HC issues warrant against Maharashtra education dept secretary for non-compliance of order on teachers’ dues

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has issued non-bailable warrants against the secretary and upper secretary of the Maharashtra government’s education department for not complying with the court’s orders pertaining to the payment of salaries and arrears of teachers.

A division bench of Justices Prithviraj Chavan and Urmila Joshi-Phalke on Wednesday heard a petition filed by Chitra Mehar, seeking action for contempt of court against the officials for not complying with its orders.

Mehar’s lawyer Anand Parchure said the teachers, appointed by the state government to teach differently-abled children, were not being paid salaries as per the pay-scale for `skilled teachers’.

In 2018, a few teachers including Mehar moved the HC, seeking the payment of salaries as per the aforesaid pay-scale. In 2022, the high court directed the government to pay the petitioners dues of Rs 2.13 crore and other arrears.

But no payment was made, hence the teachers filed a contempt petition last year, advocate Parchure said.

In September, the court directed the secretary of the education department to remain present on November 1, but he failed to appear.

The court noted that there was also no satisfactory explanation as to why the earlier orders were not followed.

“In the aforesaid circumstances, we are left with no option than to issue non-bailable warrants against Ranjit Singh Deol, Secretary of the Government of Maharashtra, School Education and Sports Department, and Santosh Gaikwad, Upper Secretary of the Government of Maharashtra, School Education and Sports Department, Mumbai,” the HC said in its order.

The bench directed the Nagpur police commissioner to execute the warrants personally and produce the officials before the court on November 6.

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