You are on page 1of 15

DISTRICT : - CACHAR

IN THE GAUHATI HIGH COURT


( The High Court of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya,
Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh )

(CIVIL EXTRA – ORDINARY JURISDICTION)

PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO. OF 2009

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee


…….. Petitioner
-Vs-
State of Assam & Ors.
……. Respondents

SYNOPSIS

This P.I.L. has been filed by Barak Human Rights Protection


Committee which is a body of teachers, guardians of children studying in
Government and Govt. aided schools , professionals and other sections of
society .

That, the issues raised in this P.I.L. pertains to frequent


deployment of teachers of Government and Govt. aided schools in non-
teaching duties thereby disrupting the academic Schedule of these
schools leading to violation of the Fundamental Rights of universal
education to children as enshrined in the Article 14 , Article 21 A and
Article 45 of the Constitution of India .

That, the Petitioners are further aggrieved in non- action and non-
implementation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directives passed in its
Judgment & Order in Civil Appeal No. 5659 of 2007 (Election
Commission of India –Vs- St. Mary’s School and ors.) by the Govt. of
Assam and State Election Officer, Assam .

Hence, this P.I.L.

Filed by,

Siddhartha Bhattacharya,
Advocate
DISTRICT : - CACHAR

IN THE GAUHATI HIGH COURT


( The High Court of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya,
Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh )

(CIVIL EXTRA – ORDINARY JURISDICTION)

PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO. OF 2009

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee


…….. Petitioner
-Vs-
State of Assam & Ors.
……. Respondents

DATE OF EVENTS

SL.NO. DATES PARTICULARS

1. 12/12/2002 Article 21 A and Article 45 have been


incorporated in the Constitution of India
through 86th Constitutional Amendment ,
Act.

2. 11/08/2004 The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court


passed an Order in Civil Writ Petition No.
1076 of 2003 regarding deployment of
services of the teachers in Government and
Govt. aided school for non-educational
purposes .

3. 06/12/2007 The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its Judgment


& Order in Civil Appeal No. 5659 of 2007
uphold the Judgment & Order passed by
the Hon’ble Delhi High Court .

Filed by,

Siddhartha Bhattacharya,
Advocate
DISTRICT : - CACHAR

IN THE GAUHATI HIGH COURT


( The High Court of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya,
Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh )

(CIVIL EXTRA – ORDINARY JURISDICTION)

PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO. OF 2009

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee


…….. Petitioner
-Vs-
State of Assam & Ors.
……. Respondents

INDEX

SL.No. PARTICULARS CONTENTS PAGE NO


1 Synopsis

2 Date of Events

3 Writ Petition

4 Affidavit

5 Annexure 1 Photocopy of the publication


in India Edunews. Net dated
5th March 2008 .
6 Annexure 2 (a) 1st Page of the compiled list
of single teachers school.
7 Annexure 2(b) 2nd page of the compiled list
of single teachers school
8 Annexure 2 (c) 3rd page of the compiled list
of single teachers school.
9 Annexure 2 (d) 4th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
10 Annexure 2 (e) 5th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
11 Annexure 2 (f) 6th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
12 Annexure 2 (g) 7th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
13 Annexure 2 (h) 8th page of the compiled list
of single teachers school.
14 Annexure 2 (i) 9th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
15 Annexure 2 (j) 10th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
16 Annexure 2 (k) 11th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
17 Annexure 2 (l) 12th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
18 Annexure 2 (m) 13th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
19 Annexure 2 (n) 14th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
20 Annexure 2 (o) 15th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
21 Annexure 2 (p) 16th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
22 Annexure 2 (q) 17th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
23 Annexure 2 (r) 18th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
24 Annexure 2 (s) 19th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
25 Annexure 2 (t) 20th page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
26 Annexure 2 (u) 21st page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
27 Annexure 2 (v) 22nd page of the compiled
list of single teachers school.
28 Annexure 3(a) Photocopy of the result of
H.S.L.C. exams of a Govt.
school.
29 Annexure 3(b) Photocopy of the result of
H.S.L.C. exams of a Govt.
school.
30 Annexure 3(c) Photocopy of the result of
H.S.L.C. exams of a Govt.
school.
31 Annexure 3(d) Photocopy of the result of
H.S.L.C. exams of a Govt.
school.
32 Annexure 3(e) Photocopy of the result of
H.S.L.C. exams of a private
school.
33 Annexure 4 Photocopy of the Writ
Petition No. 1076 of 2003.
34 Annexure 5 (a) Photocopy of the Counter
Affidavit of the Respondent
No. 1 in Writ Petition No.
1076 of 2003 .
35 Annexure 5 (b) Photocopy of the Counter
Affidavit of the Respondent
No. 3 in Writ Petition No.
1076 of 2003 .
36 Annexure 5 (c) Photocopy of the Counter
Affidavit of the Respondent
No. 4 in Writ Petition No.
1076 of 2003 .
37 Annexure 5 (d) Photocopy of the Counter
Affidavit of the Respondent
No. 5 in Writ Petition No.
1076 of 2003 .
38 Annexure 6 A copy of the Judgment &
Order dated 06/12/2007
passed by the Hon’ble
Supreme Court.

