MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently suggested that the Tamil Nadu government appoint legal advisors in the education offices of all districts so that the filing of litigations owing to 'wrong' orders issued by authorities can be avoided. A Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi sought a response in this regard from the government by October 28.
The judges observed that so far about 6,000 secondary grade teachers, 1,750 B.T. assistants, and 100 P.G. assistants are found to be in surplus in Tamil Nadu. Despite this, many schools approach the authorities and the court seeking approval of appointment of teachers and the government has to spend Rs 444 crore every year in this regard, they added.
Since it is the public’s money that is being wasted, some responsibility should be fixed on the officials, the judges opined. They also criticised the lethargic attitude of the education department authorities in filing appeals. Noting that Collectors and Police Commissioners are provided with legal advisors, they said every Chief Educational Officer (CEO) should also have a legal advisor.
The judges were hearing a petition filed by the Pudukkottai elementary educational officer to condone a delay of nearly one and a half years in filing an appeal against a judgment passed in 2018 in favour of a B.T. assistant, one K Prakash. Noting that despite Prakash filing a contempt petition in 2018, the authorities did not take steps to file an appeal till August 2019, the judges dismissed the petition by directing the authorities to pay Rs 5,000 cost to Prakash.