New Delhi: The Delhi government on Monday failed to get any relief on the stay order on appointment of guest teachers, with the Delhi high court saying it cannot recruit new teachers without following the regular process.

The court said the appeal by the Delhi government, challenging an order staying the process of appointing guest teachers and promoting those appointed since 2010 in government schools, “is dismissed as withdrawn". A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Pratibha M. Singh brushed aside the government counsel’s submission that due to the stay on recruitment process, students were suffering as there was an acute shortage of teachers. It said that since guest teachers were already working, students were not deprived.

“You cannot recruit new teachers without following regular process... You don’t get best of the persons if you keep appointing them on ad-hoc basis," the bench observed. The bench asked the government to make the submissions before the single judge, before whom the matter is pending, after which Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh withdrew the appeal.

NGO Social Jurist, represented through advocate Ashok Aggarwal, who has filed a contempt plea before a single judge seeking a stay on the order of the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) withdrawing a notice on appointment of 8,914 school teachers, submitted that the appeal should be dismissed as it was not maintainable. The AAP government’s plea seeking lifting of the stay on the process of appointing guest teachers is also pending before the single judge, who has already issued notice on it.

It, however, approached the division bench, challenging the single judge’s order of not disposing of the plea and instead issuing notice on it for 9 November. The government has sought vacation of the stay so that it can appoint nearly 9,000 such teachers to fill vacancies in schools in Delhi, contending that the order was causing serious harm to students, who were suffering due to shortage of teachers. The counsel has said that, till the 9,000 newly created posts of teachers are filled up either through recruitment or regularisation, guest teachers are required as a stop-gap arrangement against the newly created posts, which is not possible now due to the stay order.

The court had asked the government to maintain status quo with regard to fresh appointment of guest teachers as regulars in its schools, after it was informed that authorities have not complied with the high court’s 2001 order. The court was also informed that a bill was recently passed in the Delhi legislative assembly to regularize all guest teachers appointed since 2010.

The division bench, in its 2001 order, had asked the DSSSB to ensure zero vacancy of teachers in schools on the commencement of each academic year. The Delhi government had introduced the DSSSB with the purpose of recruiting capable, competent and highly-skilled individuals by conducting written tests, professional tests and personal interviews.

The plea said that, after a high court order of 11 April, the DSSSB issued vacancy notice on 7 August, inviting applications from candidates for 8,914 teaching posts in the DoE of the Delhi government and for 5,906 teaching posts in the three municipal corporation schools. It alleged that the DSSSB, without informing or seeking permission from the court, had on 24 August “abruptly withdrawn the advertisement" regarding these vacancies.

“The respondents have been deliberately and for some political motives delaying recruitment of regular teachers to the detriment of the interest of as many as 23 lakh students studying in schools run by the government of Delhi and three municipal corporations," the plea said.

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