Filed by,

Siddhartha Bhattacharya,
Advocate
DISTRICT : CACHAR

IN THE GAUHATI HIGH COURT


( The High Court of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya,
Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh )

(CIVIL EXTRA - ORDINARY JURISDICTION)

PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION No. OF 2009


Category :
Code :

To,
The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jasti Chelameshwar, B.Sc., B.L,
The Chief Justice of the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court
and His Lordship’s Other Companion Justices of the
said Hon’ble Court.

IN THE MATTER OF:-

An Application under Article 226


of the Constitution of India for a Writ in
the nature of Mandamus and/ or
Certiorari and / or Quo-warranto
and/or any other such appropriate
Writ, Order or Direction of like nature.

-AND-

IN THE MATTER OF:-

Violations of provisions of Article 14


and Article 21 A read with Article 45 of
the Constitution of India.

-AND-

IN THE MATTER OF:-


A Public Interest Litigation praying for
directions to the Respondent
Authorities for not deploying the
teachers of Govt. and Govt. aided
school in non-teaching duties more
particularly in the Election related
duties in accordance with the
directions of the Hon’ble Supreme
Court in Civil Appeal No. 5659 of
2007 in Election Commission of
India –Vs- St. Mary’s School and Ors.

-AND-

IN THE MATTER OF:-

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee


Represented by, its Secretary,
Neharul Ahmed Mazumder,
Rongpur Part II , Silchar – 9
Dist.- Cachar. Assam
…..Writ Petitioner

-Vs-
1. State of Assam represented by,
The Chief Secretary, Govt. of Assam

2. Secretary & Commissioner


Department of Education,
Dispur, Guwahati , Assam

3. State Election Officer


Assam Secretariat , 4th Floor, C- Block
Dispur, Guwahati, Assam.

4. Election Commission of India


Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi

5. Union of India ,
Through , Secretary
Ministry of Human Resource Development
Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi
…..Respondents
The humble Petition of the Petitioner above named:-

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHEWETH :-

1. That, the Petitioner Barak Human Rights Protection Committee is


an Organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act,
1860 vide No. RS/CA/243/B/61 of 2002-2003 dated 1st Oct, 2002
having its registered Office at Silchar, Cachar .
2. That, the Petitioner Organisation comprises of members who are
engaged in different professions like teaching, services, business,
etc. and the Organisation runs on contributions of its members
and general public.

3. That, the Petitioner begs to state that, the main objectives of the
Organisation are to promote and protect human rights and prevent
their violations and for equitable socio-economic development of all
citizens. The organization also works for full realization of social,
economic and cultural rights for all citizens, thereby to work for
promotion and establishment of democracy, secularism and equal
opportunity to all sections of society more particularly the
disadvantaged and deprived sections of the society.

4. That, the Petitioner begs to submit that, the founding fathers of the
Indian Constitution had realized that, mere political freedom
without social and economic equality and justice to under
priviledged and downtrodden section of the society would be
meaningless . Eventhough the Indian Constitution propounded the
Right to Equality for all sections of the Society in Article 14 of the
Constituiton yet provisions were made to give extra leverage to the
underprivileged and downtrodden section of the society so that,
they can catch up with the privileged section of the society .

5. That, since its inception the Constitution of India has undergone


many Amendments as over the years the political leadership
realized that, unless the under privileged and downtrodden section
of the society are empowered, then no equitable growth and
development of the society is possible. One of the major areas
where the under privileged and downtrodden section of the society
needed extra leverage and assistance was education. It was felt
that, unless universal compulsory education is imparted to
children who are future citizens of the country then equitable
development of all sections of the society which is the very basic
postulate of Indian democracy will remain unfulfilled and this was
the main reason for the Parliament of India to incorporate the
Right to Education through Constitution 86th Amendment Act,
2002 .

