Orissa High Court restriction on selection of 18K junior teachers

Court allowed document verification but put on hold decision on final selection till Jan 24.
Orissa High Court.
Orissa High Court.File photo

CUTTACK : The Orissa High Court on Friday imposed restriction on final selection and appointment of junior teachers to fill up vacancies in primary schools (Class I to V) and upper primary schools (Class V to VIII) across the state.

OSEPA had invited applications to recruit junior teachers on September 10, 2023 with October 10, 2023 as the last date for submitting applications through online mode. After conducting a CBT (computer-based test), OSEPA published the draft merit list of 18,805 candidates and fixed January 20 and 21 for verification of documents.

Chintamani Bhuian and three others had filed a petition alleging that the draft merit list was published without adhering to the guidelines which OSEPA had issued for the recruitment of junior teachers in primary schools.

While admitting the petition, the single judge bench of Justice Biraja Prasanna Satapathy in an interim order allowed the document verification process to continue on the date fixed, but no final decision can be taken with regard to final selection and appointment till January 24. Justice Satapathy posted the matter to January 24 for consideration and issued notices to the state government and project director, OSEPA to file their replies by then.

According to the petition, OSEPA had published a draft merit list which was more of a state list instead of a district-wise list. Consequently, several candidates who could have figured in the district-wise list did not find the place, the petition alleged

The guidelines issued by way of a resolution by the School and Mass Education department on August 22, 2023, had specified that the draft merit list will be prepared taking into consideration all district preferences submitted by individual candidates.

“For a particular post, in a category within the district, district preference will be preferred over merit. After publication of the draft merit list, all candidates in the said list will be called for verification of original documents at their respective district headquarters,” the resolution stated.

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