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Manipur High Court suspends absorption order of 25 officers for education

The service of 25 officers were regularised/absorbed by an order of December 16, 2016, issued by the commissioner (Education-S), government of Manipur with effect from the date of issue of the order and that they have not rendered 10 years of regular service.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 24 Jan 2023, 9:14 pm

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Manipur High Court on Monday suspended the state order of absorption of 25 officers, 13 programme officers and 12 assistant programme officers along with posts to the Manipur Education Service Grade-II and Manipur Education Service Grade-III respectively for the Education (S) department, government of Manipur.

The service of 25 officers were regularised/absorbed by an order of December 16, 2016, issued by the commissioner (Education-S), government of Manipur with effect from the date of issue of the order and that they have not rendered 10 years of regular service as on today. But, on December 19, 2022, the additional secretary of education (S), government of Manipur, issued notice for the absorption of officers as MES grade-II and MES grade-III have been done pursuant to the decision taken by state cabinet meeting held on January 4, 2022. Assailing the order issued for absorption, some officers filed writ petitions before the HC.

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It is claimed that the Manipur Education Service is governed by the rules called the Manipur Education Service Rules, 2012. Under Rule 5(a) of the said Rules, it is provided that 50 per cent of the total number of posts of Grade-III level of the service are to be recruited by direct recruitment in the manner specified in Part-IV of the Rules and the remaining 50 per cent of the total post of Grade-III level shall be filled up through Limited Departmental Examination from amongst the persons who hold substantively any of the post given in Schedule-II, with necessary educational and other qualifications and also with not less than 10  years of regular service in the state government.

Under Rule 5(b), it is provided that 50 percent of the Grade-II posts should be filled up by promotion and the remaining 50 per cent of the vacancies should be filled up through Limited Departmental Examination from among the person who hold substantively any of the posts given in Schedule-III with necessary educational and other qualifications and also not less than 10 years of regular service in the state government.

After hearing the rival submission of the counsel appearing for the parties and on careful examination of the materials available on record, the high court considered that the absorption of 25 officers in the cadre of MES Grade-II and Grade-III is totally in violation of the relevant service rules and also ultra vires the state cabinet decision taken on January 4, 2022, in as much as, such absorption is to be carried out as a one-time measure after relaxing the relevant provisions of the service rules. In the present case, the state government has not relaxed or amended any of the service rules for absorbing the private respondents in the cadre of MES Grade-II and Grade-III.

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The HC also considered that if an interim order is passed by the high court suspending the impugned order, 25 officers will not be greatly affected since they will continue as a regular employee of the state government in terms of their absorption order of December 16, 2016.

Since the petitioners have been able to make out a prima facie case for passing an interim order and since the HC is of the tentative view that the impugned order had been issued in total violation of the relevant provisions of the MES Rules, 2012, it is hereby ordered that the operation of the impugned order of December 19, 2022 shall remain suspended till the next date.

The HC further stated that all the respondents have not filed their counter affidavit, they are directed to file their counter affidavit and liberty is also granted to them for modification or vacation of the interim order, if so advised.

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manipur high courtabsorption

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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