6. That, the Constitution 86th Amendment Act 2002 incorporated


Article 21 A which reads as follows :
“ Article 21A : Right to education. - The State shall
provide free and compulsory education to all
children of the age of six to fourteen years in such
manner as the State may, by law, determine.”
7. That, the present Petitioner begs to submit that, with incorporation
of universal education to all children of the age of six to fourteen
years becoming a part of the basic Fundamental Rights it has
become a solemn duty of the State to provide universal education
to all children within the age of 6-14 years.

8. That, in furthering the provisions of Article 21A various legislations


have been enacted, for example in the Assam Elementary
Education (Provincialisation) Act, 1974 provisions have been
incorporated for compulsory education to all children in the age
group of 6-14 years and in Section 14 of the said Act, it has been
provided that, the State Government may by notification declare
Elementary education to be compulsory upto certain age .

9. That, the urgency and importance given to such compulsory


education gets reflected in Section 21 and Section 22 of the Assam
Elementary Education (Provincialisation) Act, 1974 where it has
been provided that, any guardian who contravenes the relevant
provisions of the Act shall be liable to be punished with a fine.

10. That, the present Petitioner begs to submit with regret that,
while through enactments and other notifications and rules the
Government have shown the urgency and importance of universal
compulsory primary education to children yet it is the Government
itself which has become the biggest stumbling block in imparting
such education .

11. That, the present Petitioners beg to submit that, near about
70 % of the school going children in the State attend Govt. or Govt.
aided schools both in the urban and rural areas .

12. That, the Govt. of India has embarked upon an ambitious


Project under the name and style of Sarba Siksha Abhiyan,
shortly known as SSA and as the name implies, it is a scheme for
imparting Education for all sections of society . The Scheme of SSA
is being implemented in Assam too . According to a publication
dated 5th March 2008 in “India Edunews. Net” under the the Sarba
Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) , there are about 42,667 schools in the State
of Assam and the number of students and teachers are 41,94,417
and 1,55,922 respectively .
A copy of the said publication is
annexed herewith as Anexure No 1

13. That, the Petitioner begs to state that, in the state of Assam
specially in rural areas , a large number of schools are functioning
with a single teacher , i.e. in those schools the number of teachers
is only one whereas the number of students enrolled is more than
hundred . For an example, a survey of a particular district in
Assam named Cachar district showing the list of number of
teachers as well as the number of students in those schools shows
that in that district the number of one teacher school is about 690.
A copy of the said compiled list of
single teacher schools comprising 22
pages are annexed herewith as
Annexure No. 2 (a) to 2 (v) .

14. That, it is pertinent to mention here that, a mere perusal of


the above list which pertains to a particular district it becomes
very clearly shows that, a majority of the schools are single
teacher school and the number of students in those schools are
comparatively large . That, by a conservative estimate, it can be
safely said that, the ratio of teacher : student in these single
teacher schools are 1:150 (approx).

15. That, the list as annexed above is just an example of a


particular district and if this be the scenario in a small district in
Assam , then what will be the condition in the rest of the districts
in Assam is well beyond imagination .

16. That, the Petitioners beg to submit that, in such a scenario


compulsory primary education to children have become a mirage,
more so, because it has become a practice for the Govt. to engage
the Govt. and Govt. aided school teachers in myriad works on
behalf of Govt. which have got nothing to do with their assigned
duty of teaching the students .

17. That, teachers of Govt. and Govt. aided schools have been
engaged in all kinds of non-teaching Govt. duties like pulse polio
drive, surveys on malaria, enumeration duties during census
operations, preparation of voter list, poll related duties etc.

18. That, Petitioners beg to submit that, the Govt. of Assam have
been using the school teachers for various purposes other than
teaching during school hours as a result of which the children of
these schools are deprived of their teaching .

19. That, the Petitioners beg to state that, while on one hand the
Govt. is implementing Acts, Provisions , Schemes, making
education mandatory and further by introducing Schemes like
mid-day meal to students at school, the Govt. is making all out
efforts for attracting children belonging to below poverty line
families to attend schools , yet on the other hand by sending the
teachers out of their schools, for performing different duties which
are totally unrelated to teaching, the Govt. is disturbing the whole
process of imparting education in Govt. and Govt. aided schools.
20. That, the Petitioner begs to state that, apart from the Govt
and Govt. aided schools no such duties are assigned to teachers of
private schools which primarily cater to the upper stratas of
society and which are mostly located in urban areas .

