‘Government may invoke ESMA against PU teachers’

BANGALORE: The striking PU lecturers have decided to go ahead with the boycott of evaluation works, despite the government’s call for an end to it. Minister for Primary and Secondary Edu

Published: 16th April 2012 08:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:33 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: The striking PU lecturers have decided to go ahead with the boycott of evaluation works, despite the government’s call for an end to it.

Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Sunday said the government was ready to invoke the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), 1994.

“We hope that they will call off their boycott.

But, the situation is such that we may have to take a legal approach.

The government is ready for that (invoking ESMA),” he told Express.

Kageri said the government had given an April 19 deadline to meet the lecturers.

“We have already told them we would meet them on April 19.

Invoking ESMA is not a big deal,” he said, hinting that the government might wait till April 19.

Meanwhile, members of the Karnataka State Pre- University College Teachers’ Association and the Karnataka State PU College Principals’ Association are planning to meet Kageri on Monday afternoon.

Earlier on Sunday evening, they held a meeting with CM D V Sadananda Gowda.

“The CM was rushing to Delhi, but he assured us that the government was ready for talks.

However, we will stick to our Monday’s dharna plan.

In the afternoon, we will meet Kageri,” said K R Srikanthe Gowda, president of the principals’ association.

The Department of Pre- University Education (DPUE) has also issued a final call to the evaluators to start evaluation.

“Some evaluators have been absent for evaluation duty since April 13.

All deputy chief evaluators and assistant evaluators have to report to work on April 16, else severe disciplinary action will be taken on principals and lecturers,” stated a DPUE note.

Rashmi V, Commissioner for PU Education, said there was 30-40 per cent turnout on Sunday.

“All the 17 evaluation centres in the city were functional.

The turnout in the rest of the state was sparse,” she said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka State Pre-University College Teachers’ Association organising secretary Manjunath S ruled out any en masse resignations.

“Why should we resign? We will continue our fight to remove wage discrepancies,” he said.

The ESMA gives police the right to arrest, without a warrant, anybody violating the Act’s provisions.

“Any person who commences a strike...or takes part in...

any such strike shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to `200, or with both.

Any person who instigates...a strike shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to one year, or with fine,” reads the Act.

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