ReT Screening Row: The High Court Verdict

A petition did it all. When High Court in Srinagar listened to petitioners about the state of education in Jammu and Kashmir, the state government was directed to hold screening test for ReTs and verify their testimonials issued by “tuck shops” who, HC said, “would be responsible for relegating the student community into the dark cave of Plato”. Kashmir Life reproduces the High Court verdict pronounced by Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar for the interest of  readers

                                   HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR SRINAGAR

Case No:  SWP 346/2014                          Dated:  14th MAY 2015

FAISAL AHMAD KHAN                     VERSUS   STATE & ORS

ORDER SHEET

                         CORAM:

HON’BLE     MR. JUSTICE MUZAFFAR HUSSAIN ATTAR- JUDGE

FOR THE PETITIONER/s:    MR. SAAQUB AMIN PARRAY

FOR THE RESPONDENT/s:  .MR. JEHANGIR IQBAL GANAI

(ORAL)

01/      This writ petition throws up most startling and classical example of sale and purchase of academic degrees, for which many tuck shops were operating in the State. These tuck shops, who have issued the degrees, would be responsible for relegating the student community into the “dark cave of Plato”.

02/     The authorities, responsible to ensure that the stream of academics and education is not polluted in the State of J&K, however, in view of the facts, which have surfaced in this case, have acted as soulless bodies with rayless eyes, as  they have criminally condoned and over looked the Himalayan blunders committed in procuring the academic degrees.

03/     The private respondent  – Mohammad Imran Khan S/O Javaid Ahmad Khan, R/O Qazigund, Kashmir, figures in the list of eligible candidates for being  engaged as Rehbar-i-Taleem (ReT.) at M.S Salyaloo, Kurigam, Qazigund.

04/     The petitioner challenged empanelment of the private respondent in the aforesaid list on the ground that the Study Centre, through which he (private respondent) obtained the degree of 10+2 is not recognized.

05/     Some of the Study Centres have played havoc with the academic health of the State, which, in pursuance of Government orders, stand closed now.

06/     Allegations were made that without taking examinations, the degree certificates were being issued. The private respondent, if selected, has to teach the students in a school and after completion of satisfactory performance as ReT, he would be absorbed as General Line Teacher in the School Education Department. The private respondent has placed on record the degree of 10+2,    issued by the Board of Higher Secondary Education, Delhi & B.Com degree Award, issued by  the Global Open University, Nagaland.

07/     On last date of hearing, when the case was taken up, it was decided to take it as a sample case to find out the academic ability of the private respondent, who was present in the Court.                    Mr. B.A.Bashir, learned Senior Advocate, was requested to give him one simple line to be translated both into urdu and english and vice versa, which the private respondent could not do at all.

08/     As the private respondent, on his selection, has to teach the students, learned counsel, appearing for him, was requested to ask him to withdraw his candidature. The advice, it appears, has fallen on deaf ears. That is how, on last date of hearing, learned counsel was asked to cause appearance of the private respondent before the Court again.

09/     Today, the private respondent is present in the Court.          In presence of number of learned counsel and litigant public, he was asked to write an essay on cow in urdu and english. Paper and pen was provided to him. Even after five minutes, he could not write   a single word. However, he stated that he be permitted to write the essay outside the Court Room. He was permitted to do that. At this, he said that he cannot write essay either in urdu or in english, which are the languages, which he is required to teach at the primary and middle level. Thereafter he said that he can solve any problem/question of mathematics.

10/     Ms. Arifa Jan – learned Advocate, framed some questions of 04th standard for the private respondent to solve. However, after examining the answers, no question was answered correctly.

11/     The marks certificate of the private respondent, which is issued by the Board of Higher Secondary Education, Delhi, shows that out of 100 marks in urdu subject, he has obtained 74 marks,  in english he has obtained 73 marks out of 100 marks and in mathematics, he has secured 66 marks out of 100 marks.

12/     One does not know as to how many such candidates, with such degrees, stand appointed as teachers in the School Education Department.

13/     In this situation, what would be the fate of future of the State, has to be only visualized. The school going children, who are the future of nation, in the hands of such teachers, would pass out as block heads. The future of the State would get destroyed. Instead of further evolution in the academics, the youth will retard mentally and will make the future dark for all.

14/     In this view of the matter, it is deemed necessary to set aside the impugned panel to the extent of private respondent.

15/     The impugned panel, in which the private respondent figures, is set aside. The official respondents are restrained from entertaining any application of the private respondent for any future selection for being appointed as Rehbar-i-Taleem/teacher in any of the schools.

Official respondents are further directed to consider claim of the petitioner for being selected/appointed in accordance with the Government orders.

16/     In order to arrest  further deterioration in the education system, the Commissioner Secretary to Government, Education Department, J&K,  is directed to constitute a committee to look into the hazards, which, such type of degrees  must have caused to the society. The Committee shall be responsible to find out all such degrees/ certificates issued in favour of such candidates, who stand selected as ReT/teachers and ask this class of teachers to sit in a screening test to ascertain as to whether they are in a position to teach the students. All such ReT/teachers, who fail in such screening test, their certificates would require to be seized, of course, after affording opportunity of hearing to them. The authorities shall consider termination of their services after following principles of natural justice as same will be in the larger interests of student community and society.

17/     The Director, School Education Department, Kashmir, shall refer the matter to the concerned police for registration of case and initiate action against the owner of the Study Centre and the private respondent. Action shall be initiated against them under penal laws as we     ll. Such action would also require to be initiated against all such persons, who will constitute a class with the private respondent.

18/     The Commissioner Secretary to Government, Education Department, J&K and Director, School Education Department, Kashmir, to file Compliance Report before next date.

19/     Writ petition is, accordingly, disposed of along with connected MPs. Registry to list the index of the writ petition along with copy of this judgement on 06th July, 2015.

20/     Registry to serve copy of this order, one each, to the Commissioner Secretary to Government, Education Department, J&K,  Director, School Education Department, Kashmir and Secretary, Service Selection Board, J&K, forthwith.

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