the ceiling limit of 50% has resulted in depriving the petitioners of being selected for the vacant posts.
However, Justice SK Panigrahi, who was on the single-judge bench that passed the order said that the advertisement was for vacant posts both of the current year and for vacancies carried forward from previous years in various categories. "It is, therefore, observed that the state has not committed any illegality, nor is it in conformity with the statutory provisions, the constitution and the present position of law," said the judge, adding that the petitioners cannot be granted any relief in these writ petitions and the present writ petitions are liable to be dismissed, being devoid of merit.
The judge added that the ceiling of 50% reservation was being breached only in the case of Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC), which was a "legacy issue". The limit of reservations for the category was changed from 27% to 11.25%, creating 400 excess posts under the category. "The state had also submitted that the said 400 posts will be reverted to unreserved (UR) vacancies as and when the posts fall vacant upon superannuation or otherwise of the incumbents. So, the final position will become 50% unreserved posts," the judge concluded.
"The state is permitted to carry forward unfilled vacancies of previous years which are in accordance with any provision for reservation, as a separate class, and the same will not be considered as a part of the vacancies in the current year for determining the ceiling of 50% reservation on the total number of vacancies in the current year," ruled Justice Panigrahi.