Cuttack: The Orissa High Court Thursday sought replies from the state government and the project director of Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) while hearing pleas on appointment of sikshya sahayaks (SS).
Taking up the petitions of Jitendra Pradhan and 100 other aspirants, Chief Justice Vineet Saran and B R Sarangi refused to intervene in an earlier order in this regard given by a single bench of judge.
Asking the state and OPEPA authorities to submit their responses within two weeks, the bench hinged the appointment upon the final verdict.
According to sources, a batch of petitions was filed challenging the December 26, 2016 notification of the state government for appointment of sikshya sahayaks. Taking up the petitions, a single bench of Justice SN Prasad in its October 23, 2017 ruling had rejected the pleas to increase the maximum age limit to 42 from 32 years for SS appointment.
Besides, the bench had asked the state to review its criteria of minimum 50 per cent marks in graduation as eligibility for SS appointment which the petitioners had claimed violates the guidelines of National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE).
The HC had also refused to intervene in the distribution of posts among various categories which according to the state government’s notification was 60:20:20 for science, arts and commerce steam respectively.
Besides, the petitioners had appealed to the HC to allow untrained but Orissa Teacher Eligibility Test qualified candidates belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes categories for the appointment on which the court had refused to intervene.
Challenging the ruling of Justice SN Prasad, Jitendra Pradhan and 100 others again moved the HC. They had appealed to the court to quash the single judge’s ruling and reconsider their pleas.