21. That, the Petitioner begs to submit that, this approach of


the Govt. is biased, discriminatory, and violates the basic tenet of
equality as enshrined in Article 14 and other related Articles like
Article 21 A , Article 45 of the Constitution of India .

22. That, the Petitioner begs to state that, due to the deputation
of the teachers of the Govt. and Govt. aided school in such other
non-teaching works , these school teachers had to remain absent
from school days after days and even months .

23. That, the Petitioner begs to submit that, this long absence of
teachers from school led to serious consequences for the students
of these schools resulting in unfinished courses, poor results,
lesser percentage of marks etc.

24. That, the Petitioner begs to submit that, in a comparative


study made in certain Govt. schools and a private school in the
district of Cachar, it is surprisingly noted that, the pass percentage
of the renowned Govt. schools of that district and the pass
percentage of a private school differs with a huge gap . It is also
pertinent to mention here that, maximum of the students of these
Govt. and Govt. aided school pass in IIIrd Division (30% to 44%
marks) and even with grace marks , whereas, the students
studying in private schools pass out scoring high percentage of
marks .
Copies of the results of H.S.L.C.
exams of four Govt. schools are
annexed as Annexure No. 3 (a), 3
(b), 3(c), 3(d) and result of a private
school is annexed herewith as
Annexure No. 3 (e) .

25. That, the Petitioner begs to submit with regret that, this
comparative list clearly shows the impact of absence of teachers
from schools for performing non-teaching duties thrust upon them
which have directly resulted in poor performance of the young
students, who are tomorrow’s citizens and the future building
blocks of the society .

26. That, the Petitioner begs to state that, this contradiction in


the Government’s approach was the subject matter of a civil
Appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal
No. 5659 of 2007 in the case of Election Commission of India –Vs-
St. Mary’s School and others .

27. That, your humble Petitioner begs to submit that, in the


said appeal, the Appellants, the Election Commission of India
had challenged a Judgment & Order dated 11/08/2004 passed by
a Division bench of the Delhi High Court in a Writ Petition (Civil)
No. 1076 of 2003 wherein the question of utilizing the services of
teachers of the Govt. schools for various purposes during school
timings was challenged on the ground that, the students reading in
the said schools are deprived of obtaining instructions from the
teachers . In the said Writ Petition it was pointed out that, the
deployment of teachers of these schools for non-educational
purposes have lead to lowering of the academic standard and
performance of these schools .
A Copy of the said Writ Petition
No. 1076 of 2003 is annexed
herewith as Annexure No. 4

28. That, the Petitioners begs to state that, in the said Writ
Petition initially the following were named as Respondents –

1) Union of India , through Secretary,


Ministry of Human Resource Development
2) Government of NCT of Delhi
Through Secretary, Directorate of Education,
3) New Delhi Municipal Committee,
4) Municipal Corporation of Delhi,

And later on through CM No. 4956 of 2003 in Civil Writ Petition No.
1076 of 2003, the Election Commission of India was arrayed as
Respondent No. 5.

25. That, the present Petitioner begs to state that, in the


aforementioned Writ Petition all the five Respondents appeared
before the Hon’ble Court and filed their Counter Affidavits which
are very pertinent and revealing in nature .

Copies of the Counter Affidavits


filed by the above named
Respondents No. 1,3,4,5 are
annexed herewith as Annexure No.
5 (a), 5(b), 5(c) & 5 (d) .

26. That, the Petitioner begs to state that, the Hon’ble Division
Bench of the Delhi High Court after hearing Counsels of all parties
was pleased to pass its Judgment & Order on 11/08/2004 . In its
Judgment & Order the Hon’ble Court allowed the Writ Petition and
directed that, the services of the teachers should not be utilized
for non-teaching purposes on a day which is a working day for
students .

27. That, the Petitioner begs to state that, the Election Commission
of India, who was arrayed as Respondent No. 5 in the said Writ
Petition , filed an Appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of
India against the Judgment & Order passed by the Hon’ble Delhi
High Court on 11/08/2004 .

28. That, the Petitioner begs to state that, the Hon’ble Supreme
Court after due process of law and after hearing Counsels of all the
concerned parties was pleased to dismiss the said appeal vide its
Judgment & Order dated 06/12/2007 upholding the Judgment &
Order passed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court on 11/08/2004 .

A Copy of the said Judgment &


Order dated 06/12/07 is annexed
herewith as Annexure No. 6

29. That, the Petitioners beg to state that, inspite of the Judgment &
Order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 06/12/2007 , the
Respondent Authorities have not paid any heed in implementing
the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directives. For example, in the last
Panchayat Elections in Assam, teachers of Govt. and Govt. aided
schools were deputed for election duties .

