In a significant judgment, the Madras High Court has ruled that the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, mandating Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) will not apply to candidates whose selection process was almost over with verification of certificates before the notification of the Act on August 23, 2010 by National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE).
This judgment gains significance as 32,000 candidates had appeared for the TET held in 2010-11 and a major portion of them have failed and lost the opportunity of becoming teachers.
Reversing the orders of a single judge and that of the first bench, led by the then Chief Justice, a division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal delivered the landmark judgment on Tuesday.
The bench was allowing a batch of review petitions and writ appeals from TS Anbarasu and 92 others challenging the orders dated March 1, 2012 of a single judge and July 13, 2012 of the first bench. They had held that the policy decision of the government could not be interfered with.
The bench observed that a plain reading of Clause (5) of the notification indicated that if the process of appointment of teachers had been initiated prior to the date of the notification, such appointments should be made in accordance with the NCTE Regulations, 2001. In other words, the persons in respect of whom the certificate verification had been done prior to the date of the notification need not write the TET.
In this case, the review petitioners were sponsored by the Commissioner of Employment & Training for certificate verification for post graduate assistants selection during May 2010, based on their employment exchange seniority and communal reservation.