Govt seeks quashing of CBI probe report

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The State Government has appealed before the Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court to quash the CBI enquiry report into the alleged manipulation in the appointment of assistant teachers in the Government LP Schools.

The lawyers who appeared on the behalf of the State Government had made this appeal before the Division Bench during the final hearing of the case on Thursday.

While insisting on quashing of the CBI report, the Government counsel claimed that the Government has already constituted a High Level Committee (HLC) to inquire into the alleged manipulation in the appointment of the assistant teachers.

In the course of the arguments, the lawyer said that the Government would segregate the services of those teachers who are not eligible for the post if the HLC found that there are manipulations in the process of appointment.

They also assured that the Government would select all the genuine candidates who were denied appointment once the irregularities have been established beyond reasonable doubt.

The Government counsel also defended the Selection Committee (SC) which was alleged to have manipulated the appointment process.

Interestingly the Government did not even bother to open the sealed report of the CBI which was forwarded by the court.

Meanwhile, the counsel appearing on behalf of the aggrieved candidates has contested the appeal of the State to quash the CBI report.

They insisted that the CBI report should be taken into consideration by the Government since its findings can provide relief to the genuine candidates who were denied appointment only because the entire appointment process was vitiated.

The counsel for the petitioners also pointed out that the Government cannot undermine the CBI report without reading its contents.

“It is possible that the report is in favour of the Government. We don’t accept the appeal for quashing the CBI report without opening it,” the lawyers for the petitioner argued.

The lawyer of the aggrieved candidates also opposed the constitution of the HLC when the inquiry into the matter by the CBI is already complete.

Meanwhile, after hearing the arguments of both the parties, the Division Bench comprising of Justice A Hazarika and Justice K Meruno decided to reserve their judgement.

It may be mentioned that The Shillong Bench of the Gauhati High Court had on March 14 last forwarded the CBI’s inquiry report on the appointment of assistant teachers in government lower primary schools to the Meghalaya government for necessary action.

The sealed report, said to be more than 100 pages long, was submitted by the CBI to the court on March 5. The report was addressed to the Principal Secretary, Education department.

The Government was supposed to submit the Action Taken Report (ATR) as per the recommendations of the CBI report by June 18.

Instead of taking necessary action, the Government decided to appeal before the Gauhati High Court for quashing the CBI report.

On October 21 last year, Justice T Vaiphei had directed the investigating agency to probe the alleged anomalies in the appointment of assistant teachers in government lower primary schools.

The order came as Justice Vaiphei was adjudicating on a case of nine writ petitions filed by aggrieved applicants after information obtained through the Right to Information Act, 2005, brought to light various discrepancies and manipulation in the appointment of assistant teachers in 2009-10.

In 2010, a group of candidates for posts in Jowai, Jaintia Hills district, unearthed massive irregularities/manipulation in the selection and appointment of assistant teachers to lower primary schools. As the state authorities paid no heed to their pleas, they decided to approach the court via a writ petition in April-May 2010. Teachers from East Khasi Hills, Amlarem (Jaintia Hills), Tura and other areas under West Garo Hills followed suit.

On October 21 last year, Justice Vaiphei had said, “On the basis of the inquiry report so submitted, the respondent authorities shall take necessary and consequential actions, including cancellation of the entire selection processes and the appointments already made.”

Justice Vaiphei ordered the re-starting of the recruitment process to fill up the posts in question within a period of two months.

The CBI had begun its probe in November last year and hundreds of witnesses, including government officials and aggrieved candidates, were cross-examined by the investigating agency.

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