CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has directed the government teachers to resume work by January 25 taking into consideration the interest of the students community.
The bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and P Rajamanickam gave the direction while passing interim orders on a PIL petition from Gokul, a class 12 student, on Wednesday.
The teachers and government employees, under the banner of JACTTO-GEO (Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers Organisations and Government Employees Organisations), began their strike on January 22, urging the government to implement a charter of demands.
The PIL sought to stop the strike in view of the board examinations which are fast approaching and to ensure conduct of classes and revision examinations, as scheduled.
When the plea came up for hearing, Advocate-General Vijay Narayan said that besides elementary school teachers, about 39.7% of other teachers have not reported to work. “We are trying to manage the situation with temporary teachers and action would be taken against them,” he added.
Advocate NGR Prasad submitted that the teachers and other government employees were pressing their demands for over a year. The government has failed to consider their plea, which was assured by the then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the floor of the Assembly. “Strike is a democratic right and resorting to strike is not violence,” he added.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the State is already in bad shape because of the introduction of NEET. The situation would worsen if the strike is allowed to continue. Therefore, it is just and necessary that considering the urgency of the issue and the serious impact that it could create in respect of the lakhs of students, who are to write their board examination, the court should direct the State to take necessary steps to ensure that the strike by the teachers does not continue, he added.