Maintain status quo on teacher promotions: HC

A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court comprising Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy and Justice K. Vijayalakshmi on Friday directed the AP government to maintain status quo regarding the proposed promotions to various posts in the school education department based upon a ‘Presidential Order’ declaring unified integrated service rules for teachers of all public institutions.

The bench was dealing with a writ petition filed by Tulasidas, a teacher of a government school at Rajamahendravaram. He said that he had challenged the validity of the integrated service rules for teachers and the AP Administrative Tribunal had refused to grant interim orders. He filed the present writ petition and brought to the notice of the bench that another bench of the court had granted interim stay orders when a similar case was filed by the government teachers of Telangana.

The bench ordered status quo till October 30 regarding promotions and directed the registry to list both cases together.

The teachers working in government schools are localised cadre who had promotional chances to various higher administrative posts in the education department. The teachers working in schools run by local bodies like panchayat, Zilla Parishad and municipalities do not get such promotions.

After several decades of agitations, integrated rules were framed and there was a litigation.

Two judgments were delivered by the high court striking down the earlier unified service rules.

The Supreme Court upheld these decisions.

Then recently the integrated rules were notified after obtaining the consent of the Central government.

‘Autonomy violated’

S. Ramachandra Rao, senior counsel, appearing for the petitioners, said that the Constitutional Amendment had given autonomy to the local bodies and these integrated service rules were in violation of this too.

The constitutional validity of the orders issued in June, 2017 by the President of India were under challenge. The main contention was that the President could not issue such an order. He could only direct the State government to issue such rules. This ran against Article 371-D. The teachers working in schools run by local bodies were not holding any ‘civil post’ and hence these rules were not applicable.

Now, the A.P. and Telangana governments would be defending this challenge to the integrated service rules for teachers, together.

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