New Delhi, Aug 3: The Centre told the Supreme Court that the procedure followed for the recruitment of contractual teachers in Bihar was not at par with the mode followed to recruit the regular teachers.
The Ministry of Human Resources Development submitted an additional affidavit before a bench of Justices A M Sapre and U U Lalit and said that no competitive examination was conducted for the recruitment for contractual teachers.
"Procedure followed for the recruitment of Niyojit (contractual) teachers is not at par with the mode followed to recruit the regular teachers. There was no competitive examination conducted for the recruitment of Niyojit teachers. Niyojit teachers have not undergone any examination or selection process evaluating their respective merits," the Centre said.
The affidavit also pointed out that the contractual teachers were appointed by civic bodies but the regular teachers were appointed by the state Education Department.
"The Niyojit teachers are the employees of local body institutions i.e. Panchayati Raj institutions/Urban local bodies zila parishad whereas the employer of the regular teachers is the state Education Department," the affidavit said.
The Centre also opposed the argument that some of the Niyojit teachers have minimum qualifications as prescribed by NCTE including Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) and said that the same cannot be treated at par with any recruitment exam being conducted for appointment of teachers.
"Passing TET and having minimum academic qualification as prescribed by NCTE makes a candidate eligible for appointment as a teacher, however, it cannot be taken as a right to be appointed as a teacher," the Centre said.
The Centre had on July 21 supported the Bihar government's stand in opposing 'equal pay for equal work' for contractual teachers in the state, appointed under a 2006 law, saying they were not equal to those appointed before the law was enacted.
The Centre had said that the state government has tried to create a balance between the larger public interest and the claim of pay parity between the previous state government teachers and Panchayat teachers.
It had also contended that "there cannot be a claim of parity between a dying cadre and a permanent alive cadre when the state has taken a conscious decision to adopt new service condition rules for newly-appointed panchayati raj teachers."
It had said that pursuant to the court's directions on January 29, an expert committee of three chief secretary rank officers was constituted to examine the feasibility of grant of improved pay package to the contractual teachers. It had proposed about 20 per cent hike in their existing pay structures subject to their clearing a special exam.
However, the Centre had also said that it would have serious financial ramification for the state and the country and identical claims will be made in other states and UTs where the teachers were being recruited through different modes and salary structures.
The contractual teachers in Bihar were appointed on fixed salary under the 2006 rules called the 'Niyojit Shikshak Niyukti Niyamawali'.
The court had on March 16 directed the Centre and the state government to chalk out a joint plan for bearing expenses so that contractual teachers in the state get equal pay for equal work as per the Patna high court's judgment.
The high court had on October 31 last year, had ruled that contractual teachers were eligible to get equal pay for equal work while declaring state's 2006 rules unconstitutional under Article 14 of the Constitution.
The high court had pulled up the state government saying if peons in Bihar schools would draw salary more than the contractual teachers even after 20 per cent increment to them, better shut the schools.
Bihar Secondary Teachers' Struggle Committee and Bihar Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh, along with nine other individual petitioners, had moved the high court on the issue.
The state government had moved the court against the HC judgment.