Challenge to constitutionality of govt order of 2018 to formally close ReT scheme fails: HC
Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh today held that the challenge to the constitutionality of the government order of 2018 to formally close the Rehbar-E-Taleem (ReT) scheme fails.
The court however held that the impugned government order will not affect the select panels prepared by the respondent authorities which have been acted upon and where formal orders of engagement have been issued.
The judgment was passed by a division bench comprising Justice S Kumar and M K Kazmi.
A string of petitions challenged the government order No. 919-Edu of 2018 dated 16th November. The impugned order was passed by the government pursuant to State Administrative Council to formally close ReT Scheme.
The order also provided for cancellation and withdrawal of all the advertisement notices issued for making engagement of ReT or the panels prepared where no engagement orders had been issued under the scheme.
ReT was conceptualized to put in place a system of decentralized management and elementary education through community participation and involvement in 2000.
At the centre of the scheme was conceptualized a teaching guide to be named as ReT who was provided to be drawn from the local community so that his accountability would be immediate providing for constant interface and interaction with the community to secure universal enrolment and to check incidence of drop outs.
It was in keeping with the objectives of the scheme, the job to select the ReT was entrusted to a village-level community. It provided further that the candidate to be engaged as ReT should possess the minimum qualification of 10+2 and must belong to the village where there is accessed deficiency of the staff.
The scheme also provided that on satisfactory completion of five years service as ReT on honorarium basis, the candidate shall be eligible for appointment as General Line Teacher in the Education Department.
Passing their judgment on the matter the division bench of the J&K on Monday held “challenge to the constitutionality of the impugned Government Order fails and consequently, all the petitions are disposed of by providing that the impugned Government order shall be understood and made applicable in the manner explained herein in the judgment”.
It said, “the impugned Government order will not affect the select panels prepared by the respondents which have been acted upon and formal orders of engagement have been issued.”
The judges held “the order will not override or effect the judgments passed or to be passed by this Court holding a candidate/candidates entitled to engagement in the selection process which was/is under challenge before the Court”.
The bench held “where the select panels are approved and the aggrieved party has approached the Court before it could be acted upon, shall also be not affected by the impugned Government order, in that, but for litigation in the Court, the approved panel/panels could have been acted upon and formal letters of engagement in favour of the selected candidates issued prior to the issuance of the impugned Government order”.
It said, “notwithstanding issuance of the impugned Government order, the respondents shall abide by the judgments passed by any competent Court of law which have attained finality.”
However, the writ petitions involving adjudication of disputes in respect of tentative merit lists or tentative select panels shall be liable to be dismissed in view of the impugned Government order, the court said.
It held “in that case it would not be permissible for a Court of law to direct the respondents to finalize the tentative merit lists or tentative select panels and issue engagement orders in view of closure of the scheme and a clear stipulation contained in paragraph 2nd of the impugned Government order”.
Pending Writ Petitions according to the judgment shall be considered by the single bench in the light of observations made and law laid down in this judgment.