30. That, the Petitioners are aggrieved that, the engagement of


school teachers in non-teaching Govt. purposes during school
hours have continued unabated thereby violating the directives of
the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India .

31. That, the Petitioners, considering the activities of the


Respondent Authorities, apprehend that in the ensuing Elections
to the Lok sabha, the Govt. and Govt. aided school teachers will
be again made to work in election related duties disrupting their
teaching duties .

32. That, the Petitioners beg to submit that, with advent of


Technology the mode and method of conducting polls have
changed and with the introduction of Electronic voting machines
for registering votes and subsequent counting, the requisitioning of
a large number of people for holding elections as well as at the
time of counting of casted ballots have become unnecessary and
as such in the light of the Judgment passed by the Hon’ble
Supreme Court a distinction have to be made in inducting
teachers into election related duties .

33. That, the Petitioners beg to submit that, while holding elections
is also a Constitutional obligation on the part of the Election
Commission as well as the Government concerned, yet to fulfill
that Constitutional obligation certain Fundamental Rights cannot
be trampled down .

34.That, it is respectfully submitted that, teachers being part and


parcel of the Government are bound to perform soverign duties
and working for Election Commission , preparing voter list, pulse
polio drive, etc. are no doubt sovereign functions but for
performing such functions we cannot put the Fundamental Rights
as well as the future of lakhs and lakhs of children at stake .

35. It is the respectful prayer of the present Petitioner that, this


Hon’ble Court will be pleased to weigh the issues submitted before
this Hon’ble Court and will be pleased to pass necessary directions
to the Respondent Authorities in the light of the Judgment & Order
passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 5659 of
2007 ( Election Commission of India –Vs- St. Marys School & Ors.)
on 06/12/2007 .

36. That, your humble Petitioner begs to submit that, as the


organization represented by him includes members who are
teachers affected by such election related duties and also
guardians whose children are affected by the deployment of their
teachers in schools where they study in non-teaching duties as
such they have a legitimate interest in the matter and are duly
competent and fit to file this Petition .

37. That, the petitioners humbly submit that, since the issue of
deployment of teachers in non-teaching duties involves substantial
elements of public interest, this is pre- eminently a fit case where
this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to exercise its extra- ordinary
jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India .

38. That, the Petitioner has no other equally efficacious alternative


remedy available and the reliefs sought herein are just and
adequate .

39. That, the Petitioner has not filed any other Suit or Writ Petition in
respect of the subject matter of the instant Writ Petition in any
other legal Forum.
40. That, the Petition is made bonafide and for the ends of justice .

In the premises aforementioned , it is most


respectfully prayed that Your Lordships will
be pleased to –

i) Admit this Petition .

ii) Call for the records of the Case.

iii) Issue Rule calling upon the Respondent


Authorities to show cause as to why a
direction will not be issued to the
Respondent Authorities to adhere to the
directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court
concerning engagement of teachers of
Government and Govt. aided school in
non-teaching duties as passed in Civil
Appeal No. 5659 of 2007 (Election
Commission of India –Vs- St. Mary’s
School & Ors.)

-AND/OR-

Be pleased to pass any such


Order/Orders as your Lordship may
deem fit and proper.

And for this act of your kindness your Petitioner as in duty bound shall
ever pray.
AFFIDAVIT

I, Shri Neharul Ahmed Mazumder, Son of Ala Uddin


Mazumder, aged about 34 years , resident of Village Rongpur, Pt.1, P.O.
Arkatipur , District Cachar, Assam and in the capacity as the Secretary
General of Barak Human Rights Protection Committee , do hereby
solemnly affirm and state as follows –

1. That, I am the Secretary General of Barak Human Rights Protection


Committee and I am duly authorized by the Rules of the
aforementioned Organisation to file any case on behalf of the
Organisation .

2. That, I have studied the facts and documents related to the matter
and I am well aware of the facts and circumstances of the case.
Thus, I am competent to swear and sign this affidavit.

3. That, the statements made in this affidavit and those made in


paragraphs …………………………………………………………are true to
my knowledge and those made in paragraphs
…………………………………………………………………..are matters of
records and true to my information derived there from which I
believe to be true and rests are my humble submissions before this
Hon’ble Court.

And accordingly I sign this affidavit on this the 27th day of


February 2009 , here at Guwahati.

Identified by me, DEPONENT