KOCHI: The High Court has said that if teachers or non-teaching staff are arrested in POCSO cases and child assault cases, the Education Department should not wait for the court verdict to take disciplinary action. Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan also stated that if the court later pronounces that the accused person is not guilty, then he can ask for the period of suspension to be converted into service. The court also gave directions for the problems faced by the General Education Department.
The court gave the direction while considering the petition filed by Joliamma V Thomas, a high school teacher at St. Sebastian School, Koodaranji, Kozhikode. The Regional Deputy Director had denied the appointment of the petitioner as a Higher Secondary Teacher in the same school on June 1, 2016, by pointing out that there is no government member in the selection committee.
Later on March 25, 2017, a selection committee consisting of a member of the government was formed and appointed Joliyamma as a Higher Secondary Teacher. But the petitioner approached the High Court stating that she is eligible for an appointment from June 1, 2016. The court held that there is no need for a selection committee for such appointments in the same school. The court also quashed the order denying permission for the appointment made on June 1, 2016. It directed that the appointment be deemed to have taken place on that date.
Data bank of teachers
The court directed the education department to prepare a data bank of teachers by including information such as date of entry into service, qualification etc. The data bank, staff fixation orders, seniority list, the fitness of school buildings etc should be linked to the Education Department portal. The seniority list should be submitted before 31st May of every academic year. The government and director of general education have to respond to the directions by November 25.