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Supreme Court issues notice in challenge to Allahabad HC verdict affirming higher cut-off marks for recruitment of 69,000 Shiksha Mitras

Debayan Roy

The Supreme Court today issued notice to the State of Uttar Pradesh and others in a plea filed by Uttar Pradesh Prathmik Shiksha Mitra Association against the Allahabad High Court’s verdict in the case related to the recruitment of 69,000 assistant teachers or Shiksha Mitras.

The Apex Court has directed the UP government and other respondents to reply by July 14. It has also ordered the state government to send a detailed chart showcasing the Shiksha Mitra vacancies by July 6.

A batch of petitions including a plea filed by Advocate Gaurav Yadav sought a stay on the Allahabad High Court verdict.

Today, the bench of Justices UU Lalit, M Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran sought to know from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state of Uttar Pradesh, why different criteria for the assistant teacher recruitment exam were issued prior to and post the exam. SG Mehta sought time for instructions.

"They want to burden the meritorious candidates with non-meritorious ones," said SG Mehta.

Senior Advocate PS Patwalia, representing one of the petitioners in the case, stated that after a Supreme Court judgment, the assistant teacher exam was being conducted solely for Shiksha Mitras.

"But now the B.Ed people also took the exam and have found a convenient way to hitchhike on Shiksha Mitras' back".

The Allahabad High Court had earlier confirmed the state government’s decision of keeping higher cut-off marks for the recruitment of 69,000 teachers in primary schools of the state. After that, the path of recruitment of assistant teachers in the Basic Education Council schools in the state was cleared.

The cut-off was due to a dispute related to marks. In this case, the Allahabad High Court had justified the decision of the state government to increase the cut-off.

Technical Difficulties

Today's hearing through video conferencing, however, did not progress smoothly.

When Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium advanced arguments for one of the petitioners, the audio link was disturbed. This prompted Justice Lalit to begin to order that the case be heard in open court rather than virtually.

However, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave objected to this, and insisted on a virtual hearing.

The Court had also initially dismissed one of the connect matters, which will now again be taken up post July 14.

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